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Sampuru Workshop In Gujo Hachiman: Fake Food Travel Guide


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Dyann Musselman



Welcome to the world of Sampuru – Japan’s fascinating art of creating fake food replicas! If you’re a food lover and an avid traveler, then combining your two passions to explore the realm of fake food travel is an absolute must. Sampling the local cuisine is an integral part of any travel experience, but what if you could go beyond just tasting the food? With a visit to Gujo Hachiman, the home of Sampuru, you can dive into the captivating world of fake food.


Sampuru refers to the highly realistic replicas of food dishes that you often see displayed in front of restaurants in Japan. These incredible pieces of art are meticulously crafted to mimic the actual appearance, texture, and colors of real food. They have become an iconic element of Japanese culture and play a significant role in attracting customers and helping them make informed choices about their meals.


Gujo Hachiman, located in Gifu Prefecture, is renowned for being the birthplace of Sampuru. Its rich history and exquisite craftsmanship have made it a must-visit destination for food and travel enthusiasts alike. In this fake food travel guide, we will take you on a virtual journey to Gujo Hachiman, exploring the Sampuru workshops, the art of creating fake food, the materials used, and where to find the best examples.


Get ready to immerse yourself in the world of delicious deception as we unravel the secrets behind Sampuru making in Gujo Hachiman. From the moment you step into a Sampuru workshop to the moment you taste the real flavors of Japan through fake food, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to indulge in this unique and fascinating culinary experience.


History of Sampuru

The history of Sampuru can be traced back to the early 20th century in Japan. It was during this time that the art of creating fake food replicas began to emerge. Originally, Sampuru was used by restaurant owners to showcase their menu offerings in a visually appealing way, especially to those who couldn’t read the Japanese language. The realistic replicas allowed customers to easily choose their dishes based on visual cues.


The term “Sampuru” itself is derived from the English word “sample,” reflecting the influence of Western culture on this unique Japanese art form. However, the creation of fake food replicas in Japan has its roots in the traditional craft of wax food models that originated in Europe.


In the early days, the process of making Sampuru was labor-intensive and time-consuming. Skilled craftsmen would sculpt the replicas by hand using materials such as wax, wood, and plaster. However, as technology advanced, new materials and techniques were introduced, leading to more efficient production methods.


During World War II, wax became scarce, and the craftsmen had to find alternative materials to create the fake food replicas. This gave rise to the use of plastic as the primary material for Sampuru. Plastic proved to be a versatile and durable material that could be easily manipulated to create intricate and lifelike details.


Over the years, Sampuru evolved and became increasingly popular not only in Japan but also internationally. The craftsmanship and attention to detail showcased in these fake food replicas became a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of the artisans.


Today, Sampuru has become an art form in its own right, with dedicated workshops and professional craftsmen specializing in creating these lifelike food replicas. The demand for Sampuru has grown significantly, and it is now not only used in restaurants but also in food displays, advertisements, and even as decorative items.


The history of Sampuru is a testament to the unique blend of tradition, craftsmanship, and innovation in Japanese culture. It is a fascinating art form that continues to captivate people around the world, inviting them to appreciate the beauty and intricacy of fake food.


Gujo Hachiman: The Home of Sampuru

When it comes to Sampuru, Gujo Hachiman is the ultimate destination. This picturesque town, located in Gifu Prefecture, is considered the birthplace and hub of fake food production in Japan. With its rich history and impeccable craftsmanship, Gujo Hachiman has earned its reputation as the go-to place for experiencing the world of Sampuru.


One of the reasons Gujo Hachiman became the center of Sampuru production is its abundant natural resources. The region is blessed with high-quality water from the clear streams of the Nagara River, which plays a vital role in creating the realistic textures of the fake food replicas. This pure and pristine water is essential in achieving the desired translucent and glossy effect of the food items.


Gujo Hachiman also boasts a long-standing tradition of craftsmanship and artistry. The town has been home to talented artisans for generations, passing down their skills and knowledge from one generation to the next. It is this legacy of expertise and meticulous attention to detail that enables Gujo Hachiman to produce some of the finest Sampuru in the world.


