The Plastic Foods of Kappabashi

Perched atop the Niimi Building, the giant head of an Italian chef welcomes visitors to Kappabashi-dōri, where Tokyo’s restaurants come to buy the things they need to run their business: chopsticks, cups, bowls, knives, takeaway containers, and naturally, an infinite variety of plastic foods.

Japanese Plastic Sample Food

We’ve come to truly appreciate plastic food and, when deciding between restaurants, will always choose the one with the most plastic food in its windows. No, it’s not some disturbing new diet. It’s just that, in Japan, menus tend to be written in Japanese and only Japanese. (The nerve!) Not only are these plastic foods the only way for us to know what’s being offered, they’re also a convenient way to order. Rather than looking up the translation for “Curry Noodles,” we can drag the waitress over to the window and point.

On Kappabashi-dōri, we discovered the stores from which Tokyo’s restaurants buy their plastic foods. More than mere marketing tools, these fake plates of spaghetti, tonkatsu, sushi and cakes are vibrant works of art worthy of admiration. Ice cream, sashimi, hamburgers, overflowing mugs of beer… it all looked so good, I had to constantly remind myself that “This is plastic, plastic, plastic,” lest I succumb to a futile feeding frenzy.

It’s not all plastic foods on Kappabashi-dōri. There are other stores selling every kind of kitchenware you could want, from ceramic plates to tea sets, all at bargain-basement prices. This is an area meant for restaurants to buy in bulk, but unlike at Tsukiji’s wholesale fish market, visitors are more than welcome to browse and make their own purchases.

Location on our Map

-Make your own Japanese Plastic Sushi with this kit

Kappabashi Neighborhood Tokyo
Cups Building Tokyo
Japanese fake plastic food store
Fake plastic ice cream japan
Fake Plastic Sweet Food
Fake plastic sushi Tokyo
Fake plastic food store Tokyo
Sushi rolls out of plastic
plastic food noodle dishes Japan
Fake plastic sushi set
Hot pot fake plastic food Tokyo
Tempura fake plastic food
Tuna Sushi Plastic
Bowl of soup fake plastic food Tokyo
Plastic food on a plastic spoon
Where to buy fake plastic food dishes in Tokyo
Kappabashi Fake plastic food store
Trick plastic food Japan
Plastic Crepes with whipped cream and bananas
Floating spaghetti forks plastic food
Rice snack fake plastic
Plastic fake soups Kappabashi
Fake plastic oysters
Food samples out of plastic
Side dishes out of plastic
Hot pot meat out of plastic
Pesto Noodle dish out of plastic
Fresh fish out of plastic
Fake fresh fish
Giant hamburger fake plastic food

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. joel jason

    This is one of my favorites posts of yours. I’m reposting it on Facebook because it’s so great.

  2. Cat McKenney

    I have a question -How do the real foods/dishes compare to the plastic ones?Could you possibly take a few plastic vs. real snapshots for us?I am interested in seeing whether the cooks are literal to the plastic or if the plastic foods are more of a totem for a particular dish.Thank you,Catp.s. I love this site!

  3. Diane Putnam

    I loved the windows with plastic food! I was in Tokyo only a week, so I missed 99% of what I wanted to see. A week in Tokyo is a mere layover!

  4. Jane patrick

    Can I buy these foods

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