(not quite a) Year in Japan

Kappabashi Kitchenware Street (かっぱ橋道具街) – Tokyo, Asakusa (浅草)

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Alternate title, ‘fake food!’ (But, according to a sign I saw “please don’t use the term ‘fake food’, the preferred term is ‘food sample'”)

So you if you’ve ever been to Japan or read anything about Japanese food and restaurants, you’ve probably heard the term ‘fake food’ or ‘food samples’ thrown in somewhere – referring to the super-realistic plastic (tradtionally wax) models used to indicate/advertise what delicious food a restaurant has for sale.

But of course, these restaurants don’t make these models themselves, they buy them/have them made. And if they’re in Tokyo, there’s a reasonable (honestly I have no idea how likely) chance they get them from the Kappabashi Kitchenware Street in Asakusa.

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First up, Maizuru
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Ramen!
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More ramen?!
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Ice cream!
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A variety of rice bowls – the bright orange ‘balls’ are “Ikura” – salmon roe.

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Fruit!
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Keyrings
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Beer!
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Sushi! (by the looks of thinks, sea urchin (うに) up front
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More sushi!
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More more suhi!
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Crab!
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Sundaes!

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Pizza!
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Soba!
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Ramen!
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Crepes!
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Another place…not sure what’s it’s called as the sign just reads 食品サンプル – Food (product) samples
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Crepes!
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Sushi!
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Keyrings!
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Aaand another place – “Satou Sampuru”…
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…though I was starting to get hungry, so I ended up not going in.

And whilst I had heard that ‘these make good souvenirs’, whoever mentioned that clearly has more money than sense…these things are EXPENSIVE (understandable I guess). Some of the small pieces are like £20-30, but for the most part it’s £50+

So that’s the food samples, but this street has everything you’d ever need if you were running a restaurant, and also a decent amount of consumer-focused stores too.

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This coffee place (not a cafe, just selling beans/grounds and equipment) smelled (smelt?) absolutely gorgeous

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Bowl and plates and whatnot

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The sort of signage that you’ll see whenever you walk by most traditional Japanese restaurants

Oh yeah, and this area is called Kappabashi (かっぱ橋), so of course there’s a statue of a Kappa (wikipedia link included as to what a Kappa is)

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yeah…if you read the wiki link…it’s just as weird as it looks

A fun way to spend a couple of hours on a rainy day, just don’t browse the food samples on an empty stomach!

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