Additionally, the local community’s dedication to preserving the art of Sampuru is evident in the various workshops and schools located in Gujo Hachiman. Visitors have the opportunity to witness the process of making fake food replicas up close and even try their hand at creating their own. The town has embraced Sampuru as part of its cultural heritage and takes great pride in sharing this unique art form with the world.


Aside from being the epicenter of Sampuru production, Gujo Hachiman is a charming and picturesque town that offers much more to explore. With its well-preserved historical buildings, serene canals, and stunning natural landscapes, it provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable travel experience. Visitors can stroll through the streets, visit local museums and art galleries, and immerse themselves in the rich culture and traditions of this enchanting town.


When planning your fake food travel adventure, Gujo Hachiman should be at the top of your list. This hidden gem offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to delve into the world of Sampuru, witness the craftsmanship firsthand, and create lasting memories in a place known for its beauty, history, and delectably deceptive cuisine.


Exploring the Sampuru Workshop

To truly immerse yourself in the world of Sampuru, a visit to one of the workshops in Gujo Hachiman is a must. These workshops provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the intricate process of creating fake food replicas and offer the opportunity to engage with skilled craftsmen who have mastered the art of Sampuru making.


Upon entering a Sampuru workshop, you’ll be greeted by a captivating display of the finished fake food replicas. From sushi and ramen bowls to mouth-watering desserts, the attention to detail and realism will leave you in awe. Take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship and marvel at how these replicas can be mistaken for the real thing.


During your visit, you’ll have the chance to witness the step-by-step process of creating fake food. Skilled artisans will guide you through each stage, explaining the techniques and materials used. From molding the initial shape to painting and adding final details, you’ll gain a deep understanding of the craftsmanship involved in bringing these replicas to life.


One highlight of the workshop experience is the hands-on opportunity to make your own fake food replica. Under the guidance of the craftsmen, you can choose a simple design and try your hand at shaping and coloring the materials yourself. It’s a unique and interactive experience that allows you to appreciate the skill required to create these deceptive masterpieces.


While exploring the workshop, you’ll also learn about the various materials used in Sampuru making. From plastic and wax to silicone and resin, each material serves a specific purpose in achieving the desired texture, appearance, and longevity of the replicas. The craftsmen will explain the properties of each material and how they are meticulously chosen and manipulated to create realistic fake food.


Additionally, you’ll have the chance to discover the range of specialized tools and equipment utilized in the workshop. From precision knives and molds to airbrushes and heat guns, these tools are essential in achieving the intricate details and textures that make Sampuru so remarkably lifelike. Witnessing the craftsmen skillfully utilize these tools is a testament to their expertise and dedication to their craft.


Exploring a Sampuru workshop in Gujo Hachiman is not only a fascinating educational experience but also an opportunity to support the local artisans. Many workshops offer the option to purchase the fake food replicas as souvenirs, allowing you to take a piece of this unique art form home with you.


Overall, a visit to a Sampuru workshop in Gujo Hachiman is a must-do for any food and travel enthusiast. It provides an unparalleled insight into the world of fake food, allowing you to appreciate the artistry and skill behind these deceptive replicas while creating unforgettable memories.


Step-by-Step Process of Creating Fake Food

The creation of fake food replicas, known as Sampuru, involves a meticulous and multi-step process that requires skill, precision, and attention to detail. Each replica is crafted with the goal of achieving a strikingly realistic appearance that closely resembles the actual dish. In this section, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of creating fake food.


Step 1: Research and Design


The first step in creating a fake food replica is thorough research and design. The artisans study the actual dish and analyze its shape, colors, textures, and even the ingredients used. Based on this research, they create a detailed design plan for the fake food replica, ensuring that every aspect is accurately represented.


Step 2: Making the Mold


Once the design is finalized, a mold is made to capture the shape of the food. Depending on the complexity of the dish, a variety of materials like silicone or plaster may be used to create the mold. The mold is carefully crafted to ensure that it captures all the intricate details of the dish, including the textures and contours.


