Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kappabashi 2: Fake Food

I noticed on the map that Kappabashi is actually called 合羽橋, not 河童橋. I can't explain this. Moving on...

People often describe Kappabashi as 'the fake food neighborhood'. It's not. There are exactly 3 stores selling fake food. More like exactly two-and-a-half, actually, since one of them is pretty small and sad. But the two main ones, in the south half of the street and on the East (Asakusa) side, are cool. (Again, I'm prepared to be proved wrong about all of this. The neighborhood brochure lists a few more places in the 'samples' category, but I haven't seen them.)

Check out Maizuru - I love the window displays with the life-size lobster (life-size is kinda the point of this fake food though, isn't it?) and decorated layer cake. Inside is more normal, with sushi, steaks, donburi, desserts and drinks.

I think this place is called 'Koi Koi', but I'm not sure why. In any event, I think it's the one to go to for your fake food needs - if you're a tourist, they have lots of good 'bite size' pieces that you can carry home to impress your friends. One thing you'll be unpleasantly impressed by is the cost of these guys - authenticity doesn't come cheap! My favorite things here are the selection of fresh fish, and of course the 'wall of beer'.

Wall o' Beer. Who knew you could need so many samples of fake beer in mugs?

Thanks to superior photography, this place 'Satou' doesn't look as sad as I was saying above. But it really doesn't have that much by comparison with the other places. I also thought it was hilarious that they were having a 10% off sale on Chinese food...samples (2nd picture).

Bonus shop:

There are two of these places. They specialize in everything you'd need to set up a tastelessly-decorated Chinese restaurant! One was even selling a little fake bridge. The section of jade figurines is nice too.

Bonus Godzilla-sized beetle crawling on the outside of a building!

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