Japan sure knows how to elevate its food to an unparalleled level of art, and today we’d like to introduce you to the works of another master Japanese craftsman of sweets. His life’s passion is creating exquisitely detailed animal-shaped candy, which are so astoundingly intricate that it probably won’t be long before a museum asks to put them on display!
Shinri Tezuka is the artist behind these incredible edible creations. Born in 1989 in Chiba Prefecture, Tezuka states that he loved to sculpt anything he could get his hands on from a very young age. That childhood passion translated into a full-time career for him, and he now spends his days traveling across Japan to participate in all sorts of events and parties, and also offers hands-on workshops to teach people of all ages about his craft. As a result of these expeditions, he’s been featured on numerous Japanese television shows to date. And get this–despite being only 25, he’s already taken on three apprentices who are eager to carry on his tradition!
▼ Shinri Tezuka, the man behind the craft
Since 2013, Tezuka has also overseen his own shop called Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin (amezaiku refers to the art of making candy into human and animal-shaped forms). The shop is fittingly located in Tokyo’s traditional Asakusa district, only a short walk away from the popular tourist destination of Senso-ji Temple.
▼ Exterior and interior views of the shop
While browsing through some of his breathtaking creations, it’s easy to forget that they are indeed candy and are meant to be eaten. In fact, some people find the distinction between the art and food so fine that one of the questions in the Q&A section of Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin’s official site asks, “Can I really eat this candy?”
The answer is a resounding “yes,” by the way. In addition, Tezuka uses only naturally occurring dyes to color his creations, so you can rest easy knowing that you’re not eating any artificial pigments.
Let’s take a look at some of his animal-shaped candy creations now:
▼ The caption says that these goldfish are the two most popular designs among shop customers.
▼ These gorgeous cranes were crafted using real gold leaf on their wings.
▼ Here are some candy creations crafted in Tezuka’s Asakusa studio…
▼ …and here are some he created at various public demonstrations.
Tezuka does take orders for customized candy creations at his shop, but he is unable to accept requests for popular characters due to copyright laws. Guess we’ll just have to wait and hope for a deal to come through with Nintendo so that we can see Tezuka’s version of Pikachu in candy form!
Ameshin / アメシン
Address: Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Imado 1-4-3, 1st floor
Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m.