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Ameya-yokocho Market

Tokyo

Shopping street attracting shoppers with mismatches-availability of everything from marine products to jewels

(C) Yasufumi Nishi and (C) JNTODaily lives of people in any country can be seen in downtown markets. The Ameya Yokocho market street in Ueno, Tokyo, is the place to feel the lives of Japanese commoners. It is a busy, narrow street of around 500 meters along the elevated train tracts between Ueno and Okachimachi stations of East Japan Railway Co. with as many as 500 shops standing side by side.

The shopping street was spontaneously created after a black market in the years following the end of World War II. There are many opinions about how the street got its name, such as the presence of many shops selling candies or "Ame" regarded as valuable at that time or those handling articles disposed of by the American military forces. Japanese people usually call the street "Ameyoko."

Shops on the street sell a wide variety of items ranging from foodstuffs, such as marine products, snacks and dry foods, to clothing, miscellaneous goods, cosmetics and jewels. Stores handling similar products form blocs. As a typical scenery of Ameyoko, vendors show off marine products, such as salmon and crab, shouting thickly, "This is inexpensive. I'm coming down more on prices." They readily accept calls for price cuts, increasing the enjoyment of shopping there.

Recently, Ameyoko is attracting young people as an increase in jeans shops has made the street into an area to buy American casual wear.

Information

Address: 4 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo
Directions: Right near Ueno and Okachimachi stations of East Japan Railway Co. and Ueno Station of Keisei Electric Railway Co.

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