• TOP
  • The Evolution of Kappabashi Tool Street: From the Great Kanto Earthquake to the Postwar Era

The Evolution of Kappabashi Tool Street: From the Great Kanto Earthquake to the Postwar Era

By Staff Writer
May 31, 2024
Kappabashi's inception traces back to the aftermath of the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. Initially, it served as a hub for hardware and construction materials vital for Tokyo's reconstruction efforts. However, its commercial identity began to take shape during this period, with a different focus than its present-day specialization.

As Tokyo underwent rebuilding and modernization, the demand for restaurant supplies surged. Entrepreneurs in Kappabashi gradually shifted towards specializing in kitchenware and culinary essentials. By the mid-20th century, Kappabashi had firmly established itself as a premier destination for culinary tools and equipment. Following World War II, this area transitioned into a bustling shopping district specializing in restaurant equipment and tools. Referred to as "Kitchen Town," Kappabashi has a diverse array of shops. In 2003, to commemorate the street's 90th anniversary, the iconic Kappa Kawataro statue was established as a symbol of Kappabashi.
Niimi, a famous kitchenware store at Kappabashi street
Kappa Kawataro Statue located at Kappabashi
Kappabashi Dougu-gai is a shopping street between Ueno and Asakusa that offers a wide selection of affordable ceramics, chopsticks, and wooden bowls or plastic food models, as well as high-quality kitchen knives and durable cookware. Moreover, the district has covered walkways on both sides of the road, ensuring a convenient shopping experience even on rainy days. With over 170 stores offering a comprehensive range of restaurant necessities, Kappabashi has become a go-to destination for industry professionals. While maintaining its traditional essence, Kappabashi has embraced modern culinary advancements. Today, it attracts not only local chefs and restaurateurs but also international visitors seeking a glimpse into Japanese culinary traditions.
Kitchenware lined up on shelves at Kappabashi street
In recent years, Kappabashi has gained global recognition, drawing tourists and food enthusiasts worldwide. It preserves Japanese culinary heritage by blending traditional craftsmanship with modern innovation.
Post your comments