Japanese Sample Food Making Experience
The Japanese Sample (Sampuru) Food Making Experience is a class that explores the Japanese craft of making fake food for restaurant displays in Japan. Learn about the history and technique of this unique 100-year-old craft on this small group experience.
Videos of Japan’s “fake food” techniques have been a viral sensation for years. Many people are amazed with the intricacies of this elaborate yet delicate craft of making fake food by hand and showcasing them as displays in front of restaurants. The sample fake food look just like real food and are almost indistinguishable, which is a lot of fun for people to guess which food is real or not.
Almost every restaurant will have these glistening, perfectly-plated fake food models that are tempting you from their windows. The fake foods are made of plastic or wax, and to this day each one is crafted by hand, and can take anywhere from a few hours to entire entrees that can take up to a week. Because of the detail in each food sample, artisans say it takes up to 10 years to perfect the craft and the imitations can cost up to 10 times the real food they represent (sometimes up to $500 USD or 55,000 JPY).
It’s said that fake food production began in the 1930s with Takizo Iwasaki, an artisan from Gujo Hachiman. Story goes, he made an omelet out of wax that was so realistic his wife couldn’t tell it apart from the real thing. He would go on to start one of the biggest plastic food manufacturers in Japan that now controls an estimated 60% of the fake food market. By the 1950s, fake food had caught a wave of popularity.
In this 2-hour Japanese Sample Food Making Experience, learn about the history and traditional craft of Sampuru food with an English-speaking guide and translator. Before the workshop, tour and see different types of Sampuru models and learn how this craft was started and what the significance of sampuru food displays are in Japan. After the short tour, join a workshop with a small group where you can get a hands-on experience in making tempura sampuru foods, which you can take home as a souvenir. This is a great experience for anyone!
Availability: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 10:00 AM to 12 PM (except some holidays). Meeting time is 9:45 AM.
– Standard Group Tour: ¥6,900 per person
– 2 or more people: ¥20,700 per person
– 1 person only: ¥41,400 per person
- English-speaking instructor or translator
- Fake food samples made in the class
- Photo opportunities and more
- Meals, food and drinks
- Other fees not included in the tour
Add-on: 4-Hour Private Tokyo Tour
- 2 or more people: 11,000 JPY per person
- 1 person: 22,000 JPY per person
The 4-Hour Private Tokyo Tour will include an English-speaking guide. This tour can be conducted before or after the event from 6:00 AM to 10:00 AM or 12PM to 4PM. Public transportation costs are included. Admission fee or other optional activity fees for guests and tour guides are not included.
Add-on: 6-Hour Private Tokyo Tour
- 2 or more people: 15,900 JPY per person
- 1 person: 31,800 JPY per person
The 6-Hour Private Tokyo Tour will include an English-speaking guide. This tour can be conducted after the event from or 12PM to 6PM. Public transportation costs are included. Admission fee or other optional activity fees for guests and tour guides are not included.
Location: Asakusa Station (directions will be provided after booking)
The tour operates in all weather conditions (except when there is a typhoon or other extreme situations). Please dress appropriately for all weather conditions. In such case, please note that the tour may change slightly to accommodate for the weather.
While most places we visit may be non-smoking establishments, there are some places along the way that may allow smoking in designated areas. Please take note of this for guests who are sensitive to smoke.
Only people who are 7 years old or above may participate. All children from age 7 to 14 must be accompanied by a guardian (age 20 or older) at all times.
All reservations are subject to Standard, Moderate or Firm Cancellation Policy. The Cancellation Policy will appear at checkout.
All bookings are payable via Stripe (Booking Checkout) or PayPal. Confirmations regarding your booking will be sent at least 10 days before your activity date.
What if I’m late?
We ask that all guests arrive at the location at least 10 minutes before the designated meet-up time. Since this is a group tour, we may not be able to wait for you if you are late. The tour will begin without the late guests and you can join the rest of the group when you arrive. Guests are provided with the tour guides’ phone number before the tour and you can call the tour guide if you have questions or have trouble finding the venue.