Kappabashi Street is a place near Asakusa well known by Japanese chefs. Indeed, most chefs and restaurants buy their cooking equipment at Kappabashi street. And you as well can find there everything you need to cook Japanese dishes.

Formerly known mostly among chefs, Kappabashi has started to gain more interest among common Tokyo visitors, too. The street is not just pots and pans but tourists can wander into interesting shops that sell the famous Japanese knives or shops that sell the plastic food samples we can see in many restaurant entrances. Why not a key chain with a fried shrimp attached to it?

But before we start our visit, who or what is this Kappa?

Who or what is Kappa?

Kappas are found in the traditional Japanese folklore and this creature is seen as a demon or sometimes as a deity. Included in shinto beliefs as well as in Japanese Buddhism, they can be recognized by having a small pool of water suspended on top of their head. Kappa has been mainly used to warn children of the dangers related to rivers. If children get too close to a river, a Kappa would try to pull them into the water. :O

But a Kappa is also kind of… kinky. Indeed, he’s looking for the shirikodama, which is believed to be a ball hidden in human anus… Yeah, you heard well, in a human anus. But it’s fine cause it’s his biggest weak point too. He cannot resist in front of a butt! So the best way to capture it is to trap him by putting a knife just in front of your naked butt… Any volunteers? 😀
If you do not wish to show your naked butt to a Kappa but still need to escape from one, you can also simply just bow. Kappas are known to be very polite (before pulling you into the water to drown you…) and will return the bow. When the water in the little pool on top of their head spills out, they become unable to move and you have time to run away. Your choice!

A bit weird, I know! 🙂 But you will see many Kappa in Kappabashi street so I count on you to capture at least one. But for that, let’s buy a proper knife.

Kappabashi – The Kitchen town

You can find all sorts of kitchen equipment in Kappabashi but the king of them is obviously the Japanese knife. Famous for its precision and also for… its price! Indeed, the prices can go very high but I have to say that they are totally it. One of the employees of the shop cut a paper with one of his knives picked randomly so in terms of quality, it’s going to be perfect.

Other very cool shops to visit are the food sample shops. In most of the Japanese restaurants, you can find a plastic version of each dish in the entrance of the restaurant. And it’s very useful for us foreigners, who cannot always read Japanese menus.

In Kappabashi’s food sample shops, you can find all kinds of food – beer, hamburger, pizza, a bowl of noodles or a sushi phone cover. 😀 So close to reality right?

Kappabashi is also an ideal place to buy typical Japanese souvenirs at a reasonable price. How about a sake bottle or a nice sushi cup?


I hope you enjoyed this introduction to Kappabashi area. It’s now your turn to pay a visit to Kappa-san and to eventually show him your butt!

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Sayonara, take care!