Step 3: Choosing the Materials


The selection of materials is crucial in achieving the desired appearance and texture of the fake food replica. Different types of plastics, waxes, resins, and sometimes even real food components are utilized. These materials are chosen based on their ability to mimic the color, translucency, and texture of the real food item.


Step 4: Pouring the Material into the Mold


Once the materials have been chosen, they are poured into the mold to create the base of the replica. The artisans carefully pour the material, ensuring that it fills the mold evenly and captures all the intricate details. Any excess material is removed, and the mold is left to set and harden.


Step 5: Finishing and Painting


After the base has completely hardened, the artisans begin the meticulous process of finishing and painting the fake food replica. This involves the use of specialized paints and techniques to recreate the colors and textures of the actual dish. Layers of paint are applied, blending different shades to achieve a realistic appearance. Fine details such as sauces, garnishes, and even tiny air bubbles are meticulously painted to further enhance the authenticity.


Step 6: Adding Final Touches


Once the painting is complete, the artisans add final touches to the replica. This may include applying a glossy finish to mimic the shine of certain foods, adding textures with additional materials, or even using a blowtorch to achieve the desired effect. The aim is to ensure that every aspect, from the minute details to the overall presentation of the fake food replica, is as close to the real dish as possible.


The step-by-step process of creating fake food replicas showcases the immense skill and artistry involved in this unique craft. From research and design to molding, painting, and adding final touches, each stage requires precision and a keen eye for detail. The result is a deceptive masterpiece that not only looks incredibly appetizing but also serves as a testament to the craftsmanship and creativity of the artisans involved.


Choosing the Right Materials for Fake Food

When it comes to creating fake food replicas, choosing the right materials is essential in achieving a lifelike appearance that closely resembles the actual dish. The selection of materials plays a crucial role in replicating the colors, textures, and even the weight of the food item. In this section, we will explore the various factors considered when choosing materials for fake food.


1. Plastic


Plastic is one of the most commonly used materials in creating fake food replicas. It is versatile, durable, and can be easily shaped and molded to mimic the desired food item. Different types of plastics are selected based on their ability to achieve specific textures, colors, and levels of translucency. For example, acrylic resin may be used for clear or translucent elements like beverages or ice cubes, while polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is often chosen for its flexibility and ease of shaping.


2. Wax


Wax has been used in fake food production since its early origins. It possesses malleability, allowing craftsmen to shape and sculpt intricate details of the food item. Wax also provides a realistic texture, especially for items like fruits or cheeses. However, due to its fragility, wax is often combined with other materials or used in specific parts of the replica to enhance its appearance.


3. Silicone


Silicone is a popular material used for creating realistic textures in fake food replicas. It offers a soft and flexible feel, making it suitable for items like cakes, bread, and pastries. Silicone can be easily manipulated to emulate the appearance of icing, crumb texture, or even the softness of whipped cream. Its heat-resistant properties also make it ideal for reproducing items that undergo cooking or heating processes.


4. Resin


Resin is a versatile material that can be used to achieve a wide range of effects in fake food replicas. Epoxy resin, for example, can create a glossy or glass-like appearance, making it suitable for items like sauces, glazes, or shiny surfaces. Additionally, polyurethane resin can be mixed with pigments to create realistic colors and textures for various food items.


5. Natural Components


In some cases, real food components are incorporated into fake food replicas to enhance their authenticity. For example, using real herbs or spices can add a natural aroma to the replica, making it even more convincing. However, these natural components are often used sparingly and in a controlled manner, as they can deteriorate over time and affect the longevity of the fake food replica.


When choosing materials, artisans consider factors such as appearance, durability, and safety. The materials should be non-toxic and food-safe to ensure that the replicas can be displayed without any health concerns. Additionally, the materials should be resistant to fading, discoloration, and damage from factors like sunlight or humidity, allowing the replicas to maintain their lifelike appearance over time.


By carefully selecting the materials used in fake food replicas, artisans are able to recreate the visual and tactile aspects of real food. The right combination of materials allows for the creation of stunningly realistic replicas that tempt and delight the senses, making fake food travel a truly immersive and satisfying experience.


Techniques and Tools Used in Sampuru Making

The art of Sampuru making involves a variety of techniques and the use of specialized tools to achieve the remarkable level of detail and realism seen in fake food replicas. From sculpting and molding to painting and finishing, artisans employ a range of skills and equipment to bring these delectable creations to life. In this section, we will delve into the techniques and tools used in Sampuru making.


1. Sculpting


Sculpting is the foundation of creating fake food replicas. Skilled artisans use their hands and tools like shaping knives, spatulas, and wire cutters to mold and shape the base material into the desired form. They carefully carve out the intricate details such as ridges on a sushi roll or layers in a cake, ensuring that the final replica closely resembles the actual dish.


2. Molding


Molding is a key technique in Sampuru making. Once the initial sculpting is complete, a mold is created to replicate the shape and texture of the food item. The artisans use materials like silicone or plaster to make the molds, ensuring that every detail is captured for future reproductions. The molds are carefully crafted to allow for easy removal of the replica and to maintain the intricate textures.


3. Painting


Precision painting is a crucial step in achieving realism in fake food replicas. Artisans use a combination of airbrushes, fine brushes, and sponges to meticulously apply layers of paint. They carefully mix colors to match the shades of the actual dish, paying attention to subtle gradients and variations in color. Paints with different finishes, such as matte or glossy, are used to recreate the appearance of various food textures, from crispy to moist.


4. Finishing and Texture Techniques


To enhance the authenticity of the replica, artisans utilize various finishing and texture techniques. They may apply gloss or varnish to create a shiny surface for foods like sauces or glazes. Texture techniques, such as stippling or dry brushing, are employed to mimic the textures of items like bread crust, pizza toppings, or chocolate shavings. These techniques add depth and dimension to the replica, making it more visually compelling.


5. Specialized Tools


Sampuru making involves the use of specialized tools to achieve precision and accuracy. Craftsmen rely on tools such as precision knives, heat guns, tweezers, and even blowtorches. These tools aid in shaping, texturing, and adding finishing touches to the replicas. Airbrushes and spray guns are used for smooth and even application of paint, while small brushes enable the creation of fine details.


Throughout the process, attention to detail and a delicate touch are essential in achieving the lifelike appearance of the replicas. Artisans continuously refine their techniques, harnessing their expertise to push the boundaries of realism in fake food making.


Sampuru making is a labor-intensive and intricate art form that requires a combination of artistic skill, technical knowledge, and a deep understanding of food aesthetics. The techniques and tools used in this craft allow artisans to create extraordinarily convincing replicas that deceive the eyes and tempt the taste buds.


Popular Sampuru Designs

Sampuru comes in a wide variety of designs, ranging from traditional Japanese dishes to international cuisine. These popular Sampuru designs showcase the versatility of this art form and its ability to replicate an array of mouth-watering dishes. Below are some examples of the most sought-after and iconic Sampuru designs:


1. Sushi and Sashimi Platters


Sushi and sashimi platters are classic and timeless Sampuru designs. These replicas beautifully showcase an assortment of nigiri sushi, maki rolls, and fresh slices of sashimi. The attention to detail in replicating the varied colors and textures of the fish, along with the delicate placement of wasabi and ginger, make these replicas incredibly realistic.


2. Ramen Bowls


Ramen bowls are another popular choice in the world of Sampuru. These replicas capture the hearty and comforting nature of this beloved Japanese dish. From the perfectly textured noodles to the rich and flavorful broth, all the elements of a delicious ramen bowl are meticulously recreated in stunning detail.


3. Tempura


Tempura replicas showcase the crispy and golden delight of this popular Japanese dish. From shrimp tempura to an assortment of crispy vegetables, the artists expertly mimic the textures and colors that make tempura so appealing. The precise arrangement of the tempura pieces on a plate adds to the authenticity of the replica.


