Japan’s plastic and wax food samples have charmed visitors worldwide. To the Japanese these ubiquitous displays are simply a practical way of reviewing a restaurant or café’s offerings before entering; to those new to this shop-front custom, they are amazing works of pop art – colourful, realistic and fun – that everyone longs to bring home as a souvenir.
The good news is, now visitors can craft their own food models to keep or give as gifts. Participants in the Peninsula Academy Fun of Faux Food workshop will be driven in a Mini Cooper to Yamato Sample Factory, a family-run business with a 60-year history making deliciously real-looking wax and plastic samples for the food industry.
Each participant aged six and up can make three items: a choice of ramen, tempura, curry or pizza for a main dish; a dessert sundae; and a miniature sundae or tartlet. In a relaxed neighbourhood setting with the expert Ito family as your guide, this hands-on class promises fun for all ages and an insider’s look at a cottage industry born in Japan some eight decades ago.