Tokyo Kappabashi Kitchenware Town

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  • Looking for Japanese kitchen tools and gadgets for your home kitchen or restaurant?  Then Kappabashi aka Kitchenware Street is a must stop for your visit to Tokyo.

    children in front of Niimi kitchenware store - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    We often get asked by friends and readers on Japan travel tips and itineraries so we try our best to share our Japan experiences on the blog.  However, one city we didn’t have much travel content on was Tokyo.  Why?  Since Nami’s family only lives 7 miles (15 km) from Tokyo and 15 miles (23 km) to Shibuya, it never seemed like a “Japan travel destination” for us.

    As we get repeated request for Tokyo travel guide, we spent 6 days this past summer in Tokyo exploring different wards, activities to do, places to visit and eat.  This is just the beginning of our Tokyo travel guide and we’ll continue adding to these posts as we explore new adventure and experiences.  We hope you will enjoy traveling throughout Tokyo with our family.

    The reality is that it’s impossible to finish exploring Tokyo in 6 days, or even possibly a month.  There are simply way too many options for dining, sightseeing, and entertainment!  This is our first effort to share Tokyo with you and we hope you’ll enjoy our journey.  There is something for everyone in Tokyo so pick and choose what your heart desires when you visit.

    For the Tokyo travel guide series, we’ll share the following posts:

    1. Shinjuku 新宿
    2. Meiji Jingu 明治神宮
    3. Harajuku and Omotesando 原宿・表参道
    4. Shibuya 渋谷
    5. Roppongi 六本木ヒルズ
    6. Tokyo Tower (update) 東京タワー
    7. Ginza 銀座
    8. Imperial East Garden 皇居東御苑
    9. Akihabara 秋葉原
    10. Ueno 上野
    11. Kappabshi かっぱ橋道具街
    12. Tokyo Dome City 東京ドームシティー
    13. Asakusa (update) 浅草
    14. Tokyo Sky Tree (update) 東京スカイツリー
    15. Odaiba お台場

    You might notice there are many areas/wards/stations we missed in Tokyo from the above list, like Tokyo Station.  It’s because we simply ran out of time to cover and will add it in a future trip.  If you have any specific requests, please comment below and we’ll try to add it to our future itineraries.

    Kappabashi かっぱ橋道具街

    Every summer when Nami goes to Japan, one of the stops she has to make is Kappabashi Kitchen Town in Tokyo.  It’s where she picks and selects the Japanese kitchenware (read 10 Cookware & Tableware You Should Get from Japan) and tools to bring back to the US for our food photography and video.  With around 200 stores that cater to the food business, you can find every imaginable Japanese kitchen product in Kappabashi.  Ready to go check them out?  Let’s go.

    subway sign for Kitchenware Town St. - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    How to Get to Kappabashi

    Google Map Kappabashi Kitchenware Town
    Click to enlarge map.

    Kappabashi is conveniently located between Ueno and Asakusa stations.  We arrived there by exiting Tawaramachi Station on Ginza Line.  If you take the same train, when you first exit the station, instead of kitchenware stores you’ll see many Buddhist altar specialty shops.  Don’t worry, you’re in the right area.  Just keep walking west and soon you’ll see the iconic statue of the jumbo chef on top of Niimi building.

    Buddhist Altar Shops - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Niimi is one of the largest kitchenware stores in Kappabashi.  It has 2 large floors of kitchenware carrying almost everything you need for Japanese cooking, from bamboo sushi mats to giant vats for cooking ramen broth.  The building with the jumbo chef is their Japanese cooking focused shop and they have a western cooking shop equally large across the street.

    Niimi kitchenware store - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Niimi store with jumbo chef
    kitchenware on display outside the shop - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Products display outside the Niimi store

    kitchenware on display outside the shop - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    kitchenware inside Niimi kitchenware store - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Glassware and dishes inside Niimi

    products inside kitchenware store - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Specialty Stores at Kappabashi

    Many Kappabashi shops cater to restaurants and commercial needs and the specialty stores carry unique products beyond what you need in a home kitchen.

    restaurant supply shop specializing in signs - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Restaurant supply shop for various signage

    Looking to open a western theme bar or to decorate your kitchen like a classic diner, no problem!  There are shops that carry just English wooden signs.

    shop specializing in English signs - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    English wooden signs for restaurants and diners

    coffee and Beatles sign - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    If you’re looking for good knives, stop by Kamata.  They’ve been around since 1923 and carry knives for every purpose, from sashimi and chef knives to boning knives.

