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Visit to Osaka

Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:08 pm

Hi out there

Next time this week I'll be in Osaka for a 4D/3N trip. I live in Korea and can get a cheap return, just around $200 US, so it's just for a visit and bit of fun. I'm wondering if anyone has any knife-related thoughts or recommendations?

First, I've been to Kyoto next door recently and gone to the obvious - the Aritsugu shop, which was pretty slick, and a couple others - but I didn't see anything in Osaka or Sakai. This time I just hope to visit a few shops, makers, etc, and see what I can see and actually hold things in hand (which we can never do trawling websites) and, if possible, ask questions. Who knows, could buy something too? .... (Though they always want cash only in Japan, which for me is in short supply.)

Maybe someone has been there? There are loads of addresses of makers/shops/showrooms available (http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/showt ... p/0/all/1/) And, speaking a bit of Japanese and being a former boy scout, I shouldn't have too many problems getting around Sakai (between the airport and Osaka, actually).

Just wondering if any one has any tips or could suggest any must sees? Sadly, not all of us have the connections and importance of this man: meeting-with-konosuke-t481.html

Thanks
Kev

Re: Visit to Osaka

Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:53 pm

... oh well.

I'm guessing not to many get a chance to visit, so no replies here. Thanks anyway.

Re: Visit to Osaka

Sun Jun 24, 2012 10:03 pm

Kev,

Everybody's just a little jealous : )

It's Prolly just a slow news day in forum land. Here in NJ we had a nice day after a week of 99 degree heat and a day or two of heavy rain.

Everybody loves stories, when you get back tell yours.

Keith

Re: Visit to Osaka

Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:38 pm

Jealous!? Hehe...

I used to live in Tokyo and work as a teacher long ago. No interest in knives at the time, though was always cooking and eating. Anyway, that was pre-2000 and, while Japan remains an expensive country, it isn't really compared to 10 or 20 years ago when it gained that reputation. 0% inflation often - or even deflation - and having done a return trip there 1.5 months ago I see prices are really the same as before. Relatively a lot cheaper to other countries compared to the past!

If you visited from the US, flights would cost you I guess, but you could manage economically otherwise.

I don't know if I'll come up with any stories this short trip. But my experience in Tokyo in April/May wasn't as exciting as you might hope. I visited as many shops as I could find, including in Kappabashi ('world's largest kitchenware market') and the 3 or 4 at Tsukiji Market (definitely the world's largest seafood market) - anywhere I'd find I could go, having trawled the internet. (My wife tolerated tagging along. Won't this time though.)

Shops there tend sell their own house brands: Masamoto, Kiya, Arutsugu, Tsubaya, Kikuichi, etc, not always names you'd be familiar with through CKTG. In some cases knives might originate from the same workshops/craftsmen/producers as those sold on CKTG, though, but then just have a diffent name attached. They don't offer the selection you can find on the internet nor the familar names, and the prices aren't really that different (though no shipping if you ever have to pay that). You can save, however, on accessories, and on this trip I'm hoping to get a deal on a natural stone if I can.

The knife quality seems just fine but the kind of knowledge you might get analysing what's for sale on CKTG might not always help you make sense of what the shops sell. You are confronted with dozens of knives, no labels, and lots of Chinese characters. Of course with sales staff you have the language barrier too, and they're more used to tourist-foreigners than those who ask, '... but what kind of carbon steel is it exactly?'

However, as said before, it's still great to be there and hold and handle the equipment, as opposed to looking at pictures of it on the net. And you can also poke around where food is prepared and see what they're doing. Yes, they do use all those knives!

Kev
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