Buy cooking utensils at Kappabashi
There are various cooking utensils sold at Kappabashi, an area popular among avid cooks. Also, it is a wholesale district that handles the necessary equipment for the restaurant industry, so it is a favorite place for professionals, too. The stores offer tableware, cooking utensils, kitchen equipment, confectionery goods, signboards / chairs / tables for restaurants, uniforms, packaging supplies and so on for professional use. Recently, such equipment in Japan has been drawing attention of restaurant industry around the world, and we see many cooks visiting from abroad. The official name is "Kappabashi Dougu Street." Around 170 shops line up over a span of approximately 800 meters. If you walk for 5 minutes from Metro Ginza Line’s 'Tawaramachi Station', you will see a giant statue of chef on the Kikuya-bashi intersection. That's the entrance to Kappabashi! We will introduce shops recommended for first-time visitors.
The sign of the store-The giant chef’s statue as the symbol of the shopping district! Nimi Yoshokki-ten
The giant chef’s statue "Jumbo Cook" which is the signature of the shopping street belongs to this store, and is, so to speak, the shop’s advertising man! This old store was founded in Meiji 40 (1907), and offers ample amount of tableware, mainly western-style. You will learn about what sort of cooking utensils are used in current Japanese restaurants and ordinary households.
High quality knives and Nambu ironware made by craftsmen are available Kama-Asa
The stylish shop in white paint and the shop-curtain with the letter “Kama-Asa Shoten” dyed on gives off the distinctive style of old-fashioned establishment founded in Meiji 41 (1908). Currently owned by fourth generation, the shop keeps a good balance of offering both mass-produced cooking utensil and cookware attentively made by craftsmen from all over Japan. Although expensive, knives made by craftsmen, Nambu ironworks (Nambu stands for Iwate prefecture), and iron frying pans are quality items that increase the ease of use the more you use them. Upon request, the store will engrave your name on the knife for free.
The gilded Kappa statue built by local storekeepers in hope of thriving business
Kappabashi is located in the "Nishiasakusa - Matsugaya" district, close to Ueno and Asakusa. In 2003, a golden “Kappa Kawataro” was built to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Kappabashi shopping district. The statue is gilded in hope of thriving business, reflecting the wish of local storekeepers. It all began in the Taisho era, when antique shops gathered in the area; there are two theories to the origin of the name of "Kappa", one stating that samurais in the neighborhood were making raincoats (kappa) as side job, and the other stating that Kappa (froglike imps in folklore) of Sumida River helped riparian works.
Find lacquerware indispensable to Japanese cuisine Nishiyama Shikki
A shop dealing with lacquered instruments indispensable for Japanese cuisine, such as bowls, trays, boxes and sushi tubs. Established in Taisho 5 (1916), it is the lacquerware specialty store which has the longest history in Kappabashi. The products handled are mainly for business use, so the majority of customers are specialists related to restaurant or gift industry. For that reason, bowls and such are sold in a set of five. However, there are items that may be purchased from one or two. We believe you’ll find lacquerware for souvenirs such as bowls without lid, small stacked boxes or lunch boxes.
Be impressed with elaborate samples! Ganso Shokuhin Sample-ya Kappabashi Store
It is customary for restaurants in Japan to display food samples at the entrance. Steaks, hamburgers, tempura soba, katsudon, ramen, pizza, ice cream...the samples are multifarious. Customers decide which menu to order while staring at the food samples, and here’s where such samples are made. Wax used to be the main ingredient at the early stage of food samples born in the early Showa era, but was changed from wax to vinyl resin about 30 years ago from now. Inside the store, you will see a row of food samples of hand-rolled sushi and ramen which are almost mistaken as genuine, and will be impressed with the workmanship.