Friday, April 8, 2016

A Visit to TYA Kitchen in Tokyo!!

I was able to stay for Saturday during a work trip to Japan and visit TYA Kitchen in Tokyo!  (Thank you to my husband and kids for understanding!)

Here is their website: or TYA Kitchen.

Getting There

I got up early Saturday (so excited!) and took the subway and then the tram - that part was fairly straightforward. Then when I got out of the tram, I went to the police station as directed and the policeman showed me the way on the map, but I think he was not holding the map in alignment with the right direction.  From what he showed me, I thought I should leave the police station and continue walking straight.  And so I did walking along this nice path with the cherry blossoms and paper lanterns.

Eventually I asked a family if this was the right way, and they said I was to go in the other direction.

 So I went back to the police station, and the policeman then escorted me, although I think he got lost as well.  But eventually he found it.  So happy!  And such an amazing country where a policeman will escort you to a miniatures shop - I found that many people were very gracious about escorting you to the right place or at least getting you to a spot where they could then point you to the right place.

There was an Asako local news TV station interviewing Yukio Kawai and they asked to interview me as well (I think their question was: what is this American doing here?!)  So we said that we had met at the Chicago International fair, and I said that miniaturists just loved his work.  And I think that he is the only person doing this type of miniature work in stainless steel.   I said he was quite famous in the modern miniature world.

And I showed them this post from another blog:  The Best Miniature Shop in the World (which I also recommend looking at for additional pictures of his work).

His daughter, Asami Kawai, makes amazing miniature food, and their shop sells kits and other supplies for making food.

The Miniature Art!

Here are some ranges he is preparing for Chicago (you can also see them in a line on the floor in the bottom of the photo):

I love this range.  I love the colors.  I am very tempted by it.   But I think it might be too big for my Dutch Canal House hotel kitchen (which is still being planned in my head - so there may be enough room).  I am sure he will sell out in Chicago. 

Yukio-san showed me how he stamps out the handles - those little cutouts in the metal below are the remains from the stamped-out handles:

And he let me take pictures of his kitchens - how amazing are these!  I am so glad I have the pictures so I can really take in all the details.

I told him I loved the dishes in the sink and I asked him if he used to work in a kitchen.  He said yes and gestured towards the dishes in the sink, so I think he did dish washing at that time.

Kitchens by Yukio Kawai:

I love the food frying and food preparation details.  And there are even paper orders up on the refrigerator.

This is the last view of this restaurant kitchen, and then you can see the restaurant interior through the archway, but I didn't take a picture of that section.

Here is another kitchen by Yukio-san:

Here is a view of the shop - all those room boxes have fabulous little miniature scenes in them! (I think some are by different artists though).  And there are some more ranges lined up for Chicago.

And here is one last unbelievably amazing kitchen by Kawai Yukio-san!

The whole family was so kind (his wife was also there working in the shop), and I sincerely hope I wasn't interrupting their TV show filming.   And his daughter Asami  (who makes amazing miniature food - those are some of her tools above) walked me back to the station, and it was much quicker and easier than my trip there!

Here is a picture of my purchases -  I love this refrigerator with the glass doors and mirrored back, but I need to take a better photograph.  And of course, I love the pots and bowls and the bread.  I also love the new colorful spatulas - I wanted those as soon as I saw them on the shop website:

And if you plan to go to Tokyo, definitely plan a visit!  

Ask for a map from your hotel or ask the policeman for an escort.  (Maybe ask your hotel to mark the police station hut on the map.) If you have the map, this will help start you off:  I took the KEIHIN - TOHOKU line.
and got off at OUJI station 王子駅.  Then take the street car - you can see it from the subway platform, so it is very easy to find.  
When you get off the Toei Streetcar (Toden) Arakawa Line 
at Arakawa Yuenchimae, cross over to the other side (opposite from the police hut) and then  follow your map.    

Have a great weekend!


  1. Ahhhhhhhh....that looks like heaven. I might have had to take a second mortgage if I was there. So amazing

  2. I am so pleased you got to visit TYA Kitchen but not at all pleased that I wasn't with you =0P It must have been fabulous walking around the workshop, seeing all of those fantastic minis in one place. Thank you for the pictures and the directions. One day, I may get on a plane... =0)

    1. That would have been so much fun! And I think that the TV crew would have been even happier - to interview both someone from the UK and the US who came all the way to Tokyo to see the TYA Kitchen Shop! But I am still hopeful that one day I will get to meet you in person at the Kensington or another UK dolls house fair!

    2. If you ever visit a fair in the UK, let me know and I'll be there =0)

  3. These tiny accessories and stuffs look really amazing. :-)

    1. Yes, I should add another picture showing the detail on even the pots. It is amazing!

  4. What an awesome trip to see the shop in person and to see how he does some of these things. I may break down and spend the money at the Chicago show.

    1. I wish I were going to Chicago again! Although not going is much safer for my wallet. I look forward to seeing your post on your purchases!

  5. Wow!! How amazing. How lucky you are to have seen it!!!

    1. I know! And they are so nice too! The work is just amazing!