[FoRK] Kappabashi

Philip DesAutels philip at wuhwuhwuh.com
Wed May 11 04:08:22 PDT 2005

There is a great district in Tokyo, Kappabashi, where, if you are so
inclined, you can buy a host of restaurant supplies and, at least to me, the
all important plastic food models that I find so fascinating. 


What an interesting concept. Rather than having a text menu - fairly useless
for the Kanji impaired or pictures which would not really convey the real
essence of the dish, most Japanese restaurants and bodegas use realistic
plastic models of their meals in display cases to lure in customers.


While on a visit to Keio University with the W3C, I spent an entire morning
in Kappabashi. I was most fascinated with a spaghetti Bolognese model
featuring a fork full of pasta hovering over a bowl. This area stands in
start contrast to Akihabara which is a surreal experience. Kappabashi is a
great glimpse into the inner workings of everyday Japan.


I personally wish I had bought a piece or two of the plastic food as display
art. Instead, I was a bit more practical at the time (given MIT's salarys)
and decided to buy a few wonderful Japanese cooking knives and a full set of
Japanese plates. 



A short piece on Kappabashi: http://www.stoneschool.com/Japan/Kappabas/

Great pics of plastic food in situ:

I even found a company in the UK with an extensive line of plastic Western
food: http://www.replica.co.uk/main.htm 


Philip DesAutels


Rohit Khare Wrote:


>So, Smruti and I are in Chiba this week for WWW14, and she's  

>fascinated with the plastic food. I have a guidebook that mentions  

>that district in passing, but I recall you had a ball finding that  

>part of the market -- any tips?




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