The West has its own huge warehouse markets of superior kitchenware for various purposes but often, culinary masters of Japan's cuisine know that the best equipment for their dishes reside only in Japan. Kappabashi-dogu-gai or Kappabashi Kitchenware Street in Tokyo's eastern area holds the key and cooks could traverse it quickly with these tips.
According to Go Tokyo, Kappabashi is accessible quickly from Haneda Airport's train station and dropping off to the Toei Asakusa Line Asakusa Station. From there, travelers could take a 15-minute walk into the opening of the street. Another route is through the monorail station of Hamamatsucho Station dropping off to the JR Yamanote Line Ueno Station, which also involves a 15-minute walk upon drop off. Alternatives include taking a Toei Bus heading to Kikuyabashi.
According to Japan Visitor, Kappabashi is only open by 9am and shops close around the street by around 7pm. Some start closing by 6:30PM or even as early as 6PM. A small fraction of the shops are closed during the weekends -- it would be best to call the specific shop ahead of time. By Sunday and during Japanese holidays, less than half the shops remain open.
Kappabashi's 170 shops feature a wide range of kitchenware and cookware suitable for any culinary need. Aside from kitchen equipment, specific shops feature tableware designs from Japan and designs based on Western and Chinese tableware. Plastic food displays, which are produced with artisan meticulousness, are also available -- their prices are surprisingly high and most Japanese restaurants use them for street displays.
Aside from being the center of kitchenware, tableware and the supplier of virtually every restaurant or bakery need, Kappabashi is fronted by a huge replica of a chef -- appropriately so given the overall theme of the street as a chef or cook's delightful home. A small park near the Kappabashi Intersection that has a Golden Kappa Statue is a delight to see along with the nearby Seisuiji Temple.
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