Kappabashi is located between Asakasa and Tokyo's Ueno districts and has a history of over 100 years! How cool is that? In Japan it is considered the greatest wholesale shopping district with about 170 differentiated shops. It is a one-stop shopping venue.
At Kappabashi everything is available ranging from confectionary supplies, food stuff, utensils and heating equipment. You get to choose amongst custom made items that often take several months to come up with and also you get to buy items that are usually unavailable on the market. Chefs all over the world have full confidence and trust in these wholesalers.
Kappabashi Dogu Street
From the south entrance Kappabashi stretches for about 800 meters to the north. To reach the big chef landmark, you will need to walk from Tawara-Machi for only 5 minutes. Free Wi-Fi service has been spread out across the shopping districts which are about 800 meters from this point from both north and south. Using the free Wi-Fi here you are able to download the Handy Shopping Guide in its English version for you to do your shopping stress free! You will find shops specializing in Japanese food, confectionery tools and knives. There are also unique frying pans and Nambu iron kettles that have become very popular. All shops have professional staff who are very knowledgeable and even respond to your queries in the English language. All guests are encouraged to make enquiries freely without fear of language barrier.
There is a special advantage of shopping for goods worth more than ¥5000 whereby you get to combine all your stock purchased to pass through duty (tax) exemption procedures once. At the same time, delivery for your goods can be done to your overseas agent, hotel or airport by “Smart Refund” a delivery service. You have to try this one out.
There is the Kappabashi Dogu Matsuri (Tool Festival) held every October. During this season, some items are offered on sale discount resulting to shoppers crowding the district.
- Spot name: Kappabashi Dogu Street (かっぱ橋道具街)
- Street address: 3-8-12 Matsugaya, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0036
- 13 minutes on foot from Asakusa Station on the TOEI Asakusa Line
- 5 minutes on foot from Tawara-Machi Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
- 6 minutes on foot from Iriya-Shita Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line
Distinction Knives at Kappabashi
There are two main types of knives: The Western knives and the Japanese knives. The Western knives are recommended for first time users since they are not complex. On the other hand, Japanese knives cannot be used for every purpose. They are of various types. They are made based on what is intended to be cut and how it is prepared.
The Kama-Asa Shoten is a shop with a branch in Paris that sells the famous Nambu iron kettles, pots and knives and offers periodic knife-sharpening classes.
At Kamata Haken, beautiful knives that are patterned are made by laminating steel material. The popular Damascus knife is made here. Should you buy it ensure your name is inscribed in it using Chinese kanji letters.
- Spot name: Kamata Haken-Sha (かまた刃研社)
- Street address: 2-2-16 Matsugaya, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0036
- Access: 8 minutes on foot from Tawara-Machi Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
With pottery gathered from all over Japan, Kappabashi is a must for those who like bowls and want to buy them here!
Dengama is a shop at the southern entrance that specializes in Japanese pottery. It has special pieces taken directly from the kiln and sold all round Japan. Amongst them are Mashiko, Shigaraki, Kutani, Arita and Mino. Other delightful items that make awesome souvenirs for instance chopsticks are also made here.
The Toan Yabukita is a shop that has an abundant selection of more than 2,000 varieties of fashionable tableware. The products you will find here include Japanese pottery such as Kutani, Ko-Imari, Arita and Mino ware. There are also items made from bamboo, glassware and lacquerware that are found here.
- Spot name: Toan Yabukita (陶庵やぶきた)
- Street address: 1-4-8 Nishiasakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0035
- 12 minutes on foot from Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line or TOEI Asakusa Line
- 4 minutes on foot from Tawara-Machi Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
Making food replicas in Kappabashi
Making food replicas is an art that has become very popular and various shops offer classes to overseas guests who wish to undertake this challenge of making food replicas. At Ganso Shokuhin Sample-Ya, the shop of the original food replica maker, Iwasaki Be-I, crafts persons make all the food replicas by hand. They intricately craft even the least of food models. Wax is used to make replicas of lettuce and tempura in the replica production experience class.
- Spot name: Iwasaki Be-I Kappabashi Showroom (イワサキ・ビーアイ 合羽橋ショールーム)
- Street address: 3-7-6 Nishi-Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0035
- 15 minutes on foot from Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line or TOEI Asakusa Line
- 9 minutes on foot from Tawara-Machi Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
Basic Information about Kappabashi: Hours and Maps
The English version of the Handy Shop Guide downloaded at the Free Wi-Fi spots is distributed among the shops and has introductions to each shop based on the shop’s category.
Being a wholesale shopping district, some businesses do not take credit cards.
Most shops are closed on Sundays.
Shopping hours are from 9 am to 5 pm.