An Insider's Guide to Kappabashi Kitchen Town in Tokyo
Kappabashi is one of the best places in Tokyo to find souvenirs. It’s packed full stores carrying more kitchen supplies than you can ever imagine. It’s also a great place to find food models, tea sets, chopsticks and more. Here’s a peek inside Tokyo’s Kitchen Town.
Where to Shop in Kappabashi
Today I went to Kappabashi, better known as Kitchen Town here in Tokyo. I absolutely love this part of town. It’s close to Asakusa and Tsukiji so it has a much older Asian feel to the neighborhood. But Kappabashi is essentially one very long street consisting of nothing but restaurant supply stores.Many stores are very old, but some are newer.
Years ago when I first heard about this place, I mistakenly assumed it consisted of mostly a bunch of food model stores and useless restaurant supplies you only find here in Japan.
This is why it took me a few years to care to go there, because it’s famous for where you go to buy food models. But since then, I’ve been back three different times, each time bringing home a quarter of my weight in kitchen supplies and glassware.
You can find literally anything. We bought an excellent Japanese artisan crafted knife from one of the stores, as well as a bunch of random other interesting things. And every time I take a trip to Kappabashi, I realize that I’m in much better shape than I give myself credit for.
Today I left home prepared with proper carrying bags, yet I still schlepped two sets of plates, four boxes of glassware, and a new salad bowl down the long street, up multiple large flights of metro station stairs, and back to Yokohama before I found a coin locker to throw my stuff in while I ran the rest of my errands for the day.
And when I told my husband that I managed to schelp a fraction of my body weight and still felt compelled to document some street scenes, he just smiled and said “of course.” I wonder at what point my age will catch up with me…
But I’m very peculiar about my glassware and I love Japanese styled glassware – the kind of slim glassware you find at local bars around Japan and in kissaten cafes. After looking around several different stores, I finally found the style of glassware I liked the most. I ended up buying three different kinds of glasses so I hope our next kitchen will be considerably larger.
But here are a few of my favorite places in Kappabashi to shop for mainly plates, glasswares, etc. Of course, you can also find pots from Le Creuset, pans, copper pans, copper mugs, siphon coffee drips, tea cups, sake cups, kaiseki trays, literally EVERYTHING.
If you’ve been to Bed Bath and Beyond, imagine that BUT times 100. You’ll find things you’ve never even seen before and if you’re not careful you’ll rationalize needing it all!
The best way to see and shop Kappabashi is to start at the beginning of the southern entrance at the street corner where you see the giant chef, and then work your way down and back. And yes, don’t forget to bring a suitcase or some optimum carrying bags if you plan to walk back home. BUT, a lot of places do offer shipping to anywhere in the world.
FYI: A LOT OF STORES ARE CLOSED ON SUNDAY
Train Station: Tawaramachi
Den-Gama is a Japanese pottery shop on the corner of the southern entrance to the street and right across the street from the giant chef. It’s one of the cuter shops and it has a lot of different kinds of tea pots and Japanese styled tea cups. Here are some cool chopstick holders. I bought the mochi stick and sakura flower.
- ADDRESS: Nishiasakusa 1-4-3, Taito-ku Tokyo, 111-0035 Japan
- TEL: 03-5828-9355
- HOURS: Monday – Sunday: 10:00 – 19:00
Takaso group has five speciality stores alone in Kappabashi. I really like their Western tableware store. They sell nice glassware and plates, as well as gourmet-style plates and high-tea sets. I bought a couple of plates and bowls from here a few months ago, but I came back to buy the rest of the set since I liked them a lot.
Takahashi Sohonten Inc., Western Tableware Store
- ADDRESS: 1-4-7 Nishiasakusa Taito-ku, Tokyo, 111-0035 Japan
- TEL: 03-3845-1115
- HOURS: 09:45 – 18:00
There are several very nice cutlery shops around Kappabashi to buy a crafted knife, but Kamaasa is one of the better shops. They offer some beautiful knives, handcrafted by artisans, top quality. P.S. if you can’t make it to Japan, perhaps you can order one from their website. This would make an awesome Christmas gift for that someone who appreciates nice things.
- ADDRESS: 2-24-1 Matsugaya Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0036 Japan
- TEL: 03-3841-9357
- EMAIL: email@example.com
- HOURS: Monday – Friday: 09:30 – 17:30
Fu-wa-ri has a lot of wooden rustic inspired designs. You can find some great wooden cutting boards, often inspired by the shape of the bark. You’ll also find various porcelain designs, mostly Italian inspired, but also some great wooden salad bowls, etc. I picked up a couple of mason jar cups. Fu-wa-ri also has several other shops in Kappabashi as well. Their Life Design Shop also has a lot of great plates and pans.
- ADDRESS: 1Floor TDI Bldg, 2-6-6 Nishiasakusa, Taito-ku Tokyo, 111-0035 Japan
- TEL: 03-5806-0688
- EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
- HOURS: Monday – Saturday: 09:30 – 18:00; Sunday & Holidays: 10:00 – 18:00
BRIDGE COFFEE & ICE CREAM
OK so this isn’t exactly a place to shop at in Kappabashi, but I love going here for a nice break. It’s actually located at Kappabashi North, but once I hit this place, I normally turn back around. The cafe is located in a beautiful loft-style building and their ice cream is delish. Today I ordered a scoop of butter caramel and chocolate. Both flavors were awesome.
- ADDRESS: 3-1-12 Matsugaya, Taito-ku Tokyo
- TEL: 03-6231-6781
- URL: http://brdg.jp
- HOURS: 10:00 – 19:00, Closed Tuesday & Wednesday
There are a ton of great places to shop in Kappabashi. If you discover any new ones, let me know!
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