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The World's Largest Cookware Market - Kappabashi-Dori in Tokyo (page 2 of 2)

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Easily the largest place on earth to buy cookware and restaurant equipment, this huge street in the Asakusa district of Toyko got me busy for an entire day.
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A curious combination - premium charcoal for Yakitori joints and a rather impressive wooden mortar and pestle for pounding cooked rice to make mochi cakes. Not very airplane-friendly.

A shop selling Japanese cutlery with an English-speaking owner. I bought him a huge soba noodles knife.

All sorts of signs for restaurateurs of all tastes.

I could not be certain of the sort of dishes many of the cookware I saw turned out. But the Japanese are keen on European culinary culture and I saw some of the highest-quality equipment used in European kitchens:

A very comprehensive range of high-quality professional cookware for French pastry. Check out the copper bowls for beaten egg whites and the Swiss-made chocolate tempering machine (top right)!

This particular shop even had a wall full of alsatian clay kougelhopf molds which I couldn't find anywhere in Paris.

Another shop sold hundreds of cookie cutter - those Japanese sure like European pastry. Click on the image to enlarge - quite impressive.

One of several shops offering the ubiquitous plastic model of japanese dishes usually displayed in restaurant windows. A real favorite with tourists this one. I bought a fried noodle plastic dish to use as a stand-in in food photography.

Published 10/01/2007
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24 Comments

  • #1
  • Comment by bm
  • on: 14/02/2007
Bonnes photos, interessant, mme en anglais bravo  bm
  • #2
  • Comment by Erita
  • on: 23/03/2007
I love the photos!!!!
  • #3
  • Comment by megumi
  • on: 17/07/2007
Wow, I really love your site! And I was just looking for takoyaki pan... Do you know how to get it? I miss so much takoyaki, living in Spain...big hug megumi
  • #4
  • Comment by suresh krishnan
  • on: 30/07/2007
I want to know where I can buy a TAKOYAKI PAN with different sizes.Is it available in singapore or a representative for distributor.
  • #5
  • Comment by alex  tran
  • on: 21/11/2007
HI, I'M A OWNER OF JAPANESE RESTAURANT,PLEASE WOULD YOU SEND ME A CATALOG OF JAPANESE FOODS SUPPLIES AND EVERYTHINGS ABOUT RESTAURANT..THANK YOU.
  • #6
  • Comment by Mary
  • on: 10/01/2008
I have read some of your articles today and I have to say they are great!!! I specially liked this one,and I loved the pictures (an image says more than 1000 words!). Coming from such a different culture than the Japanese, I find it fascinating.
  • #7
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 16/01/2008
Indeed pictures of a market give a much better idea of what's there than words. The light was quite good on that day and it helped! Hope you get to visit this intriguing market one day.
  • #8
  • Comment by scott
  • on: 22/01/2008
I was there today and bought the three basic knives for my daughter (I'm a lefty and have to stick with my 40yr. old Wusthof's). Love your site.
  • #9
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 22/01/2008
Thanks a lot Scott, I am sure your daughter will keep the knives you have brought her back from Tokyo for many years!
  • #10
  • Comment by pratibha Singh
  • on: 18/03/2008
Hey, I am planning to visit the kappabashi district on tuesday and I will have only that day to browse. Could you let me know the name of the knife shop and how to get there as well as the shop with all the cookie cutters. I am currently in India and would appreciate this help. Thanks
  • #11
  • Comment by Shannon
  • on: 01/04/2008
Hi, I love the photos and info I am planning to visit kappabashi street next week and I will have only one day to browse which is monday. Could you let me know the name of the knife shop and how to get there also any other knife shops I am looking for damascus steel chef's knives. I would appreciate your help. Thanks
  • #12
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 03/04/2008
Shannon, I don't remember the name of the knife shop, but when you come from the river, stay on the side of the Kappabashi Dori street closest to the river and turn right, after a couple blocks you'll see a sign in English that says 'Knives', then turn right and the shop is right around the corner.
  • #13
  • Comment by karin
  • on: 18/09/2008
wow ! I can't wait to go shopping there !!!! great site , thank you !
  • #14
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 18/09/2008
Karin, I hope you make it to Kappabashi Dori, it's a thrilling place for the food enthusiast!
  • #15
  • Comment by Aditio
  • on: 19/09/2008
For me this is really helps. Thank you I like very much your article. If you make another article about the office supplies center in japan or japan fish center for hobbiest ot other .... center in japan. Would yuo let me know thank you
  • #16
  • Comment by JoAnna Douglas
  • on: 20/11/2008
I am about to open a Japanese Restaraunt and need to ask you to please send me a catalog with all info possibly needed. Looking forward to doing business with you. Please contact me.
Thank you.
  • #17
  • Comment by CkFusionist
  • on: 22/01/2009
wah , the mecca of cookwares man....would love to spend a day or so around there hehehe
  • FX's answer→ I just spent two days roaming this market last month and it is really as gorgeous as it looks!

  • #19
  • Comment by Bruce
  • on: 21/02/2009
Bonjour,  Francois-Xavier!  Firstly, a huge CONGRATULATIONS on your website, I'm truly impressed!! (and it takes a lot to impress me..). I feel so lucky to have discovered it, and am really looking forward to exploring it further, it's genuinely inspiring!  You should be very proud!

like your website, I discovered Kappabashi essentially by good luck when in Tokyo a few months ago, and was SO pleased I did -  a Boulevarde of Heaven for Cooks!!  I only had an hour or two to explore,  and your photos have made me determined to go back there and explore more thoroughly. Good job, thanks for these!

Did you visit Kyoto? If you ever go there, you MUST visit Nishiki food market in central Kyoto. It almost makes me cry (with joy!) to remember it, such a range of fresh, superb quality produce, all so beautifully presented. My partner loved it so much she rated it one of our "Top Five Best" food experiences in Japan -  given the Japanese peoples' respect and skill in all matters culinary, that's a high compliment indeed!  And a compliment I echo!!

Kindest regards    
  • FX's answer→ Bruce, thanks for your kind words! Yes of course I visited Nishik market three times, you can see my long article about it by clicking on Japan in the keywords list of this here article. Great place too, I actually slept in a ryokan in the market!

  • #21
  • Comment by VIRIDIANA
  • on: 18/08/2009
ES FABULOSO DEBERIAN DE PONER ALGO IGUAL EN MEXICO
  • #22
  • Comment by lorena
  • on: 22/09/2009
agradeceria si por favor podes ayudarme a encontrar un contacto para poder comprar la comida plastica desde argentina, muchas garcias! saludos! lorena
perrunoscachorros@hotmail.com
  • #23
  • Comment by bwitt
  • on: 26/11/2009
Thank you for posting the pictures.  I have been to Tokyo numerous times and heard of the street but never had the opportunity to visit.  Next time I go I will.
  • #24
  • Comment by em
  • on: 05/10/2010
Thank you for your site. The pictures give me lovely memories. We spent an afternoon truly amazed at the variety of culinary items but did not allow enough time to see more than one-quarter of what was there. It is so easy to spend so much. Thanks you again.

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