Sennichimae Doguyasuji (which roughly translates as “Cooking Tools Street”) is a 150 metre long shopping arcade dedicated to providing cooking tools and equipment to Osaka’s chefs and restaurateurs. It is similar to Tokyo’s Kitchen Town, Kappabashi, but a lot more compact. Everything that a chef or restaurateur could want can be found here – knives, bowls, takoyaki grills, neon signs, plastic food, utensils, appliances and much more.
Originating around 1882, when traders began to sell wares along the street linking Sennichimae in Hozenji to Odaishi-san in Tennoji Temple and Imamiya Ebisu Shrine, Sennichimae Doguyasuji in its current form came into being in 1970 when it, along with many other streets in Osaka were merged and covered to become arcades.
Despite the large number of multi-level stores in the arcade, there’s quite a lot of variety and most of the shops are worth looking at, as there’s a chance you might find something that isn’t being sold elsewhere. Sennichimae Doguyasuji certainly gives credence to Osaka’s nickname as “Japan’s kitchen”.
No space is wasted. This shop in particular was crammed to the maximum.
Sakai, which is only a 15 minute train ride from Namba station is the historical home of sword making in Japan, and has been so since the 14th century. In an attempt to modernise the country after the Meiji Restoration, the carrying of samurai swords was banned and many of the city’s swordmakers started making knives. Today, Sakai is known for its excellent knives and Sennichimae Doguyasuji is home to many knife stores.
I purchased a Santoku knife from the store in the photo below, about a third of the way down the arcade on the right. The guy at the end in the middle of the photo spoke excellent English and was very knowledgeable. He guided me towards the perfect knife for my needs. It’s an excellent knife and it has become my go to knife for everyday use in my kitchen at home – a Sakai Takayuki Grand Chef Santoku Knife, 180mm if you’re curious.
There were a lot of places selling bowls, cups and cutlery and this one on the left just past the entrance of the arcade was one of the best. Not the biggest range but what they did have was good and well priced.
Sennichimae Doguyasuji is a 3 minute walk from Namba Station or a 5 minute walk from Nippombashi Station and is a must visit for anyone with the even the slightest interest in cooking. You’ll be hard pressed to not walk away with something.