What’s For Dinner?

With more than 160 000 eating establishments in Tokyo there’s no excuse for being hungry. It’s simply a matter of finding the right food to suit the occasion.

If you’re in a hurry at lunchtime there are fast food outlets where you can watch while your meal is created. At this stall in Harajuku the chef forms takoyaki –  octopus balls. With a few deft moves of his chopsticks each one is perfectly shaped and steaming hot. Choose your own topping!


You won’t have time for a sit down meal when you’re shopping at Nakamise in Asakusa. Restore your energy levels with some ningyo-yaki, small sweet cakes filled with red bean paste. They’re cooked to order in heated cast iron moulds shaped like miniature people; ningyo-yaki means “baked doll”.


For a simple snack while out walking, you could try some goma-dango cooked over hot coals at a roadside stall, with a chilled cucumber on the side. Would you like some sake with that?

At the end of a day filled with walking and watching, you’ll be looking forward sitting down to a delicious hot meal. Instead of reading the menu at each restaurant check out the window display to see the chef’s specialties.


Although these tempting dishes look real, they are actually handmade plastic models – a traditional art form known as sampuru. Even when you know the food is fake, it’s hard to believe when you see the intricate details of each dish.


So what’s for dinner? Let’s have barbecued pork with a crisp green salad, rice and hot miso soup…


and my favourite, Chicken Karaage with steamed greens and rice…


followed by a green tea KitKat for dessert!


Justin Beaver found some fake food too.

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