21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Food samples are said to have been invented around the end of the Taisho Period and the beginning of the Showa period. They were created by different researchers and craftsmen around the same time in different locations, and were initially popular in department store cafeterias, gradually spreading throughout Japan, to become an essential element of Japan's eating-out culture.
The role of food samples has changed over the decades. At first they were simply presented as samples of a dish, but eventually became a promotional tool that instantly conveyed, visually, the attractions of a restaurant or eatery. Not only was "authenticity" pursued, but also the ability of the food sample to convey "tastiness" in a more sophisticated way. Today, this unique Japanese technology and culture is attracting the attention of people overseas.
The food sample was developed as part of Japan's rich culture of eating out. The ingredients of the food sample and its role may have changed, but what hasn't changed is the fact that they remain "hand made" by craftsman with outstanding skills and know-how. Experience the world of food samples where each sample is highly realistic and where each item is hand made using traditional skills and techniques.
By public transportation
Walk 5 minutes from Exit A2 of Asakusa Station (the one served by the Tsukuba Express Line) to reach the Iwasaki Be-I Original Plastic Food Samples Showroom.