Ueno (上野) is an area where attention grabbing stores like Ameyoko market, Marui, Yakeya, etc. that lets you enjoy shopping at a reasonable price are gathered. Ameyoko which is established after the World WarⅡconsists of shops that sells many types of goods like jeans, sneakers, fish, sweets, etc. practically anything you can imagine. It is a market filled with life and is a very famous market tourist spot.
Shopping in Ueno starts with Ameyoko market
It is a common-people market located in the center of Tokyo. It is a market consisting of small-scale shops that are connected to each other with practically no gaps. The neighbor of a cobbler may be a fishmonger, the suits shop and the sportswear shop being neighbors, an expensive branded shop hiding in the corner of the narrow street, it makes shopping in Ameyoko exciting as if you’re searching for a treasure chest.
The beginning of the postwar black market
The origins of the Ameyoko begins after the defeat in World War Ⅱ. The Japanese gathered around the Ueno area and started selling food like fish, vegetables, and sweets which marks the beginning of the Ameyoko. That’s when energetic sellers begin to appear in Ameyoko market.
The growth of the Ameyoko market
The turning point of the market was the war with Korea is 1950. A dealer who dealt with the US military opened a store in Ameyoko. The items sold were chocolates, cosmetics, writers, leather goods, jeans, etc. that were unusual in Japan at that time. The style of selling everything spread out, creating the current mixed and mashed atmosphere.
The name Ameyoko originated from the name America Yokocho (contain the meaning of alley). Due to the habit of shortening names in Japan, the sellers in America Yokocho began using the name Ameyoko instead of America Yokocho and hence resulted in the name changing into Ameyoko.
Notable shopping spots in Ueno other than Ameyoko
It is a luxurious department store boasting a history of over 200 years. Events that were held in that department store receives so much attention that even newspapers write about it. Whenever there is a sale where canned food and soup gift sets where broken apart and sold separately at a cheaper price, people including those from Ameyoko market flocks over to get some.
Mastsuzakaya Ueno also do collaboration events with the nearby Ueno zoo. The latest one is an exhibition of miscellaneous goods named “Giant Panda”.
- Spot name: Matsuzakaya Ueno (松坂屋上野店)
- Address: 3-29-5 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Access: Directly connected to Tokyo Metro Ueno Hirokoji Station
Marui department store Ueno
Marui is a department store that consists of many branded fashion shops that caters to young people. At the Ueno’s branch, there are fast fashion and interior goods shops as well, so it will be enjoyable for those with families too.
The restaurant on the top floor has a view of the town and the Ueno Park, so you can enjoy the view while having your meal.
- Spot name: Ueno Marui (上野マルイ)
- Address: 6-15-1 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Access: 2-minute walk from the JR line’s Ueno station
It is a famous big discount department store that is purple in color. The first floor of the building is filled with sweets and snack shops, and because the goods are cheap, it’s always filled with customers. There are many imported goods as well, that’s why you can often see foreigners who live in Japan in those stores.
The upper floors consist of shops that sells clothes, shoes, electrical appliances, and wrist watches. It is also possible to get them gift wrapped if you want to purchase them as souvenirs. Additionally, there are some experts that will help you on the tax exemption procedures if you need help.
- Spot Information: Takeya (多慶屋)
- Address: 4-33-2 Taito, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Access: 3-minute walk away from JR line’s Okachimachi Station
How to I get to the Ueno’s shopping spot?
Ameyoko is in between the Yamanote line’s Ueno station and the Okachimachi station. If you are mainly looking for clothes, you should try looking at shops near the railway underpass.
The fastest way to get to Matsuzakaya Ueno and Takeya is through the Okachimachi station. The Ueno Marui is right in front of you after exiting the Ueno Station.
The Ueno station is the 4th stop from Tokyo station if you take the JR line. Okachimachi station is 3rd stop from Tokyo if you take the JR line. If you are leaving from Ginza, you will reach Ueno in 11 minutes if you take the Ginza line.