Kappabashi Dori is a street located about halfway between Asakusa and Ueno famous for stores selling hardware supplies for restaurants (menu holders, ketchup dispensers, industrial stoves, etc.). Despite its customer base you don’t need to buy wholesale, making it the best place in Tokyo to pick up small items of crockery as gifts. Moreover, Kappabashi’s increasing popularity among tourists has brought about the presence of shops aimed at those looking for something a little more ornate than your bog-standard plates and cups.
Kappabashi is also an excellent place to buy state-of-the-art Japanese kitchen knives, which will typically be on sale at a discount to the department stores. Other items of interest (to see if not to buy) include the plastic food or “fake food” replicas that are a standard item outside many restaurants in Japan.
How do I get there?
A 15-minute walk from either Asakusa Station or Ueno Station, or a 5-minute walk from Asakusa Station on the Tsukuba Express Line. Not the easiest place to find so if you don’t have a detailed map and/or a connected smartphone it might better to jump in a taxi (it won’t cost more than ¥730 from either Ueno or Asakusa). Kappabashi is open Monday to Saturdays (stores close between 6pm and 7pm). Most stores are closed on Sundays.