Musashi has traditionally-crafted Japanese knives for casual homecooks and professional chefs, so leave it to these Tokyo experts to help you find the perfect knife for your kitchen!
Knife Shopping at Musashi Japan
Looking to buy a Japanese kitchen knife in Tokyo? Since the days when Japanese blacksmiths crafted samurai swords we now consider works of art, Japan has long been a country known for skilled metalworkers and beautiful blades of all shapes and sizes. Even today Japan is known for excellent knives, which is why Japanese kitchen knives are increasingly popular tools in kitchens around the world, for everyone from everyday home cooks to professional chefs preparing the highest levels of fine dining. But Japanese knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes, made from different materials for different purposes, and it can be hard to know exactly what to look for when shopping for a new knife. For customers looking for the perfect kitchen knife, Musashi Japan is a brand dedicated to helping customers in and out of Japan find the right knife for them, and while they do a roaring trade online, there’s nowhere better than their Tokyo shop to get hands-on and find a knife that feels as good as it looks.
Musashi’s Tokyo shop is located in the heart of Kappabashi, a neighborhood right next to Asakusa that’s better known as “Kappabashi Dogugai” (かっぱ橋道具街) AKA “Kappabashi Kitchen Town.” The area is crowded with shops catering to cooks and restaurants, selling everything from elegant Japanese dishware to realistic fake food for restaurant displays, and Musashi’s modern little boutique is nestled in among it all.
Musashi’s offerings include knives made by expert blacksmiths in half a dozen of Japan’s most famous knife-making regions, including Niigata and Gifu, and some especially knowledgeable customers even come to the shop looking for products from their favorite individual knifemakers. But the biggest factors for most customers choosing a knife at the shop are mainly the size, shape, and material. Are you looking for a vegetable knife? Something for chopping up meat? Maybe a practical multi-purpose knife for everyday meal prep? The biggest benefit of visiting Musashi’s Tokyo shop is their friendly multilingual staff, who know what they’re talking about when it comes to knives, and can help you find the perfect Japanese knife with no Japanese skills necessary. Check out the options below for just a small glimpse of a much broader selection.
Musashi Japan (武蔵刃物)
Thoshichi Building, 3-8-4 Nishiasakusa, Taito City, Tokyo
Hours: 10:00 – 18:00
Official Website (en)
Find the Right Japanese Kitchen Knife for You
Musashi caters to all levels of knife users, from the home cook just looking to bring their dinner prep to the next level, to the professional chef hoping to use their new Japanese kitchen knife all day every day. But the majority of customers aren’t necessarily sushi chefs looking for a sashimi knife (which Musashi does carry of course), which means when they arrive in Kappabashi ready to find a great knife, there are a couple styles many people gravitate towards. Here are some of the most popular knives, according to Musashi staff.
Japan’s classic multipurpose jack-of-all-trades knife, the santoku (三徳) is probably the most common style of knife in Japanese kitchens, and for good reason. The convenient size and shape mean that a santoku knife is good for cutting up meat, fish, and vegetables, so if you run a bare-bones kitchen and just want one good knife, this is an easy choice. The hard part is finding the perfect santoku for you, or your favorite cook in need of a fancy souvenir, which is where Musashi’s helpful staff come in handy. Stainless steel is a great material for casual cooks, because it requires minimal maintenance to stay in great shape and rust-free for years to come, whereas carbon steel requires a little extra care, but the blade can be sharpened to a razor’s edge for an amazing cutting experience. You can also find knives with handles made in different shapes and from different materials, from traditional Japanese wood, to Musashi’s “Tsushima Ocean Knife” handles made with recycled ocean debris from off the coast of Japan. There are even santoku knives with beautiful Damascus steel patterning, and others with hammered designs, which have the additional practical benefit of reducing sticking when slicing vegetables.
The bunka (文化) knife is another multipurpose workhorse of a knife, and while it doesn’t differ hugely in function from the santoku, knife shoppers tend to like it because of its dramatic shape. There’s something about that sharply angled point that just screams “samurai swordsmithing”! Bunka knives come in a similar variety of materials to the santoku, but if you’re looking to up the ante when it comes to visual appeal, you can order a bunka knife decorated with Musashi’s custom “chokin” (彫金) engraving as well.
Chokin engraving decoration is available on a variety of different knife styles including the bunka, and the decoration options include some undeniably cool Japanese designs. Commemorate a spring trip to Japan with cherry blossoms, or choose a knife with a kappa – the Japanese mythological creature that gave Kappabashi its name.
The detailed art of chokin engraving is done by dedicated artisans in their workshops away from the shop, but Musashi also offers basic name engraving services on-site for customers who want to customize their new knives!
Or Something a Little Unique
For the chef with enough basic knives around, Musashi has some other fun options to jazz up any knife collection. Pick up one of their long straight knives to experiment with slicing your own sashimi, try a short and stubby handle-less knife for preparing eel, or bring home one of the large, square “menkiri” (麺切り) knives made for slicing soba or udon noodles. For big spenders, Musashi also has “honyaki” (本焼き) knives that are basically swords in all but function, and are made using the same techniques! Even if you’re not in the market for a new knife, just browsing the unique selection of Japanese knives at Musashi can be a fun way to spend your time in Japan.
Take a Sake Break in Kappabashi
Before you leave, don’t forget to head upstairs to Musashi’s second-floor sake space. This bright little loft area has a counter where visitors can order sake and snacks, and the tasting sets are a great way to try a few different varieties and find which kinds of sake you like best. While Kappabashi might be nicknamed “Kitchen Town,” it doesn’t actually have all that many casual restaurants or cafes where shoppers can take a quick break during the day, so this little seating area is a great place to hang out for a bit while exploring the area.
With endless varieties of Japanese kitchen knives, all the different materials and details you could want, and multilingual staff ready to help find the perfect knife for you, Musashi is a great place to go knife shopping in Tokyo. Head to Kappabashi on your next trip to Japan to find your new favorite kitchen tool, or bring home an extra special gift for friends and family who love to cook!
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