If you love to cook and spend lots of time in your kitchen, then you must visit this amazing place in Tokyo. Kappabashi Dougugai (Kappabashi Kitchen Town, 合羽橋道具街) is a shopping street situated between Ueno station and Asakusa. This street is known as “the best place to find kitchen implements in Japan.”
The street’s name have the characters 合羽 (Kappa), which is a homophone of the popular mythical creature, Kappa (河童) and so the shopkeepers have made the Kappa their official mascot.
You will see Kappa at various spots in Kappabashi.
There are even kappa on the eaves.
There are about 170 stores on a 800 m long shopping street, all of which sell kitchen implements and equipment. You can find anything you need in the kitchen but some of the most popular things to buy are Japanese knives.
People who love to cook are in heaven when they come here and once you step into a store, you might want to spend many hours browsing. You can also find unique ceramics, porcelain and lacquerware products from across Japan.
One of the exciting things to buy here are food samples that look unbelievably real. Food samples are usually displayed in shelves outside restaurants featuring their menu. Checkout this grilled fish! If you serve it on a plate, someone will probably try to take a bite.
All of this sushi is made of plastic!
Food samples come in various shapes, sizes and prices. Many travelers buy small items like phone straps, fridge magnets or phone cases as souvenirs.
It wouldn’t appropriate if a so called “kitchen town” didn’t have some popular eateries. We introduce some of the Shitamachi delicacies sold here.
This ice cream monaka is the most famous in this area. Monaka are usually Japanese sweets made of azuki bean paste sandwiched between two thin crisp wafers made from mochi. This one has a modern twist: ice cream sandwiched between the crispy wafers.
There are several flavors of ice cream fillings, but this time we chose vanilla.
Another eatery that you visit when you’re in Kappabashi is “Mantou.”
It is both a cafe and a restaurant specializing in Japanese cuisine and their signature product is Kappa Parfait.
Recreating a Kappa, a mythological character from Japanese folklore, this parfait is made using green tea and vanilla ice cream, warabi mochi, chestnuts, two types of kanten, kinako, azuki beans and more!
The parfait comes with tea and a kappa candy that is too cute to eat!
If you are interested in making Japanese desserts, you can buy a variety of ingredients to make your own unique treats in this store.
Kappabashi is very close to Asakusa. After sightseeing in Asakusa, you can walk to Kappabashi and even if you don’t plan to buy anything, you will be amused by all the amazing goods and a feel for the nostalgia associated with the Showa era.
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