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Japanese Cooking and Servingware

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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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  1. 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

      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!

    2. 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. 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

          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. 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

            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

              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.

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