A cook’s tour: Kappabashi Street, Tokyo’s Kitchen Town

With its handmade chefs’ knives, ornate chopsticks and bento boxes, the Tokyo street where restaurants buy kitchenware is also a great place for tourists to pick up souvenirs

The first thing you notice when entering Tokyo’s Kappabashi Street is the towering chef statue. His 11-metre-high head, with a thick moustache and a crisp white chef’s hat, has come to symbolise this neighbourhood, known locally as Kitchen Town.

The name fits as the 800-metre-long street is lined with more than 170 shops selling everything a professional or home cook could dream of. A short walk from two of Tokyo’s most popular tourist destinations – Sensō-ji Temple in Asakusa and Ueno Park – the district has been supplying the local restaurant trade for nearly a century.

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