Summer is usually festival season, but with most major events and fireworks unfortunately canceled this year, we need something to enjoy at home instead. “On: Tech” takes a look at several food-themed ways to make your #stayhome summer more fun.

Custom courses

Last year, “On: Tech” introduced Takara Tomy Arts Co.’s popular Big Stream Somen Sliders.

Somen Sliders is a cooking toy that lets you enjoy nagashi sōmen (“flowing noodles”) indoors, and T-Arts releases a new version every year. A feature of this year’s Big Stream Somen Slider Custom is that you can combine parts to create various tracks for the noodles to circulate.

The basic circuits include a Single Course, where noodles flow in a compact coil from top to bottom; a slightly longer Standard Course; a Super Long Course ideal for people “looking for a real nagashi sōmen experience”; and a more expansive Angel Course, which is good for large groups. Of course, you can experiment with your own circuits.

The Big Stream Somen Slider Custom runs on three D batteries (sold separately) and is available at home electronics retailers, toy stores and e-commerce sites for ¥10,978.

bit.ly/somenslidercustom (Japanese only)

Play music with your food: Maywa Denki says its Sushi Beat sushi-shaped music-playing gadgets fall in the middle of being an instrument and a record.
Play music with your food: Maywa Denki says its Sushi Beat sushi-shaped music-playing gadgets fall in the middle of being an instrument and a record.

DJ your sushi

Maywa Denki, Japan’s “parallel-world electric company,” is a modern art unit known for blending inventions with conceptual art.

Its latest work, Sushi Beat, is a set of sushi-shaped music-playing gadgets. Each “piece” of sushi consists of the shari (sushi rice, here it’s the case of the electronic board); oto, which emits sound and blinks an LED; and neta (usually the sushi topping, here it’s the switch cover). Each Sushi Beat neta represents a different instrument: yellow tamago (egg) is a drum, orange ebi (shrimp) is a bass, while the red maguro (tuna) and white ika (squid) are each a different synthesizer sound.

According to Maywa Denki, Sushi Beat is something in the middle of an instrument and a record. To play, simply hold the Sushi Beat in the palm of your hand, and press and hold the neta to turn on the sound loop and flashing LED. The company also released its own catchy song played on the tech, “Sushi Go!

Just like actual sushi menus, there are three “grades” of Sushi Beat. The four pieces in the beginner Nami set (¥4,180) come wrapped in decorative paper, while the more high-end Jou pieces (¥13,200 for a set of four, or sold individually for ¥4,400 each) are made using acrylic and stereolithography 3D printing. Maywa Denki also has individually sold Tokujou pieces (¥5,500 each) made of vintage acrylic and sporting glitter or bold logo designs.

For the inspired (and wealthy), Maywa Denki also does custom sounds and designs for orders of at least 100.

bit.ly/sushibeat-nami (Japanese only)

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