By Masako Matsuzaki
Asakusa's Kappabashi, better known to English-speakers as 'Kitchen Town', is heaven for cooking enthusiasts, professional chefs, and tourists shopping for interesting gifts to bring back from Tokyo. The hundreds of shops here cater primarily to restaurateurs, as is evident from the unbelievably diverse selection of pots, pans, cutlery, decorative items and so on. Prices are also comparatively low, so the area is well worth a visit every time you need kitchen-related tools and equipment. For the casual traveller, however, it may not be very practical to choose cast-iron frying pans or sword-like kitchen knives as souvenirs, so we've put together this list of 15 fun and easy-to-carry items that also make perfect gifts for your folks back home.
15 fun Kitchen Town picks
Shop: Majimaya Kashidouguten
Decorate your pancakes with this cool branding iron that comes in a variety of different shapes – how about a bird or a pine tree? Order-made designs are also available, although you'll have to wait for three to four weeks for delivery. ¥2,850.
Shop: Utsuwa no Tousho
Regularly found at sushi restaurants, these tea cups are usually decorated with Chinese characters for various kinds of fish. The selection here, however, is far broader: why not pick up a cup adorned with the faces of the Tokugawa shoguns? ¥380–¥550.