Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Trip to Kappabashi Dori

A couple weeks ago I went to Kappabashi Dori with some friends.  Kappabashi is an area catering to restaurants that sells every type of cooking and serving object imaginable.   We saw everything from pots large enough I could have climbed inside to $4000 pizza ovens.  Although it caters to restaurants anyone is welcome to shop there, and we found many useful items (including plates, frying pans, mixing bowls, and chopstick holders).

Giant Pots

This store sold Americana decorations

Kappabashi is generally called Kitchen Town in English, but Kappabashi actually gets it's name from the Kappa - a Japanese mythical creature that lives in bodies of water, lures people in to drown them, and eats cucumbers.  There's even a cucumber sushi roll - the kappamaki - named after this creature.  Kappabashi has a golden Kappa statue that we made sure to see.

He looks like a frog-man to me

One of the more unusual things about Kappabashi is that it has made it into some tour books as a tourist destination.  Many restaurants display plastic models of the foods they serve, and this is where they can be purchased.  Several books recommend going to see these plastic models.  If I was a tourist I wouldn't take the time, but since we were there we thought why not?

I particularly like the floating forks in the pasta dishes

In the end, I only bought some ohashi oki (chopstick rests), but it was a really fun trip, and the next time I need to buy anything for the kitchen I know where to go.

Aren't they cute?


  1. Oh that's so awesome! I always assumed kappa meant cucumber, as I'm pretty sure maki means roll. Does tekka mean tuna at least?

    1. I looked it up, and according to wikipedia tekka comes from "tekkaba" which was a gambling den. Apparently tekkamaki were popular to eat while gambling. But maki does mean roll.