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Family restaurants like Saizeriya are a staple of Japan’s cheap culinary world. From fake Italian food to fake Mexican-Indian hybrids that taste far better than they really should, family restaurants are a great place to hangout for high school students, to grab a quick meal between meetings for harried salarymen, or to take hungry kids for frazzled parents. Though convenient, the chains aren’t exactly known for their high class presentation.

However, Aiya, a family restaurant focused on Japanese-style cooking, has come up with a way to offer their customers a bit more pizazz!

While you won’t be finding expertly folded cloth napkins or fountains of chocolate mousse, Aiya has devised a way to at least keep their patrons entertained while waiting for the food: Origami!

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In a surprisingly clever and ecological move, Aiya provides chopsticks with origami instructions printed on the paper sleeves the utensils come in. The instructions show, step-by-step, how to make a swan-shaped chopstick holder using nothing but the paper sleeve! We decided to try it out for ourselves.

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Aiya, for anyone who’s never been there before, has a rather simple interior, so there’s not a lot to distract you while waiting for your meal to arrive. Even if you’re with friends or your family, that pre-meal wait can often turn into awkward, hungry silence. So for us, these origami sleeves were a great way to pass the time!

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If you’ve never done anything beyond folding your homework in half, you might find the procedure slightly difficult. While it’s certainly not the most difficult origami design ever, it was enough to trip us up a few times. On the other hand, we got really drawn into the challenge and had fun “solving” the puzzle!

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The best part about the chopstick-sleeve origami was the finished product. Since everyone’s holder ended up a bit different, it was fun to compare and see who took their time and followed the instructions precisely–and who did a rush job!

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While many Japanese restaurants provide ceramic or metal holders with utensils, we actually really liked Aiya’s concept. It certainly made the wait time a lot more interesting! Though we’re thinking that they should expand the concept and try to come up with a variety of animal chopstick holder designs. Preferably something with horses

All images by RocketNews24

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