One of the interesting things you’ll notice when feeling hungry in Japan is that many restaurants display plastic samples of their dishes in their windows in order to lure you in – especially helpful if you don’t speak Japanese. The fake food is incredibly realistic and has become an art form as well as a massive industry in Japan.
Kappabashi (合羽橋) or Kitchen Town, is a street in Tokyo between Ueno and Asakusa where you can buy all manner of kitchenware including a number of shops that specialise in the display food, known as sampuru (サンプル), which is derived from the English word “sample”.
Here you can browse and buy every conceivable dish immortalised in vinyl chloride and painted to look exactly like the real thing.
From soba to spaghetti with forks and chopsticks suspended in mid-air, they have it all.
These fried udon noodles look almost good enough to eat!
How about ice cream?
Or some grilled yakitori?
Some restaurants commission factories to create custom display food tailored to the exact dishes or produce they serve.
At a glance, much of it is indistinguishable from the real thing.
If all of this has made you hungry then it’s probably time to try the real thing – I ventured to nearby Asakusa for some simple soba noodles with shrimp tempura.
Followed later by matcha (抹茶) or green tea latte which I have become a bit addicted to!
3 Comments Add New Comment
you made a really nice trip and the series is awesome… I also wondered about these sampuru stuff when I visited a Japanese restaurant in Dubai (Umami Restaurant) and they are really helpful. I took a good old Chicken Ramen. I just have to get used to the hashi’s. wwww
Keep it up.
I spent a couple of hours checking out these very shops…art pure and simple .
Love Japan ,hope I get a third visit.