In Japan, various cities often have their own unique dishes or specialties that are famous worldwide. In Gifu Prefecture, you will find an old riverside castle town called as Gujo (郡上) Hachiman and the dishes that they are famous for are actually… NOT edible. They are called as shokuhin sampuru (サンプル) — a term derived from the word ‘sample’ — and they are basically the real-looking fake food displays that you see at the entrance of most Japanese restaurants (used as a way of enticing customers).

Not a lot of people know (but now you do!) that it is in Gujo Hachiman where 80% of Japan’s food samples are made, thereby making the town a lucrative and leading manufacturer of sampuru in the country. Plus, given the popularity of sampuru, it has become quite a billion-yen industry!

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Japan Asia Gifu Gujo-shi