There are several knife shops in the market. Some of them are friendlier than others. Fifth generation Tsukiji Masamoto (opened in 1891) has always been on the friendly side and has an English speaking staff on some days. This is where my husband and I have purchased knives in the past and we love the service here. It’s a very busy shop with not only tourists, but also with the fishmongers from Tsukiji. Presdient Hirano-san in the photo below is there most days. The staff that work there are very knowledgeable about knives. Hirano-san has said that when the market moves to its new location at Toyosu that his shop will remain in place in the outer market.
Hirano-san of Tsukiji Masamoto putting initials on a knife
Tsukiji Masamoto 築地正本
Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 4-9-9 中央区築地4-9-9
Kiya Knife Shop 木屋 *Note – this is the NEW address for Kiya Nihonbashi
Nihonbashi-Muromachi 2-2-1 中央区日本橋室町 2-2-1
Chuo-Ku Tokyo Coredo-Muromachi. 1F
10am – 8pm seven days a week
Closed only on New Year’s Day.
The corner shop, opened in 1792, has a sign in English, “World’s Finest Cutlery” over the door. The compact shop displays a shining collection of knives, pots, pans, and many things for the kitchen. Here you will find graters, pepper grinders, tweezers for pulling bones out of fish, as well as scissors and gardening tools. The friendly staff is patient and will help you to find exactly what you are looking for.
Kamata in Kappabashi
Kamata Knives かまた
Taito-ku, Matsugaya 2-12-6 台東区松が谷2-12-6
Kamata has a large selection of Western and Japanese knives, Japanese wet stones for keeping your knives sharp, and other kitchen gadgets. They will also sharpen your knives here if you live in Tokyo.
Chuo-ku, Tsukiji 4-13-6 中央区築地4-13-6
Aritsugu has a much larger shop in Kyoto’s Nishiki Market. If you are going to Kyoto then you do not want to miss this store.
Be sure to read this short primer on Japanese knives:
Japanese Knives 101