Kappabashi

Kappabashi Painting

I may or may not have mentioned my infatuation with Tokyo’s Kappabashi Street or “Kitchen Town” here before. I probably have. Anyway, it’s called “Kitchen Town” because on both sides of an 800 meter short street called Kappabashi, you’ll find just about everything and anything related to restaurant equipment and food preparation, including two of this neighborhood’s main attractions: serious chef knives and hyperrealistic fake food. However, the vast majority of the close to 200 shops on the street mostly sell kitchenware, cookware and tableware.

Kappabashi is located near the Asakusa (浅草) district in Taitō Tokyo. Among most tourists, the area’s draw is the famous Sensoji, a very popular Buddhist temple.

I’ve spent several hours wandering up and down Kappabashi during my two visits to the Japanese capital and when I return one day, I’m sure I’ll once again dedicate some time there.

What Kappabashi means is somewhat disputed. It could be a derivative of the Portuguese word “capa”, which in turn is Latin for “cape”, as in what Darth Vader and Batman wear. But “kappa” could apparently also be an ancient word for a mythological, amphibious humanoid that lives by Japan’s rivers.

So infatuated with Kappabashi was I that I decided to create the above 50 x 60 cm acrylic painting.