All in one market for all your tourist shopping needs08 November, 2010 by Chad
Ameyoko market, located across from Ueno Station in Tokyo is a must visit location for those traveling to the city. The busy market contains a number of parallel streets, such as the adjacent Uechun where you can find rows upon rows of shops selling cheap clothing, shoes, souvenirs, necessities and lots of food.
Visiting Ameyoko Market
Ameyoko market is located just across the street from another popular popular site, Ueno Park, so there’s no reason to pass up a visit. You can get there by alighting the Tokyo Metro Ueno Station or JR East’s Ueno and Okachimachi Stations.
The main road here looks like any other district in Tokyo, monochromatic buildings brandishing colorful signs. Walk behind these buildings and you’ll be greeted by the bustling streets of Ameyoko.
At Ameyoko Market
It is commonly mistaken, that the name Ameyoko was conned from the many shops selling stuff from “Ame-rica”. But Ameyoko is actualy short for Ameya Yokocho which means “Candy Store Alley”, as a candy shop used to stand at point where all of Ameyoko’s roads meet. Today, Ameyoko is more like the tourist’s personification of what an Asian market ought to be.
It will be immediately apparent to those traveling to Ameyoko that most of the shops here sell one of two things, food or shoes. Clothing stores come at 3rd place, but is not nearly rampart as the eateries and shoe shops here. Restaurants span across most of the first street, while 1 in ever 2 shops in the inner lanes sell shoes.
The first row of Ameyoko is a market in the literal sense. Fresh groceries can be purchased here, often in bulk. Unless you’re staying around in Japan for a while, groceries probably won’t be your thing. You’ll have a hard time deciding from the many restaurants here.
Immediately on the other side, you’ll be able to find all manner of souvenirs, from unusual snacks to interesting trinkets. Every shop has attendants touting their wares.
A tip, don’t be afraid to bargain for more favorable prices. Haggling is expected for such a tourist attraction. Shop wisely and you’ll walk away with great discounts.
To gauge the amount of competition among shoe boutiques here, know that are 4 ABC Marts (a shoe retail chain) in Ameyoko alone. There are another 2 ABC Marts located across the main street for a total of 6 of the same shoe shop. ABC Mart, as well as the other retail chains like Daiwa and Marufuku carry a large range of shoes. Sneakers, boots, flats and pumps, you can it all. There are also lots of discount and specialty chains like Yamaotoko Foot Gear and Mita Sneakers too.
In addition to original creations, many of these shoe shops carry shop (and thus Japan) exclusive designs for popular brands like Nike, Converse and Timberland. What’s more, like all manner of fashion in Japan, new designs change each season so you’ll have a hard time finding anyone sporting the same pieces back home. You can also grab some bargains whenever a new season approaches.
Special thanks to Gabriel Kang for providing the photos for this post. Click here for more travel experiences at Ameyoko market.Planning your holiday? We recommend visiting Agoda for a full list of hotels with early bird specials.