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A Walk Down Kappabashi Street

  • Tucked between Ueno and Asakusa is the century old Kappabashi Street, a shopping street for food service and restaurant workers. Kappabashi Street has recently been rising within the alternative tourist circuit for being a unique behind the scenes look at some of Tokyo’s best restaurants. For locals, the street serves as a local commercial enterprise to purchase the necessities for a restaurant, minus the food. For tourists, the magic of Kappabashi street lies within the kitschy food samples and high end Japanese cutlery and kitchen supplies.

    A Walk Down Kappabashi Street

    A Walk Down Kappabashi Street

    A large chef head greets visitors and informs of the unique experience up ahead. While from the outside the street looks like a typical business district, the first floors are homes to shops that have occupied the space for almost a century. Artisanal cutlery store Kamata has called Kappabashi home since 1923. Kamata is famous for its thin and sharp kitchen knives as well as knife sharpening for the locals. Once purchased it is also possible to have the knife hand engraved for the perfect souvenir.

    A Walk Down Kappabashi Street

    A Walk Down Kappabashi Street

    Kamaasa is a family owned store also known for its fine cutlery. Opened since 1908, it is now ran by the fourth generation of knife vendors. Unlike Kamata, Kamaasa also specializes in other kitchen equipment such as frying pans, pots and wooden cooking supplies suitable for both Japanese or Western style cooking.

    A Walk Down Kappabashi Street

    A Walk Down Kappabashi Street

    Be sure to visit the resident mascot, the kappa, a flat headed amphibian also known as a river child. The mascot might have been chosen due to its close proximity to the Kappa-dera temple. A friendlier version of the kappa greets visitors on flags throughout Kappabashi street.

    A Walk Down Kappabashi Street

    A Walk Down Kappabashi Street

    Japanese restaurants are not only known for their quality ingredients or centuries old recipes but also for their plastic food models on display outside their shops. Kappabashi is where the owners find their models and Maiduru is the shop best known for their wide variety of mock food items. Find sushi, ramen or pink soft serve ice cream in the form of a magnet, keychain or phone case. Maiduru is the perfect place to find an affordable and small souvenir.

    A Walk Down Kappabashi Street

    A Walk Down Kappabashi Street

    Stop for a break at Cafe Byron Bay, a relatively new shop at around four and a half years old. The owner, Noah, studied to be a barista in Melbourne, Australia, and serves up good coffee and vegan friendly food in an English-speaking environment. During the day brunch and coffee are both served and at night the restaurant turns into a bar.

    A Walk Down Kappabashi Street

    A Walk Down Kappabashi Street

    For original ceramics and pottery, both for the kitchen and home, be sure to stop by Dengama. The overfilled storefront has handmade table and drinkware selling for less than retail price, a steal in the Eastern area of Tokyo.

    A Walk Down Kappabashi Street

    A Walk Down Kappabashi Street

    For the more modern chef, Kitchen World provides an assortment of international brands like Le Creuset and Kitchenaid, along with traditional Japanese brands. The two floor store is packed with cooking equipment suitable for both an amateur or professional chef. The 25 year old store originally started off as a knife specialist but quickly grew to provide a variety of products.

    Most stores are open from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday. Some stores close on Saturday and expect the majority of stores to be closed on Sundays. The closest subway stop is Tawaramachi Station.

    東京合羽橋商店街
    Address
    東京都台東区
    Phone
    Kamatahakensha
    Address
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Matsugaya 2-12-6
    Phone
    0338414205
  • KAMA-ASA
    Address
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Matsugaya 2-24-1
    Phone
    0338419355
    曹源寺(かっぱ寺)
    Address
    東京都台東区松が谷3-7-2
    Phone
    0338412035
    cafe Byron Bay
    Address
    東京都台東区西浅草3-2-12 1F
    Phone
    0358307984
    Dengama
    Address
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Nishiasakusa 1-4-3
    Phone
    0358289355
    Tawaramachi(Tokyo)
    Address
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Nishiasakusa 1-chome
    Phone
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