4. Western-style Breakfast


The Western-style breakfast replica is a nod to the popular breakfast options enjoyed globally. It typically includes eggs, bacon, sausages, toast, and a side of fresh fruits. The attention to detail in replicating the textures of runny eggs, crispy bacon, and toasted bread is remarkable, making this design a favorite among tourists.


5. Parfaits and Ice Cream Sundae


Sampuru replicas of parfaits and ice cream sundaes are a treat for the eyes. The artists recreate layers of colorful fruits, syrup, whipped cream, and crunchy toppings with skillful precision. The glossy finish applied to these replicas adds to the allure of these delectable desserts.


6. Pizza and Burgers


Sampuru replicas of pizza and burgers capture the mouth-watering appeal of these popular fast-food choices. The artists pay attention to every detail, from the melted cheese and vibrant toppings on the pizza to the perfectly stacked burger ingredients. These replicas make it hard to resist reaching out and taking a bite.


7. Japanese Wagashi


Wagashi, traditional Japanese confections, are delicately created in Sampuru form. From colorful mochi to intricate designs of seasonal flowers and leaves, these replicas showcase the elegance and artistry of Japanese sweets. Each piece is carefully crafted to reflect the intricacies of the original confectionery.


These popular Sampuru designs represent a small fraction of the extensive range of replicas available. Whether it’s showcasing regional Japanese cuisine, global favorites, or traditional sweets, Sampuru offers a vast selection of replicas that cater to various culinary preferences.


By capturing the essence and visual appeal of these popular dishes, Sampuru continues to captivate people around the world, offering a unique and tantalizing culinary experience.


Where to Buy Sampuru in Gujo Hachiman

If you’re looking to bring a piece of the fascinating world of Sampuru home with you, Gujo Hachiman is the perfect place to find high-quality and authentic replicas. This charming town offers several options for purchasing Sampuru, ensuring that you can find the perfect piece to commemorate your fake food travel experience.


1. Sampuru Workshops


The Sampuru workshops in Gujo Hachiman are an excellent place to start your search for these lifelike replicas. Many workshops have dedicated showrooms or shops attached to their premises, allowing visitors to view and purchase a wide selection of Sampuru. These replicas are crafted by skilled artisans and offer a level of craftsmanship that is unmatched. Additionally, the workshops offer a unique opportunity to witness the creation process firsthand, deepening your appreciation for the art of Sampuru making.


2. Local Souvenir Shops


Throughout Gujo Hachiman, numerous local souvenir shops carry Sampuru replicas. These shops offer a curated selection of fake food items, ranging from small keychains and magnets to larger display pieces. While the replicas found in souvenir shops may be more commercialized, they still showcase the craftsmanship and attention to detail that make Sampuru so captivating. Exploring the local souvenir shops allows you to browse through a variety of options and find a replica that suits your preferences.


3. Online Stores


If you’re unable to visit Gujo Hachiman in person or would like to explore a wider range of options, there are online stores that specialize in selling Sampuru. These stores offer the convenience of browsing through a vast collection of replicas from the comfort of your own home. They often provide detailed descriptions and images, allowing you to select the perfect replica based on your preferences. Keep in mind that when purchasing online, it’s important to choose reputable sellers to ensure the quality and authenticity of the Sampuru replicas.


4. Events and Street Markets


During festivals and special events in Gujo Hachiman, you may find makeshift stalls or street markets where local artisans and craftsmen display and sell their Sampuru creations. These events offer a unique opportunity to interact directly with the creators and may even provide the chance to have custom replicas made. Keep an eye out for upcoming events in Gujo Hachiman, as they can be a treasure trove for finding one-of-a-kind Sampuru pieces.


Gujo Hachiman is the ideal destination for purchasing Sampuru replicas due to its rich history and renowned craftsmanship. Whether you choose to visit the workshops, explore local souvenir shops, browse online stores, or attend special events, you are sure to find a beautiful and authentic Sampuru replica that will serve as a lasting memento of your fake food travel experience.


Sampling Fake Food in Gujo Hachiman

One of the most exciting aspects of visiting Gujo Hachiman, the home of Sampuru, is the opportunity to sample fake food. While the replicas themselves are not edible, there are unique experiences in Gujo Hachiman that allow you to enjoy the flavors and textures of real food that inspired these deceivingly delicious masterpieces.


