Japan is well known for its creative and sometimes crazy inventions. One of the things I noticed when I visited Japan for the first time were the plastic food samples on display in restaurants. Extremely realistic-looking as they were, I was puzzled for a while whether I was staring at real or fake food. For tourists who are visiting Tokyo and have a hard time reading Japanese menus this is a super useful invention.
But how did this craze start? In the 1920’s a Japanese chef started making use of fake food for the first time to attract customers. His competitors soon started copying his idea and in the 1930’s it was booming business.
Creating fake food is not as easy as you would think though. In the earlier years, fake food was made of wax but nowadays they use plastic. It requires a lot of work and craftmanship to create the perfect fake food. The ones purchased by restaurants can easily cost up to a several hundred dollars!
These relaxing carrots may look adorable but this set costs about 700 dollars!
Fake food isn’t only used to attract customers for restaurants. Several companies came up with brilliant ideas of turning fake food into useful items for everyday life.
Would you like to have a dumpling phone charm?
This fried shrimp USB stick looks very delicious..
With this clock you always know when it's time for sushi!
Only looking at this takoyaki phone stand makes me hungry!
Curry rice is a popular Japanese dish and this phone case will turn heads wherever you go!
You can also take matters in your own hands and create your own plastic food! At the Ganso-Shokuhin Sample-ya located in Tokyo Sky Tree town Solamachi store you can buy a kit to make your own plastic food. Fun to try at home after your trip and it would also make a great souvenir for family or friends.
This is a kit to make Japanese Napolitan style spaghetti including all the 'ingredients'
Prices vary from relatively cheap ($15) for this colorful Japanese shaved ice.
To a whopping $1800 for The most expensive kit they sell: this amazing fastfood set!
What is your opinion on plastic food? Is this a good way to attract customers? Would you like to like to try a DIY-kit? Let us know in the comments below!
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