These two characters are the mascots of the street. Note the banners to the right. If you somehow manage to forget what street you're on or can't figure out the lyrics of the song, the banners will tell you.
When computer geeks come to Japan, they head toward the electronics neighborhood called . But when food freaks visit Tokyo, they steer toward Kappabashi-dori, a mile-plus-long street sporting several dozen stores that carry all manner of kitchenware and food. There, you can find it all: stores that specialize in ceramics; plastic food vendors; utensil vendors.
The street even has its own theme song, which plays over speakers on a constant loop. It lasts about a minute, and the words are "Kappa, Kappabashi-dori, Kappabashi-dori, Kappabashi-do-o-ri, Kap-pa-bash-i."
"Who comes to my kingdom?" This giant chef's head, atop a building several stories tall, marks the beginning of the street.
Residents of Tokyo do go nutty for a bit of flair in their food. I had one sushi chef put a squeeze of mayo on a piece of sushi and caramelize it with a blowtorch. Here are some other pieces with dyed rice. That purple one is eggplant, by the way.
Fruit takes a lot of land to grow and is usually imported, so it's outrageously priced. Here are tangerines going for about $3 each, pomegranates for $12 each and Asian pears for $21 each. Granted, this shot was taken at a posh department store, but you even see $20 cantaloupes at the corner market.
Early morning at the Tskiji fish market. It's the world's biggest fish market and takes place every weekday before 5. Here, middlemen are bargaining over tuna. There is a huge vegetable market, an outdoor kitchenware market and a lot of sushi bars and noodle stands open early there too.