Ameyoko-loco: What to See, Eat, and Buy at One of Tokyo's Most Populous Markets
1. Military Surplus Shop
One of Ameyoko's most popular shops is Nakata Shoten, the place to go to for air force jackets, cargo pants, backpacks, military issue boots, canteens, and practically everything and anything related to the military (think badges, camouflage print, leather, and ammo). Nakata Shoten offers real and replica items from the US, Japan, Germany, France, China and Russia and supplies the uniforms, gear, and accessories needed to shoot World War II movies. Stop by to browse their extensive collection or to purchase something durable for yourself.
Address: 6-4-10 Ueno, Taito-ku
Telephone: (03)3831 5154
Official Website: www.nakatashoten.com
2. Underground Asian Market
By underground, I mean that you literally have to go to basement or B1 level to access this market. But at the same time, I wonder how many of these goods have actually passed through stringent Japanese health and safety inspection. This is the place to get your supply of spices, seasonings, and condiments unique to Chinese, Korean and Southeast Asian cuisine. Here you will find unusual fresh and dried fruits (i.e. durian, plantain bananas, papaya, fresh jackfruit), exotic food (i.e. the infamous
Address: 4-7-8 Ueno, Taito-ku
Closed on the 3rd Wednesday of the month
Official Website: http://www.ameyoko-center-bldg.com/
3. Wholesale and Retail Candy and Snacks
If you are looking for what the this shopping area is named after -- namely candy -- there are two noteworthy shops to look for. The first is Yoshiya, a shop boasting of 1,000 imported confections, specialty chocolates, jams, tea and food items at any one time. Prices are reasonable due to direct importation. Worth the trip just to see the variety of novelty sweets available such as these Katzenzungen ("cat's tongue" made of German milk chocolate) and Tabasco spicy dark chocolate. Yoshiya has been in business for over 60 years now.
If however you are looking for bulk Japanese candies, sweets, chocolates and snacks to bring home as souvenirs, the best place to go to is Niki no Kashi, which boasts of more than 5,000 items on sale. Their retail prices are already cheap but you can get even greater discounts by buying the specified minimum quantities. This is where you can find those only in Japan KitKat flavors and limited edition seasonal flavors of well-known Japanese snack brands. This shop has two whole floors crammed full of nibbles. Stop by and be overwhelmed with the choices.
Address: 6-4-12 Ueno, Taito-ku
Niki no Kashi
Address: 4-1-8 Ueno, Taito-ku
Open everyday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
4. Street Food
Address: 4-9-13 Ueno, Taito-ku
Official website: http://www.kiminoen.jp/index.html
Access: Ameyokocho runs along the train tracks of the JR Lines from Ueno to Okachimachi Stations. There are many entry points, but most people start from Ueno Station, Ueno-Okachimachi Station, or Ueno-Hirokoji Station. Most stories typically open at around 10:00 in the morning and close at 8:00 in the evening. Several stores close on select Wednesdays.
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