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Insect food shop in Tokyo draws curious crowds

An edible insect shop opened in the tourist district of Tokyo, Ueno, became an overnight sensation. The shop, which serves the insects that customers first buy from the vending machine right in front of the shop, attracted great attention in a country where insects are not so popular.

Unusual tastes such as insect skewers, insect ice cream, insect tea, and insect crackers, which make up the shop’s menu, received full marks from those who tasted them. “We sell dried insects in our insect vending machine on the back street. But in this new shop, people can taste fresh, real insects,” said Ayumi Katagiri, who works at the insect shop adding, “Most popular foods are insect skewers, and people like insect tea as well.”

“Better than I expected”

Yusaku Arakawa, who stated that he saw the insect shop on the news on the internet, said, “When I heard that the shop was opened on Ameyoko Street in Ueno, I came to try it with my friends. I ate the insect ice cream. The taste was better than I expected.”

“I do not eat, but many people do”

Turkish citizen Yakup Baran, who works in Ameyoko and states that he can’t start the day without eating insects in the morning, said, “I’m kidding. I don’t eat, but many people do. They especially like grilled insects and tea. Insects do not appeal to Turkish tastes. In general, Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese people prefer those coming from Asian countries, and some European tourists eat out of curiosity.”

Hisashi Ono told IHA that he visited the shop because he was curious about the taste of insects. “It was pretty tasty, but I’m not sure if I’ll come back,” Ono said.


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