Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Interesting sights on show along Tokyo's Kappabashi

Delectable looking sampuru -- "fake food" (or, as their makers 
prefer to have them be known, sample food that looks oh so real!)

Beautiful glasses for sale for 600 Yen (or circa HK$37 
or US$5) a pop at a store in Tokyo's Kappabashi

Knives for sale at another store --
and a suit of armor too?! ;O

Considering how much of a foodie I am -- and particularly of Japanese food too -- it may come as a shock that I have never been to Osaka's Sennichimae Doguyasuji Kitchen Street, and only visited Tokyo's Kappabashi (Kitchen Town) for the first time ever on my most recent Japan trip this past  November.  I guess it's become I've been more concerned with actually sampling the food and drink available in the Land of the Rising Sun, including its capital city.  Still, I did feel that a visit to Kappabashi was overdue -- and acted on that impulse one afternoon on my most recent visit to Japan.

As might be expected, a stroll along Kappabashi does yield some interesting sights -- and I don't just mean those to be found in the windows of the stores selling very realistic looking "sample food".  And while Hong Kong does have rough equivalents in the form of such as the stretch of Shanghai Street where lots of kitchenware wholesalers can be found, it's true enough the Japanese do seem to take specialization, and diversity within a specific area, to a whole new different level.

Rather amusingly, my mother actually effectively had a hissy fit of sorts on Kappabashi and told me that she found it rather frustrating to see so much that she wanted to buy but felt it would be impractical to do so because she didn't live in Japan.  On the other hand, I was happy to find many items that I decided would make fun and cool gifts for friends in a couple of the stores in this Tokyo "Kitchen Town", and also to see such as certain brands of chewing gum and other candy that sent me down Memory Lane to my childhood, and a time when I loved those particular products without realizing that they hailed from -- and were made in -- Japan! 

If truth be told, despite its reputation as a "must visit" place for visitors to Tokyo, I reckon that there are many more places in the Japanese capital city that are far worthy of the general visitor's attention and time.  Still, when coupled with a visit to nearby Asakusa, Kappabashi is the kind of place where one can easily find lots of things to be fascinated by, and to occupy the leisure time of even those whose kitchens don't have all that many specialist items or any kitchenware in general! ;)

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