The plastic food & kitchen supply districtDon’t leave Tokyo without going to Kappabashi Street. Even if you’re not a big foodie, the kitchenware district is filled with all kinds of entertaining things, including stores that sell those amazingly realistic food models you see outside Japanese restaurants.
This is where the Tokyo restaurant trade shops. The stores lining Kappabashi Street sell everything from super-realistic food models (including the best refrigerator magnets and clocks of all time) to gigantic rice cookers, branding irons for little traditional cakes, rice molds that look like bullet trains, vases, iron kettles shaped like cats, banners advertising food shops, and more! It’s a feast for the eyes, with more than a few puzzling sights along the way.
With a little advance planning you can go to a workshop and make some plastic food.
Here are some of the things we’ll see on Kappabashi-dori as we walk from Tawara-machi station
On the right hand side of the street:
•Handmade ceramic dishes and serving plates
•Monster bales of chopsticks and other disposables
•Super-realistic plastic food model shops
Let’s cross over and walk back on the other side of the street:
•Specialized Japanese cooking pots, pans, and bakeware stores
As we turn the corner and go back the way we came, let’s cross over to the other side of the street. We’ll pass a few funeral goods stores filled with wooden Shinto shrines, Buddhist home altars, gold temple chandeliers, Buddhist rosaries, incense, and religious statues.
But before we get back to Tawara-machi Station, let’s stop and see the Rakugo Shrine. Rakugo is traditional Japanese comic storytelling, with a long history of wandering actors entertaining the townsfolk of yore. But during WWI, fifty-three of the most famous rakugo stories were entombed at this shrine forever.
Most stores open from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Weekends some stores are closed
Nearby destinations: Akihabara, Asakusa, Asakusa-bashi, Edo-Tokyo Museum, Inari-cho, Ueno
Jonelle Patrick writes mysteries set in Tokyo