If you love to cook or are simply keen on renewing your kitchen supplies then there is one place in Tokyo that will make your heart flutter. Kappabashi-dori is a street between Asakusa and Ueno districts lined up with little shops selling a mind boggling selection of kitchen items. A big head of a chef, which serves as a great landmark for finding the street, greets you upon arrival. It’s very much an area aimed at locals and those in the restaurant industry. While browsing through the endless isles be prepared to find all sorts of utensils, quality hand crafted Japanese knives, pots, pans, crockery, chopsticks, restaurant furniture, and heavy duty commercial kitchen equipment. You name it, they have it. While some shops are filled to the brim with mixed kitchenware, there are others that carry only specialized items: ceramics, coffee equipment, baking utensils, etc. I particularly loved this shop for their adorable wooden kitchen items and ceramic mugs. Kappabashi-dori is also an ideal place to buy yourself or someone who will appreciate it a new chef’s knife. You can even have your name engraved on the blade in kanji, if there’s a character for it, or katakana. It is worth noting that everything is very reasonably priced, much cheaper than you’d pay in the States or even on Amazon. Shops will have boxes of different kitchen items outside for a discounted price, so make sure to rummage through those piles. I was also amused by the fake display food which looks so appetizing you might actually confuse it with real food! I think it would make a great souvenir to take back home. Kappabashi-dori is definitely not your typical touristy destination, but for anyone with even a passing interest in cooking it’s well worth a visit. It is so much fun just to take time exploring all the shops at your own pace. You can easily while away couple of hours perusing all the isles and it’s unlikely you’ll leave without finding something worth buying. I got myself a marble roller, fruit basket and some knickknacks as souvenirs to send to my friends. I have a sneaking suspicion I will be back here often. The temptation was real.
- Many of the stores are closed on Sundays.
- You can either walk here after your tour of Sensoji Temple in Asakusa or arrive directly to Tawaramachi Metro station.