Updated: August 16, 2018
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Take A Bite Out Of Japan's Plastic Food World!

Japan has a long-standing billion dollar plastic Food industry. The plastic foods are so hyperrealistic that you might be tempted to take a bit into them!

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Japan's Plastic Food!

The facades of restaurants in Japan are often adorned with plastic food displays which make ordering very easy when you don't speak the language. Not all restaurants have English menus and English-speaking staff so these fake foods can come in very handy!

You can simply walk in, point at whatever looks appetizing to you and have it delivered to your table. These fake food dishes are astonishingly real looking and are often made specifically for the restaurant so as not to deceive the customers.
This fake food industry is incredibly lucrative, it's a billion dollar industry. Most of the fake food, "shokuhin sanpuru" (食品サンプル) are hand-made by amazingly talented artists. These fake food dishes don't come cheap, however! In fact, one dish can cost up to a few hundred dollars, a lot more than the cost of the actual dish.

But, the food is made with polyvinyl chloride, which is said to be practically eternal.
The fake food industry started during the Showa period in Japan. In those days, restaurants commissioned artists to make wax replicas of their food for patrons to have an idea of what they would get. However, they used to be made of wax and the colour would either fade or the food would melt altogether.
You can buy fake food at many shops in Japan, for example, pieces of sushi, for relatively cheap. You can get things such as sushi USB keys or fish keychains.
There is also an area of Asakusa, called Kappabashi, which specializes in these fake foods. You can go check it out for yourself. It is actually quite interesting to see all that these artists are capable of making look very realistic!

Some areas even allow you to take a shot at making your own fake food!
You can stop by Ganso Shokuhin Sampuru-ya in Kappabashi to try your hand at making fake food. The workshops are super fun and make for a fun activity in the area.

Cost: 2,300 yen per person

Address: 3-7-6 Nishi Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
Lili Wanderlust
I love travelling and discovering new cuisines. Japan has a panoply of local dishes to try. I also love yoga, coffee, reading, and cycling.

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