PLASTIC FOOD DISPLAYS—Another Cultural Difference in Japan
Most restaurants in Japan, except perhaps the very up-scale ones, have ways of showing what’s on offer: either photographs or pictures of the items on the menu, or very realistic-looking plastic models of the dishes they serve. The first time we encountered these models we were surprised at how real they look, as many of them look like an actual dish.
Frequently, restaurants have a set menu, or teishoku. For example, a set may comprise a bowl of soup, plus a bowl of noodles; or a whole fish, with a bowl of soup, a small salad, and rice; a tray with bowl of soup, rice, and a plate of sushi and sashimi. The combinations are limitless, and all you need to do is point to the one you want, and you will get exactly that. No variations. It’s a lot of fun just walking around the eating streets and alleys, looking at all the models on display.
We went to Ezokko Ramen Shop in the JR station complex last Friday and had a great meal, based on pointing at the models in the window of what we wanted. (pics of that later—these are general photos of models)