In Japan, sampuru (fake food) is widely seen outside restaurants. Sampuru started in the 1950s as a visual representation of a restaurant’s menu for foreigners who couldn’t read Japanese. Several decades later, the popularity of having fake foods displayed in front of restaurants picked up across all of Japan. Now, it’s hard not to see fake food in front of almost every restaurant in Japan. Curious about how fake food is made in Japan, I traveled to Osaka, Japan to take a private tour of one of the few Sampuru factories in Japan. Watch my video for the full tour.
The Morino Sample factory is located in Osaka, Japan, a 10-minute walk from the Hirano Station. They have 6 other locations which offer the same tour but this location is the original. I met with the owner for private access to his shop and factory nestled in the quiet Hirano ward.
For more information and Osaka tour locations, visit Morino Sample
The storefront is quite small but don’t let that fool you. This small store carries anything you can possibly think of. You can find earrings, cell phone holders, magnets, power outlet cover all made out of fake food. There are 12 full-time workers who make all the fake foods in this small shop.
Whether you’re traveling solo or with your family, the Morino Sample Factory Tour is great for all ages. It’s fun and interesting to learn the craft behind fake food in Japan. I was able to appreciate the level of craftsmanship and dedication these workers had on making something fake look as real as possible. I’d recommend eating something before arriving because I guarantee you will be leaving very hungry after seeing all the decorative fake food found here.