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Japanese Cooking and Servingware

AmandaCA Oct 22, 2010 02:50 PM

My husband and I will be in Tokyo this December. Can anyone recommend a place to buy some Japanese cookware. Specifically I am looking for a takoyaki pan, a selection of ramen bowls, a sake set and perhaps a few other pieces. Is there a specific store I should try? It's a big place and I don't want to be wandering around aimlessly. Thanks in advance.

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    la2tokyo RE: AmandaCA Oct 22, 2010 09:02 PM

    You can probably find all that stuff at the retailer Tokyu Hands, which is a fun place to go shopping once even if you don't need to: It's a huge housewares store that would be fun one stop shopping. There are multiple locations in Tokyo. Prices are generally not unreasonable for a retail store. Also if you need a nail clipper they sell about fifty kinds, there's a whole aisle of toothbrushes, there are about 80 kinds of umbrellas, etc., etc.

    If you want to save a little money you can head to Kappabashi, the restaurant wholesale district. It's a whole street of restaurant supply stores that are generally cheap, but they cater more to restaurants, so if it might be overkill if you're shopping for your home. If you're gonna be picky about what you get, there are about a dozen stores that only sell restaurant ceramics, so you could choose between about a thousand sake sets and ramen bowls.

    I would recommend Tokyu Hands unless you have three or four hours to get to Kappabashi and then stroll around. Also beware of short business hours at Kappabashi.

    1 Reply
    1. re: la2tokyo
      AmandaCA RE: la2tokyo Oct 23, 2010 11:47 AM

      Hmm... I don't know if 1000 options is really enough. Kidding.

      These suggestion sound great. I am really intrigued by Kappabashi and will have a number of days when my husband will be doing comic/anime stuff to pursue my own interests. It sounds fascinating just to go wander. Thanks la2tokyo!

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      edozanmai RE: AmandaCA Oct 24, 2010 10:48 PM

      I would definitely hit Kappabashi for cookware shopping. I live in Tokyo and this is where I shop for almost all my kitchen needs. I also try to take out of town guests there. Kappabashi is only a five minute walk from Sensoji (temple) in Asakusa, and not too far from Ueno and Akihabara. Although some shops are closed on Sunday, most stay open until 6:00 or 7:00 weeknights.

      1. Naguere RE: AmandaCA Oct 24, 2010 11:09 PM

        How about those wooden pan lids that actually float on the water inside the pan , I think the idea is for it to stop the pan contents banging about?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Naguere
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          la2tokyo RE: Naguere Oct 25, 2010 10:51 AM

          It's called an otoshi-buta. You can find lots of stores that sell them in Kappabashi and/or get one at Tokyu Hands.

        2. steamer RE: AmandaCA Oct 25, 2010 05:32 PM

          Tokyu Hands is an excellent suggestion, but nobody has mentioned department stores. As you might imagine any decent department store will have an extensive selection of what you are looking for, and they have the added advantage of being almost everywhere.

          2 Replies
          1. re: steamer
            AmandaCA RE: steamer Oct 25, 2010 11:22 PM

            Are takoyaki pans widely available? I know this might be a dumb question considering it is a Japanese snack, but I wasn't sure if it was something a home cook would ever want/use. Is this more of a restaurant product or a home product?

            1. re: AmandaCA
              steamer RE: AmandaCA Oct 26, 2010 04:29 AM

              I've never looked for a takoyaki pan, but have often seen electric ones in department stores. So somebody must be making takoyaki at home.

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            kyotogolfer RE: AmandaCA Jan 30, 2011 06:23 PM

            Try Loft also. Kinda like Tokyu Hands, but I remember there are more Loft than Hands.

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