plastic food samples

3 Nov

Let me quote this post here, since I recently had a comment from a reader of this blog asking if plastic food samples are still available and common in Japan. The answer is YES! Moreover, what’s interesting is that those samples can be purchased by foreign tourists as “souvenir” to go back home! Those samples are sold in a particular place so that restaurant owners, for example, may come to buy them for wholesale price.

One of the most popular Japanese souvenirs to foreign tourists is Japanese foods made of plastic.
This Sushi, for example, is all made from plastic and usually displayed at the entrance of the restaurants. They look so real, aren’t they? There is a place where you can buy these plastic foods in Tokyo, which is called “Kappabashi

Needless to say, there are so many kinds of plastic foods available at Kappabashi district. Even Japanese people like me, can enjoy browsing around…Actually, when I went there for the first time, that was with my friend from the U.S.A before she went back. She was looking for some nice souvenirs out there.

Here’s another sample, at the bottom. It’s Tonkatsu, or pork cutlet. Mmm…look yummy, huh? Well I have to tell you these samples are not as cheap as they look. I mean it’d be much cheaper if you order the real food than the sample.

I used to quote the great video from Youtube showing how these samples are made, but it seems no longer available by now…sorry for that!


8 Responses to “plastic food samples”

  1. Lisa November 5, 2008 at 10:10 am #

    Oh, I love these! I used to walk around Osaka’s equivalent of Kappabashi – Doguyasuji, a lot! I think it’s a great concept because you can see what your food looks like beforehand (although I guess sometimes they look so different you get disappointed…or happily surprised!). It’s especially good for tourists who can’t read the menus too, huh?

  2. kirin November 6, 2008 at 1:34 am #


    Oh really? You’ve been to Osaka before?
    Actually I don’t know much about Osaka except where my grandma lives. As you point out, it’s easy for foreign tourists to imagine what they are ordering. 😀

  3. Lisa November 6, 2008 at 9:39 pm #

    To Kirin:
    Yes, actually I lived there for a year, I recently came back ‘home’ in July… but I miss Osaka very much! I’m hoping to go back soon. For now I guess I should study my japanese though. むずかしい!

  4. kirin November 6, 2008 at 11:27 pm #


    For a year? That’s way too long for travelling, so you maybe studying or working? Then your Japanese is 大阪弁? Osaka-ben has more accent and intonation than standard Japanese (like we speak in Tokyo) and so, it’s easier for English speakers to pronounce. Standard Japanese sounds so flat and I think that’s one of the reasons we have to go through hard time while learning English.

    What kind of stuff do you miss in Osaka?
    Takoyaki? Obachan? 🙂

  5. Lisa November 11, 2008 at 11:00 pm #

    To Kirin:
    Yes, I was teaching English for one year (very cliche, I know!), and I loved it! Both teaching and being in Japan, but I wanted to try something else for a while…
    Yes, I learned some Osaka ben, so I probably sound a bit rude when I speak, haha! It was easier to learn what people were speaking on the street than in my textbook I guess. 🙂
    I miss lots of things! I miss okonomiyaki, takoyaki, the big Glico man! 😆
    Hmm, some obachan I miss, but others were dangerous! Especially on the trains 😉

  6. Dutchie November 16, 2008 at 2:57 pm #

    Hi Kirin,

    Kappabashi ! My fave topic 🙂 We r now heading towards St. Nicholaas (Dec 5th) n among all the sweets/chocolate figurines, marsepein (a mix of icing sugar n amandel paste) offers a real feast for the eyes. They come in complete range of colourful fruits the size of walnuts, cute little pets, shapes of hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza’s etc. Much like ur plastic food but it’s edible. Y’day (saturday) hubby n I spent hours ogling the big spread in the store but didnt buy any bec it’s very sweet. If we received them as presents on St. Nick’s, we would give it away to our neighbourhood kids.

    Google has a small range of marsepein pix, but it does give u an idea of what’s been sold here. Hv fun !

  7. Dutchie November 16, 2008 at 3:02 pm #

    sorry kirin, amandel is dutch for almonds – I tend to think too much in dutch – haha.

  8. kirin November 18, 2008 at 12:31 pm #


    St. nicholaas…that sounds fun!
    I checked out Google image for “marsepein” which is cute and I like that. 🙂 Events at other countries sound more fun, since I’m totally bored of Japanese ones with over and over again year after year…

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