1. Fake Food Display Restaurants


Gujo Hachiman is known for its fake food display restaurants, where you can enjoy a meal surrounded by an impressive array of Sampuru replicas. These restaurants not only offer a visual feast but also provide an authentic dining experience. From sushi and ramen to tempura and teppanyaki, the menus are extensive and cater to a variety of tastes. It’s a chance to appreciate the craftsmanship of the replicas while indulging in the actual flavors of the dishes they imitate.


2. Hands-on Cooking Workshops


Another unique way to sample the flavors of Gujo Hachiman is by participating in hands-on cooking workshops. These workshops allow you to learn traditional Japanese cooking techniques under the guidance of skilled chefs. You can try your hand at making sushi, tempura, or other local specialties. It’s a chance to experience the textures, aromas, and tastes of the real food, gaining a deeper understanding of the ingredients that inspire the meticulous artistry of Sampuru making.


3. Local Food Markets and Festivals


Gujo Hachiman is known for its vibrant food markets and festivals. Here, you can explore stalls offering a wide variety of regional delicacies and street food. From freshly caught river fish to local sweets and snacks, these markets provide an opportunity to taste the authentic flavors of Gujo Hachiman and discover new culinary delights. While these foods may not be replicas themselves, they offer a glimpse into the local cuisine that has inspired the creation of Sampuru.


4. Traditional Tea Houses


Gujo Hachiman is also home to several traditional tea houses where you can partake in the art of tea ceremony and sample a variety of Japanese teas and sweets. These tranquil spaces provide a serene setting to savor the delicate flavors and intricate presentations of traditional tea and wagashi, the traditional Japanese confections. It’s a chance to appreciate the artistry and attention to detail in Japanese culinary culture, which is mirrored in the creation of Sampuru replicas.


Sampling the real flavors of Gujo Hachiman is a delightful complement to the visual experience of fake food replicas. Whether it’s enjoying a meal at a fake food display restaurant, participating in cooking workshops, exploring local food markets, or immersing yourself in the tranquility of a traditional tea house, there are numerous opportunities to indulge in the rich culinary offerings that inspired the art of Sampuru making.


Remember, while the replicas are visually enticing, it’s the taste of the actual food that provides a truly fulfilling gastronomic experience in Gujo Hachiman.



Gujo Hachiman, the enchanting town in Gifu Prefecture, holds the key to a unique and captivating culinary adventure – fake food travel. The art of Sampuru, with its incredibly realistic replicas of food dishes, has become a mesmerizing part of Japanese culture, drawing in food and travel enthusiasts from around the world.


Through this comprehensive fake food travel guide, we have explored the history of Sampuru, discovered Gujo Hachiman as the birthplace of this art form, and delved into the fascinating process of creating fake food replicas. We have learned about the importance of choosing the right materials and techniques, as well as the specialized tools used by skilled artisans in Sampuru making.


We have also showcased popular Sampuru designs that range from traditional Japanese dishes to international favorites, providing a glimpse into the versatility and artistry of this deceptive culinary art. And while the replicas themselves are not edible, we have uncovered opportunities to sample the authentic flavors of Gujo Hachiman, experiencing the real dishes that inspired the creation of these deceptive masterpieces.


Gujo Hachiman offers an immersive experience in the world of Sampuru, with workshops, souvenir shops, and online stores providing access to these incredible replicas. Additionally, the town provides cultural immersion, breathtaking scenery, and delectable cuisine, making it a must-visit destination for food and travel enthusiasts alike.


As we conclude our fake food travel adventure, we hope that this guide has inspired you to explore the fascinating world of Sampuru and embark on your own culinary exploration in Gujo Hachiman. Whether you choose to visit the workshops, purchase replicas as souvenirs, or sample the real flavors of the region, Gujo Hachiman promises a truly memorable and immersive experience for all. Dive into the world of fake food travel and discover the artistry, craftsmanship, and culinary delights that await you in Gujo Hachiman.