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Kappabashi: Tokyo's Kitchen From Sights To Sounds

From coffee being roasted, knife blades being engraved, oil in woks being fried, sake being poured, knives being sharpened and sampled to the crunch of a fortune cookie being opened, you'll find it all here in the kitchenware capital of Tokyo, Kappabashi.

Kappabashi: The Heartbeat of Tokyo's Culinary Scene

Kappabashi-dori(street) known as Kappabashi is a street in Tokyo midway between Ueno and Asakusa which is almost entirely populated with shops supplying restaurant wares for the 1000's of establishments throughout the city.

These shops sell everything from kitchen blades, crockery, restaurant furniture, ovens, coffee, and decorations. Even obscure items such as plastic replica display food found outside Japanese restaurants are found in this downtown part of town (Shitamachi).


A Journey Through Time: Kappabashi's History and Evolution

It was sometime between the end of Taisho and the beginning of Showa era when Japanese restaurants started using plastic resin mockups of their menu in the windows. Since the advent of quality printing and reasonably priced illuminated plastic signage, the best place in Tokyo to get replicas of your dishes for your own window displays has been Kappabashi.


Hands-On Experience at Ganso Shokuhin Sample-ya

In-fact, we even had a go of it! At Ganso Shokuhin Sample-ya, near the Kappabashi intersection, you get to experience the real things!


For ¥2,500 a person, try your hand at the real thing. The staff can speak English and the replica's come in the form of lettuce, and your choice of 2 vegetables, shrimp and anything in between. For a 45minute session in the making of surprisingly realistic replica food, just book a couple weeks in advance of your trip, they sell bookings out fast!


Replica food store Ganso Shokuhin Sample-ya
3-7-6 Nishi Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
※near the Kappabashi Intersection

Discovering Tokyo's Finest Kitchenware at Takanojin and Nakao

For a mid-tier experience in sampling different quality kitchen blades and crockery, head to “Takanojin” or “Nakao”. Both sell reasonably priced kitchen knives -redefine reasonable when rethinking Tokyo's history of quality cuisine -in a welcoming atmosphere. From Katana (samurai traditional craftsmanship) to artisan original handmade blades. Both 「Takanojin」and「Nakao」will suit your needs.


After your journey's in Kappabashi head on over to Ueno's parks and museums or Asakusa's Senso-ji Temple. Can't wait to try out your kitchen blade?

Best advice is to wait till after you depart and retread on home turf and as you won't be getting far if you try to get through customs with a carry on. As for sake, depending on your hotel they would be happy to accommodate your request for high end Masu or SAKE drinking cups to indulge in your latest purchases. Enjoy!

Ogawahaitsu 101, 3-1-13 Matsugaya ,Taito-ku, Tokyo

Nakao Factory works
2-22-5 Nishi Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo