What birthday gift do you get for a home cook that’s impossible to shop for? Japanese steel, of course. My wonderful wife got me a couple of knives for my birthday while we were in Japan. We were on Kappabashi Kitchen Street in Asakusa. This street is where Tokyo’s food industry goes to buy all the things they need to run a commercial kitchen. It also happens to be a great place for a simple home cook to pick up fabulous Japanese cutlery.

There first store we went to was Tsubaya. A narrow store that was lined with beautiful knives. The knife I chose was a gorgeous VG10 stainless steel knife with a western handle. Perfect for small jobs like pairing or cutting shallots. There were many large knives on the shelves of this store and I chose one of the smallest blades of the bunch.  On the way out I snapped picture of some of the largest knives they had. These bad boys are for breaking down enormous tuna. More like a sword than a knife, really.

The next knife… yeah that’s right she bought me two… was from Kamata. Kamata is known for their ability to sharpen and also fix knives that have seen better days. The knife I chose here was another VG10 stainless steel beauty with a brilliant damascus pattern with a polished image of leaves. It’s a stunning santoku knife with a Japanese handle.

Here are some images of the knives on my cutting board at home.


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