Eating out in Japan is ranked highest out of all leisure activities (National Geographic, 2010). In Tokyo alone, there are some 160,000 restaurants (National Geographic, 2009). Whether it’s a traditional 料亭(ryo-u-te-i) experience, a quick bowl of 醤油ラーメン (sho-u-yu-ra-me-n) at a noodle stand, or a Michelin-acclaimed contemporary French bistro, Japan is a true mecca for food enthusiasts. Going-out to eat for the “eater” is most definitely a fun experience, yet for the food providers, attracting customers is no easy task. However, for over 70 years, Japanese food retailers have adopted an appealing mode of menu advertisement that is now standard no matter where you go in Japan: サンプル(sa-m-pu-ru) or plastic food displays.
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