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Miniature food samples in Japan: It's the little things in life

Posted on December 1, 2020

Remember food samples, like the ones that almost always sit outside restaurants in Japan? Well those are being made by creators in near-microscopic levels. With pastries, bentos, and sandwiches being turned into the size of a coin or fingernail, these tiny food replicas are the epitome of kawaii culture. There is an art in transforming something so everyday, so quotidian, into something absolutely out of the ordinary. Let’s take a look at some of the cutest mini foods out there in Japan today.


pastries miniature food

photo by @mimimish96

This miniature food artist has turned these breathtaking and hyper-realistic pastries into clips. I spy muscat grape, apple, peach, and orange pastries!

They look so delicious, you’re sure to start feeling hungry even though they are just replicas.


dorayaki miniature food

lphoto by @mini_chinatsu

Look at this adorable dorayaki (with a toothpick for comparison)!


corndog miniature food

photo by @ayako_takeda

This might be the cutest of them all… a corndog smaller than a fingernail!? The artist’s precision is truly amazing.


bento box miniature food

photo by @hibari_0703

Mini bento boxes! This artist has made a little “okosama bento” which means character bento in Japanese! Check out the little face on the onigiri rice ball at the bottom. Kawaii!


dessert assortment miniature food hair pins

photo by @azuma_nobuyuki

Some artists like to turn their works into accessories and dessert-themed hair pins are especially popular in Japan!


koppa-pan miniature food

photo by @mimimish96

Koppe-pan, a kind of hot-dog bun, is a food only found in Japan. The bread is typically filled with savory contents such as yaki-soba, tuna and lettuce, fried chicken and tartar sauce. These baby koppe-pan are so small you’d be scared to crush them with one touch!


miniature food vegetables and fruit

photo by @cho_bitto

Miniature cucumber pickles, salted edamame, boiled corn, and fresh watermelon! These are all common foods you can find in Japan.


omurice miniature food

photo by @mame_miniature

Why not go all the way with your miniature food and have miniature tableware and furniture to augment the tiny experience? This artist has perfected the presentation of this miniature omu-rice (omelette with ketchup rice) with the cute dining table furnishings.


pancake miniature food

photo by @soulbros.funk

Okay, real question. Who’s stomach isn’t grumbling at this point…?


soba lunch set miniature food

photo by @hibari_0703

The tiniest soba noodle lunch set you’ll ever find. Look at those little chopped green onions!


Written by: Maya Kimura Watts