Aki's Travels: A Chef's Dream Market

Tokyo is in the spotlight as the Olympic torch has been bestowed upon the prospective city for the 2020 Games. If you're planning on booking your ticket for a visit before the metropolis becomes a full frenzy, we'd like to recommend a lesser known area for all the foodies out there! Here's a suggestion from Commune's owner Aki during her last trip.

Kappabashi-dori (or just Kappabashi) is located within Tokyo's Asakusa district, home to the city's most famous temple, Senso-ji. Though Kappabashi is a stretch of a couple blocks, there's no mistaking the "Kitchen Town" with the iconic giant chef of Niimi Kitchenware, the street's popular cooking supply destination, resting atop of the building and seemingly greeting its onlookers.

From Michelin-starred restaurants to small scale izakayas, every chef in Tokyo has made a visit to Kappabashi. A wholesale paradise of everything a kitchen requires and then some; many stores specialize in one item, like coffee equipment, lacquered goods, handwoven baskets and brushes. Below are a few tools used to make delicious manju, Japanese traditional confections.

A worthwhile shopping trip, stock up on every home good imaginable and get a souvenir or two, Kappabashi is also a mecca of crafted plastic foods restaurants use for display!


The closest station is Tawaramachi Station on the Subway Ginza Line, take the number 3 exit, walk a short distance till you find Niimi's jumbo chef!