OK, I admit, I did not make this lollipop. I went to the workshop taught by the artist who made it, but the thing I ended up making did not remotely, remotely, REMOTELY resemble this lollipop.
First of all – to be fair – we weren’t supposed to be making goldfish (which is, like, the Mt. Everest of lollipop making). Our job was to make these:
So, take a guess: how do you think they’re made? (I, for example, assumed there were molds, that we’d pour in some hot sugar syrup stuff, it would harden, then we’d clean them up and paint them. This guess earned me the Infinite Buzzer Of Wrongness.)
But if you guessed that these lollipops are all sculpted by hand, using only a pair of primitive scissor-things as a tool, and that the shapeless blob of raw candy has to become a work of art within three minutes, you just knocked it out of the park.
But if you find yourself in Tokyo, you really ought to go ogle the gorgeous stuff at Ameshin, Shinri Tezuka’s shop! (A map is on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had). He makes all kinds of animals – from pandas to unicorns – and every single one of them is gorgeous. His creations cost ¥1000 – ¥2000 each, which is a lot for a piece of candy – until you watch him crafting them right there in his shop. When you see how much work goes into them, they look like a bargain.
If you’re really brave, you can sign up for a workshop, which takes about an hour and a half and costs ¥2500. It’s all in Japanese, but they demonstrate each step very clearly (plus, there are cheat sheets with diagrams for you to consult while you do it). Ameshin is open from 11:00 – 18:00, closed Thursdays.
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Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!