    sign for Kamata knife shop on glass window - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    knife sharpening workstation - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    sashimi knives and deba knives - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    knifes on display in knife shop - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    knifes on display in knife shop - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Besides cookware, there are pottery, glassware, and lacquerware specialty stores.

    restaurant supply shops - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    products inside restaurant supply shops - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    lacquerware and plates - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    okonomiyaki and takoyaki pans - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    dishes and kitchenware shop - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Varieties of Kitchen Product at Kappabashi

    What separates Kappabashi from other kitchen supply shops is the varieties and all sizes of the product you’re looking for.  When you go to a kitchenware shop in the US like Sur la Table or William Sonoma, they might just have 1 or 2 sizes of a product.  As you can see in the image below, there are over 20 Japanese BBQ grill and many more different pots for nabe alone in this one shop.

    different grills at restaurant supply store - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    different grills and hot pot pans at restaurant supply store - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Baise Kitchen Store

    One of our favorite store for kitchen and dining goods is Baise, which translates to white.  The entire first floor of the store carries white everything, plates, cups, cutlery, etc.

    Baise kitchenware store specializing in white dishware - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    silverware - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    white dishes and kitchenware on display - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    White plates and bowls at Baise

    white dishes and kitchenware on display - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    white extra long pepper grinders - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Giant 1 meter long white pepper grinders

    The other floors in the Baise shop are filled with glassware, furniture, etc.

    wooden plate and bowls - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Our children got pretty bored as we were enjoying our kitchenware shopping spree.  However, they were still good sports and followed along patiently.

    children in front of kitchenware store - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Plastic Food Sampuru at Kappabashi

    Besides tools in the kitchen and dining room, Kappabashi is known for sampuru or samples, the plastic food you often see in restaurant windows in Japan.

    sample plastic food store - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Sample shop Maizuru

    sample plastic food store - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    sample plastic food - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    plastic ramen - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Plastic ramen inside bowl

    There are quite a few stores and they’re super fun to check out.  The stores usually will let you know whether they are okay with photographs or not.  If you don’t need any plastic food but want to take home a souvenir, you can buy plastic food phone cases, magnet, and keychains.

    sample plastic food - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    sample plastic food cell phone cases - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Plastic food phone cases.

    plastic food key chain - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Japanese Scrubber Tawashi

    Before we say goodbye, we want to introduce you to Tawashi, it’s a Japanese scrubber made from woven palm fiber that’s very useful in the kitchen.  We use it to clean vegetables and other food, and it can also be useful for cleaning pots, pans, and cutting boards.

    Japanese Tawashi scrubs - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    Japanese Tawashi scrubs made into turtle and alligator shapes - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Kawashi made into turtle and alligator shape.

    Though not as common, there are a few stores that carry western kitchen products like Niimi’s western goods store and Dr. Goods.  If you are looking for western tools, it’s a good bet you’ll find it there.

    Dr. Goods western kitchen tools shop - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com

    western kitchen tools shop - Tokyo Kappabashi Guide | www.justonecookbook.com
    Dr. Good western kitchenware store

    Thank you for reading our short guide on Kappabashi.  You might ask how did we carry all the plates home or lugged them around the city.  If we only buy 1 or 2 things from a store, we would carry them in our bags.  If we purchased a lot, the store would package the plates and bowls nicely in a box and ship them to Nami’s house.  Depending on how much you purchase, sometimes the shipping is free within Japan.

    Japanese ceramics

    10 Cookware & Tableware You Should Get from Japan

    We’ll see you soon in our next post, Tokyo Dome City where the roller coaster goes through a building.  If you are interested in the rest of our Tokyo travel, here are the post links.

    1. Shinjuku 新宿
    2. Meiji Jingu 明治神宮
    3. Harajuku and Omotesando 原宿・表参道
    4. Shibuya 渋谷
    5. Roppongi 六本木ヒルズ
    6. Tokyo Tower (update) 東京タワー
    7. Ginza 銀座
    8. Imperial East Garden 皇居東御苑
    9. Akihabara 秋葉原
    10. Ueno 上野
    11. Kappabshi かっぱ橋道具街
    12. Tokyo Dome City 東京ドームシティー
    13. Asakusa (update) 浅草
    14. Tokyo Sky Tree (update) 東京スカイツリー
    15. Odaiba お台場

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