Translated by Mariko Satoh
The Perfect Blade! Finding Knives At Kamata In Kappabashi
Kamata is a famous kitchen knife store in Kappabashi, which is a well-known town for restaurant supplies. It offers more than 800 types of knives and is visited by chefs from around the world looking for that perfect blade.
Written by Jumpei Kawashima
3. Wabocho with a Japanese Pattern
This wabocho has a unique look as the surface of it has been polished like a mirror and comes in flower and dragon patterns.
There are only a few of them available as the manufacturing process is complicated. It was challenging for us to take a picture of it because of its brightness. We had to be careful not to catch the reflection of the light off its surface. It is sure a must-see product!
This has a pattern of a dragon flying in the sky. You would be surprised to see how real it looks in person.
This one has a cherry blossom pattern.
The petals are captured beautifully. It is also very detailed with a cherry blossom tree on the handle.
There are also mirror finished knives with patterns unique to Japan, such as chrysanthemums and the autumn maple leaves.
Please take good care of these knives as these special patterns can be damaged by stiff or hard things.
Knife-sharpening: Take a Close Look at the Expert's Technique!
In Japan, most knives are sharpened against a whetstone, called toishi in Japanese. There are different types, such as natural and artificial ones, and also ones with different levels of solidity.
The knife sharpeners at Kamata are all experts with high level of techniques so cooks from all over Japan send their knives here for repairs.
People are welcomed to watch the knife sharpeners' work at the entrance so every day many people stop by.
On the second floor of the store, a knife-sharpening class is open every Tuesday. Classes must be booked in advance via the website and are available in Japanese and English. The classes are so popular that all 10 seats quickly fill up.
For those of you who can't make it to the class but still want to learn the knife-sharpening technique, Kamata gives out a knife-sharpening manual (in Japanese and English).
There is a detailed description of the steps with photos, so you will be able to learn how to sharpen your own knife at home.
There is also a video of it which would also be a good reference!