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Shopping on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo

See why shopping on Kappabashi Street was a highlight of our visit to Tokyo. This Tokyo street is a mandatory destination for anybody who loves food as much as we do and a great spot to shop for Tokyo souvenirs.

Chef Statue on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan

A large, mustached chef atop a corner building welcomed us to Kappabashi Street Tokyo – an extraordinary shopping mecca in Tokyo where tourists, home cooks and chefs shop for all kinds of pottery, kitchen tools and gadgets. You name it and it’s here on this famous Japan street, from cutlery to chopsticks to skewers to Japanese kitchen knives.

The choices abound with a myriad of colors, shapes and unique Japanese flair.

Pro Tip

Make Kappabashi Street your last stop of the day. You will want to go back to your hotel to drop off your purchases before you refresh for dinner.

Kappabashi Street is well known throughout Tokyo and all of Japan. The street even has its own mascot called Kappa which you will see if you visit the Monster Cafe Harajuku. Even better, go to the crazy, multi-sensory Robot Cafe. Instead, click here to make a discounted reservation for a truly memorable experience at the Robot Cafe.

Once we heard about the themed Tokyo kitchen street, a visit was a must. Since we couldn’t take home ramen, soba or even sushi, we needed to buy some souvenirs of our time in Tokyo.

After touring nearby Sensoji Temple, we walked straight to Kappabashi Street, or Kappabashi Dori as it is called in Tokyo. Note, Kappabashi Street is also near popular Asakusa Temple if you’re coming from that direction.

Short on time and want to see a lot?

Click here to book a 5-hour Tokyo Skytree and Asakusa Tour. You can visit Kappabashi Street before or after the tour.

We loved strolling along the famous street, perusing the 150+ shops filled with everything and anything for the home kitchen and restaurant. The variety and selection are truly overwhelming, making this the best Tokyo shopping district and a great spot to buy Tokyo souvenirs. Seriously, we could have shopped here all day without getting bored.

What to Buy on Kappabashi Street

The selection of Tokyo pottery on Kappabashi Street is overwhelming but in a good way.

It would be impossible to walk down this kitchen theme street without finding at least one piece to buy. The only challenge is to decide what to buy because there is so much beautiful pottery available at reasonable prices. In other words, you should plan to buy several pieces of pottery.

Pro Tip

Be sure to tell the sales clerk if you will be traveling with pottery. You will want to make sure they wrap your purchase well so that it won’t break in flight. This tip applies any time you’re shopping in Tokyo.

As for us, we bought a few special pieces at Tousyougama, a shop that stood out to us for its distinctive style of pottery and its wide selection. This shop is a bit more expensive than many of the Kappabashi ceramics shops scattered along the street, but this is because their pieces are of higher quality.

We especially love the sake set that we bought for ourselves here. The other pieces we bought made excellent gifts for close friends and family.

Pro Tip

Be sure to check out Tousyougama if you’re wondering where to buy ceramics in Tokyo.

Pottery Shop on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan
Pottery spills into the street at one of the many Kappabashi Street ceramics shops.
Random Pottery Shop Kappabashi Street Tokyo Japan
Random Pottery Shop
Pottery - Shopping on Tokyo's Kappabashi Street in Japan Tokyo
A Plethora of Pottery
Pottery Plates on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan
Pottery Plates
Pottery Bowls on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan
Pottery Bowls

If you’re wondering where to buy chopsticks in Tokyo, there are lots of chopsticks for sale on Kappabashi Street. They are available in lots of colors, and the prices are very reasonable.

Chopsticks on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan
Tokyo Chopsticks Display

In fact, there are walls of chopsticks. Just walk into any store on Kappabashi Street and you will likely find chopsticks. If you don’t see them, just look up or ask for assistance.

Chopstick Wall on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan
Chopstick Wall

Interestingly, you can buy all types of fake food intended for restaurants to use for enticing customers with visual examples. We were intrigued by the diversity (sushi, spaghetti, sundaes, etc.) of plastic food samples not to mention the high prices for this faux food.

Fake Pasta on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan
Pasta Anyone?

Though we almost bought a gag gift for Daryl’s brother Lou, we didn’t pull the trigger because it turns out that Japanese plastic food is surprisingly expensive. Who knew?!

Fake Dessert on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan
How about fake dessert?

Pro Tip

If you’re set on buying Kappabashi plastic food as a souvenir from Tokyo, buy a food-shaped magnet or two as a cost-effective alternative. Magnets are much less expensive and won’t add much weight to your luggage. The sushi shaped magnets are particularly cute.

Some Kappabashi stores cater to caterers with all kinds of Japanese utensils and serving pieces. These pieces are lightweight should you want to buy something spruce up your next party.

