We just received the package from Japan containing the bowls and plates we purchased in the Kappabashi neighborhood of Tokyo. We were as excited as children on Christmas Day when opening it to see what we had actually bought three weeks prior. Kappabashi-dori is known as the "kitchen street," where more than 170 restaurant and kitchen supply shops line an 800 meter stretch between Ueno and Asakusa. Anything you can think of (and much more) relating to the kitchen and food is found there in an almost infinite variety of sizes, colors, fabrications, etc. Looking for those plastic examples of food for your restaurant window? You can find them here. Chef uniforms, knives, pots and pans, plates, signs and banners, kitchen equipment of every imaginable type.. it's all found in Kappabashi!
We were looking for plates and bowls...something attractive, but not too expensive. Ideally speaking, we wanted different plates for different types of dishes. Unfortunately, the reality that we have to deal with is that like many other New Yorkers, we are "space challenged" i.e. where to store so many different kids of dishes?
Our first stop in Kappaboshi was Dengama, a discount yakimono shop for Japanese pottery like Arita-yaki, Kutani-yaki, Masiko-yaki, Mino-yaki, and Shigaraki-yaki. After brousing for about an hour, we settled on some noodle bowls, small plates, and large platter...all for one-half their original price. Fortunately, shipping came via the generosity of Hiroko's father!
We've enjoyed a number of ramen lunches in the bowls (which can also be used for serving), served hors d'oeurves to guests on the platter, and have found the small plates to be perfect for....well..."small plates."