Tsukiji fish market may be the first destination for foodies visiting Tokyo, and a department store basement food floor is also an essential stop, but one often-neglected attraction is the restaurant-supply district of Kappabashi. Famous for its plastic food models, Kappabashi offers much more - it's the place where chefs and restaurateurs go when they set up shop, and a playground for anyone who likes to cook.
Kappabashi is easy to navigate - the majority of the stores are lined up along the main street. Some shops cater exclusively to restaurant professionals, selling bar stools, restaurant uniforms and industrial-sized equipment. Then there are those selling kitchen gadgets - from intricate vegetable cutters to wooden molds for Japanese sweets.
And of course there's a huge selection of realistic food models such as sushi, yakitori, and bowls of ramen. If something is found in the kitchen or dining room, there's likely to be a shop in Kappabashi that sells it.
by Yukari Pratt
This book will introduce you to more than twenty of Japan's favorite specialty foods that are less well known abroad, along with a guide to the best places in Tokyo to try them and expert tips on what to order. From our sister site Bento.com.