It may take a bit of getting used to - and some might be worried at the faux pas in confusing the fake from the real thing... but for me, it's about making the dining experience as much about engaging both the eyes, mind, tongue into a truly complete experience. And there can be nothing embarrassing or socially awkward about that. Can there?
This is one of my entries for the August 2010 edition of the JFesta theme-based blog. Whilst it may not be "edible" in terms of food - anyone that has travelled to Japan would know that it an essential part of the Japanese eating experience. Stay tuned however, as I'm also about to post on a typical supermarket experience (in Sapporo at least)... another important part of any food experience.