Serving Toothpicks on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan
Serving Toothpicks

Other shops specialize in Japanese cookware. We were tempted to buy our very own takoyaki maker, but we passed because we knew that carrying something so heavy halfway around the world didn’t make sense.

Takoyaki Pan on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan
Takoyaki Pan

In retrospect, we wish we bought one so that we could cook fried octopus balls at home in Philadelphia. Now wouldn’t that be fun!

Japanese Knife Shopping on Kappabashi Street

Beautiful Knives on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan
Beautiful Knives

The best part of Kappabashi Street, at least for us, is the street’s excellent Japanese knife selection.

Buying a Japanese chef’s knife was a priority for our first trip to Tokyo, and we didn’t want to buy an overpriced knife at a tourist trap store. We looked at some markets and stores first but decided to make the big purchase on Kappabashi Street, the best place to buy knives in Tokyo.

More Beautiful Knives on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan
More Beautiful Knives

Once we walked through the door, we knew right away that Kappabashi knife shop Kama-Asa was the real deal. Apparently, it’s the oldest Tokyo kitchen utensil store. The store’s service is excellent with an English-speaking sales representative, and the Japanese chef knife selection is both plentiful and reasonably priced.

Pro Tip

If you’re wondering what to buy in Tokyo, Kama-Asa is the place to shop for Kappabashi knives.

As a bonus, Kama-Asa has a small selection of knives specifically designed for left-handed people which appealed to us since Daryl is left-handed. Though this priority limited our options, we found a stylish ambidextrous knife for a fair price.

Japanese Knife Purchase on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan
Daryl with the Chosen Knife and the Helpful Sales Associate

Once we made our Japanese knife purchase, the Kappabashi knife store’s on-site artisan engraved Daryl’s name on the knife. The artisan engraved the name with Japanese letters, making the knife a wonderful Tokyo souvenir in addition to a functional Japanese kitchen knife.

Pro Tip

Buying Kappabashi Street knives in Tokyo is a must. This is something that you can’t do at home for the same price.

Artisan Knife Engraver at Kama-As on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan
Artisan Knife Engraver at Kama-Asa

Our only regret is just buying just one knife. Next time, we will return to this lively Tokyo kitchen district and buy another Japanese chef knife. Maybe we’ll even have it engraved with Mindi’s name.

Plan Your Tokyo Stay

Have we convinced you to visit Tokyo and shop on Kappabashi Street? Click here to research the best rates for hotels in Tokyo Japan.

Once you book your Tokyo hotel room or Airbnb apartment, click here to book a Tokyo Skyliner ride from the airport.

Stay Connected in Tokyo

You’ll want WiFi on the go for mapping, translating menus and posting Instagram stories. Click here to arrange a pocket WiFi unit that you can pick up at the airport.

The pocket WiFi is a great option if your mobile phone is locked and you want to stay connected. Click here to arrange a SIM card if your phone is unlocked.

Hungry for More in Japan?

Check out our Osaka food guide for inspiration

Pin It for Later

Pinterest image: four images of Kappabashi Street in Tokyo with caption reading 'What to Buy on Kappabashi Street Tokyo'
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About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

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Douglas Lee

Sunday 17th of February 2019

Anyone know where to get this dough Sheeter (Yoshida?)?

Kamila

Wednesday 10th of May 2017

Buying knives in Kappabashi may be a bit tricky. It may be difficult to differentiate a ‘pretty’ knife from a sturdy, quality one especially for a first time buyer. Some knives are aesthetically amazing, but they don’t necessarily need to go hand in hand with edge retention, quality and sharpness. In very general terms, the price and quality of the knife are determined by: – The quality of steel or alternative material used to create the blade. – The method used to create the shape of the blade. (stamped, roll forged, drop forged, hand forged, hand hammered etc.) – The sharpness, the longevity of the edge and ability to prevent rusting – Frequency of resharpening – The balance and feel of the knife – Quality of handle and quality of manufacturing and forging

Tiana

Tuesday 7th of February 2017

I have to do A LOT of shopping here! Is it easy to haggle with the vendors?

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Wednesday 8th of February 2017

Tokyo is not really a haggling city, so probably not. We made our Kappabashi Street purchases in stores, and there was no haggling involved at all. However, the pricing was very fair for the quality.

Rob Taylor

Tuesday 7th of February 2017

What an awesome spot! The underground layer of the Pike Place Market in Seattle is kind of like this... but without the weird restaurant supplies. Yeah, I would dig browsing around for some nice, small rice bowls.

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Wednesday 8th of February 2017

We love our Japanese rice bowls. Then again, we also love Seattle coffee.

Corinne

Monday 6th of February 2017

Kappabashi Street is one of my favorites in Tokyo. I wanted to buy tons of plastic food...because why not?

Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

Monday 6th of February 2017

Our only issue was that the plastic food was kind of expensive. Did you buy some when you were there?