Looking for souvenirs to surprise your friends back home? Or having trouble finding the right cooking knife? Then, head to Kappabashi Street (かっぱ橋道具街, Kappabashi Dōgugai), Kappabashi Street – the world largest cookware market.
On the street, you’ll find specialized stores selling everything needed by restaurants, including cooking knives, dishes, pots, pans, cooking utensils, stoves, tables, chairs, signs, lanterns and more. Some stores also sell plastic and wax food samples that have become popular souvenirs in recent years.
One thing you’ll definitely notice on the street and at shops is statues of a green creature called “Kappa” (see the first picture below). The kappa is a Japanese mythical monster who lives near rivers and is believed to lure locals to its nest where they will be eaten. The kappa will let you go if you offer him cucumbers!
Located in Daito-ku, Kappabashi is a smart choice to do a little bit of shopping before you head right down to Asakusa. If you are visiting Kappabashi before noon, it’s best to go to Asakusa first and have lunch there – funny enough you won’t find any fresh food or restaurants are scarce in Kappabashi!