A couple of my friends and I registered to take part in a food replica workshop that was coordinated by TUJ Activities. We were instructed on crafting lettuce and tempura replicas from wax. Plastic replicas are widely used in storefronts of restaurants and food vendors all over Japan. A lot of the products at the store were really elaborate and unusual, including this interpretation of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”
There were some cute items on display and for sale, including tape dispensers in the shape roll cakes! There were also items that were less than cute… such as replicas of dead fish on key chains. Unusual. But… functional?
Oh. There was also a Samurai helmet styled to look like it was made from chocolate.
We were given the option to make two tempura replicas of our choice, or one and also make lettuce.
Students cook up some wax food replica magic.
To create the tempura effect, yellow wax is poured out over hot water from a few feet above. Then the wax item of choice is placed on top and dipped into the water and the wax wraps itself around the object for the most part. It creates a really cool effect and really does look like tempura at the end.
Maddie proudly displays her wax shrimp tempura creation.
Students shape wax into the shape of lettuce.
Making the lettuce was actually really fun because of the way the wax looks as you dip it below the water and let it spread. It creates this thin sheet of wax with a really interesting liquidy texture as it moves in this way. Here I am, mid-lettuce-making process and then proudly displaying my work.
Fittingly, after all this was tempura replication business, the group headed to a nearby spot for the real deal.
We wandered as a group to the temple at Sensō-ji and on our way, we passed this building. I’m not sure what its function is but I loved its character.
Sights seen while walking through Asakusa in the Sensōji area.
Prayer inside of the temple. There is a container in front of these people that visitors toss coins into in donation before bowing their heads in prayer.
View of the Gojūnoto, a famous pagoda at Sensōji.