8/14/2014

Kappa-Bashi, The Kitchen Town


In the last couple of days I was in Japan, I had pretty much run out of plans, to be honest. After a quick Google job, I decided on a couple of places to drop by, and decided I would use the rest of my time to explore Akihabara.



The first thing I did was take a train down to Ginza, to see the huge Sony Showroom building. This is the place where Sony shows off all of their cutting-edge products. I thought maybe I'd see something I could brag about to my friends, and  (The PS4 had just been unveiled at the time).






After passing through a movie theater with posters for several western movies and the newest Ghibli movie, among others, I found the building standing high above a large, busy intersection.


Pictures aren't allowed inside the Sony Showroom, unfortunately. I found a way around that, though.


I used a really nice Android phone on display to take a picture of the room it was in, as well as myself. I then sent it to my own email using the phone's apps, and then logged out.

Hello.
Also they couldn't stop me from taking pictures of the nice restroom facilities. Take that, authority!



Overall it is a pretty cool building. The first floor is cameras and MP3 players, then cameras, then video cameras, then Televisions, then video games, then computers. The floors aren't set up in the typical floor, flight of stairs, floor pattern. They blend right into each other, in a spiral, with small staircases separating them. The next floor is usually at about chest level, and you go through each floor to get to the next. There were some really cool gadgets there (I especially enjoyed the cameras), but unfortunately there was nothing like a PS4.


I didn't spend much time there. I hopped on a train and went straight north just a few stations.




I was pretty far from my destination. I had to walk a mile or two eastward.


Adult stores are unsurprisingly a lot more common and
conspicuous in downtown Tokyo than they are in Utah.



I started to worry that I wasn't going to find what I was looking for. It got to the point where I was about to turn around and give up, but then I realized I was there.



Kappa-Bashi is a district completely packed with kitchen and cooking-related goods. I had two purposes in coming here. First was to see all of the crazy shops, second was to find a good set of chopsticks to use when I got home.



I was overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of shops, and the specialty shops that only carried one or two types of culinary trinkets, but were still heavily stocked with a variety of choices.




There were lots of knife shops. I think that's probably the most touristy part of Kappa-Bashi. After all, Japan is famous for its steel.







I came across this store called the "Kitchen Museum." It seemed to be one of the most popular, and was three stories high.




The basement was filled with pots and pans of all sizes.


There were stores specializing in dining furniture.


There were stores specializing in condiments and seasonings.


There were stores specializing in disposables and other business-related materials, like signs and decorations.


Most interesting of all, however, was probably the group of stores specializing in fake food models.



They were unbelievably realistic. And expensive. I suppose it's worth it to have a permanent display of food that won't go bad.




I've never been so appetized by inedible objects in my life.


Before I left, I did buy chopsticks from a chopstick specialty store. I also snapped a shot of this giant chef head, which I didn't see on the way in somehow.



I don't think they even have these in America anymore...

All of that fake food had made me hungry, so I headed back to my base of operations, Akihabara.


An intersection near the station by Kappa-Bashi
This is one of the things I regret most about my trip. I didn't really go to restaurants often, because I found it to be incredibly taxing on my social energy, with all of the differences in cultural norms and reactions from the people around me because I was a foreigner. I opted for food at convenience stores most of the time, since that setting was so much less personal. Maybe next time I'll try to step outside my comfort zone a little more.


Anyway, that's it for this post. In the next post, you'll finally get a real good tour of Akihabara.

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