The food you’re about to see certainly looks edible. Delicious even. But don’t be fooled – these delicacies are all made of plastic. Photographer Marco Argüello takes us on a journey to rural Japan to discover just why they’re so popular across the country.
Back in the 1920s, menus weren’t commonplace in Japan. To make it easier for the customers to decide what they’d like, pictures of plastic food were displayed. The art of crafting these lifelike replicas became known as sampuru, and the practice is still going strong today. Eighty percent of the plastic food in the country is made in the small, riverside town of Gujo Hachiman, and photographer Marco Argüello paid the town a visit and documented the process.