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Chef Statue on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan

Shopping on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo

In Japan, Travel by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch23 Comments

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. The street even has its own mascot called Kappa which you will see if you visit the Monster Cafe Harajuku. Don’t even get us started on the crazy, multi-sensory Robot Cafe. Instead, click here to make a discounted reservation for a truly memorable experience.

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.

Check Tokyo Hotel Rates ➜

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.

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 Pasta on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan

Pasta Anyone?

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.

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!

Takoyaki Pan on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan

Takoyaki Pan

Japanese Knife Shopping on Kappabashi Street

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.

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.

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.

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

Beautiful Knives on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan

Beautiful Knives

More Beautiful Knives on Kappabashi Street in Tokyo Japan

More Beautiful Knives

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.

Hungry for more? Check out our Osaka food guide for inspiration.

Research Tokyo Hotels

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 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.

Book a Tokyo Tour

After you shop until you drop, click here to find an awesome Tokyo tour or try one of these tours:

Buy a Japan Travel Guide

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About the Author

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

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  1. Thank you for such a detailed post on the items you can find in Kappabashi. I am headed to japan next year and will definitely being going past this

    1. Author

      Tokyo has everything – even a street for kitchen goods. We love it too!

  2. First I need to master HOW to use chopsticks, and then I will brave that wall selling nothing BUT chopsticks. This place looks fantastic.

    1. Author

      San Francisco would be a good place to learn how to use chop sticks, just saying…

  3. Wow! That street certainly has a lot of items! I have never seen so much dishware in one place in my life!

    1. Author

      Tokyo seems to do everything to the extreme. Kappabashi Street is no exception.

  4. what a really cool place, thanks for sharing. I guess Tokyo takes everything to extreme.

    1. Author

      We were blown away by the extremes in Tokyo from the technology, to the sports, to the cuisine and even to the shopping. What a city!

  5. That’s a lot of chopsticks! I still can’t figure out how to use them…

  6. I’m about to go to Kappabashi too, so this post was really helpful!
    However, I was wondering – which kind of knife did you buy and at what price?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Author

      We bought a knife made for the store Kama-Asa. It was only 65 yen, which included a free engraving. Three years later, and we use the knife at home often and are very satisfied with it. The store also sells specialty knives geared more for chefs, though these knives are more expensive.

  7. Just out of. Uriosity, how did you get the knife home? It is not TSA friendly, and I am afraid of theft in checked bags…

    1. Author

      We packed the knife in our suitcase and had no problem with the TSA or theft. Good luck if you pack one as well!

  8. The Tousyougama pottery looks quite creative. It’s no wonder you took home a few pieces and, of course, the engraved knife.

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

    1. Author

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

  10. 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.

    1. Author

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

    1. Author

      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.

  11. 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

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