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Making Japanese food models in Tokyo

Making Japanese food models in Tokyo

Japan is known for its amazingly real looking food models. Replicas of dishes and drinks are prominently displayed at Japanese restaurant windows.

The mother of food models is Tokyo’s Kappabashi district. With endless kitchen utensils, professional restaurant gadgets and beautiful tableware, it brings about more than exquisite plastic formations.

For us, the greatest Kappabashi kick was to make some of those fantastic food samples ourselves.

To experience some food model magic, we booked a mini-workshop at Ganso, one of the model producers in Tokyo.


Making lettuce and tempura at Ganso

Ganso is the shop in Kappabashi where food models are made by specially trained artisans and:

– where you can create your personal piece of fake food and,

– buy a DIY fake food model set to make at home or,

– where you can simply look at stunning examples and buy a ready made piece of food art.

Location: Nishi-Asakusa 3-7-6, Kappabashi, Tokyo.

Tomasz Chmielewski Tokyo Kappabashi food model district by Dasza Traveler


The shop is eye candy for food lovers and fake food lovers alike.

Japanese plastic food models tempura ramen Kappabashi kitchen Street Tokyo by Dasza Traveler


Workshop details

The workshop is held in Japanese, but it is OK if you only speak English.

But you need to make a reservation! Check the Ganso website for phone number and online calendar to choose available time slots.

The fee is ¥1500 including all materials. Everyone gets to create one head lettuce and one piece of tempura, either shrimp or pumpkin.


Making food models

That day, we learned how to handle colourful matter and made some crisp lettuce and fancy tempura.

Creating our everlasting lunch box!

Three types of coloured wax and a big water tank. Ready to play food god.

Making Japanese food models at Ganso Kappabashi kitchen Street Tokyo by Dasza Traveler


This is us exercising Japanese superpowers to create those replica marvels.

I am struggling with pumpkin tempura.


The One is crafting some juicy lettuce.


Moment of surprise. Lettuce head is cut open.


If you like to play with food, I might have just found the right thing for you…


Japanese DIY souvenir food models

DIY kits to handicraft with besties back home!

We bought one soba noodle bowl set and one spaghetti bolognese kit at the Ganso shop, as well.

The handy boxes include instructions (ask for English version!), the bowl or plate and all the fake food, sauces and gadgets to make awesome models without a workshop.

Food models are rather on the expensive side, but these DIY kits were affordable with about  ¥2000 a box.

Other options are ramen key chains, sushi magnets and traditional dishes.

 Ganso shop Japanese plastic food models Kappabashi kitchen Street Tokyo by Dasza Traveler

 More about the Kappabashi district in my next post

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