Ameyoko can be translated as “candy store alley,” but you’ll find much more than candy at this business hub these days. This is the place to go for fresh and dried seafood as well as clothes, accessories, and cosmetics. One of Tokyo’s most popular and vibrant shopping streets, Ameyoko is also great for bargain hunting.
Ameyoko Shopping Street is known for its cheap prices and wide variety of goods. As its name suggests, it was once full of candy shops, but after WWII, vendors started offering black-market goods from America. Nowadays it’s more of a general shopping area and a place to find fresh or ready-to-eat seafood snacks. The vendors here are lively and vocal, and Ameyoko can be a fun place to shops for souvenirs as well as a meal.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The market is partly covered, making it a convenient place to shop in any weather.
- This is one of the few places in Tokyo where it’s acceptable to bargain. Keep it polite and friendly.
- There are limited places to sit down and eat, so it’s best to choose a snack that can be eaten while standing.
- Ameyoko is near the Ueno area, which is full of galleries and museums and also boasts a large park.
How to Get There
Ameyoko Shopping Street is located between Ueno and Okachimachi Stations on the JR Yamanote and Keihin-Tohoku lines. It’s a short walk from both. Ueno is a large station with many exits; take the Central exit for the quickest access.
When to Get There
Opening hours vary shops to shop, but you will find most open between 10am and 8pm. Some shops are closed on Wednesdays, and the area gets very crowded on weekends. Locals like to shop here before New Years to buy traditional foods for the holiday, and it can get uncomfortably crowded at that time of year. Fruit sold by the various vendors is often discounted towards the end of the day.
Shop at Kappabashi
For another quirky shopping experience, head to Kappabashi Street, near Asakusa. This is the place to go for kitchen utensils, chef’s clothing, everything needed to kit out a restaurant, including the plastic food displays that you see in many Japanese restaurant windows. It’s a fun place to window shop or pick up some local cookware.