Tokyo's downtown areas are where there are shops that offer unusual and unique products that are different from what you might find at department stores and mass retailers. Take a short trip in search of such items that you cannot find anywhere else!
Tokyo -- [Meiji-jingu Shrine] -- Harajuku -- <JR Keihintouhoku Line10 mins.> -- Ueno – [Ameya-yokocho Market Street] – Ueno -- <10 mins. by walk> -- [Kappabashi Dougu (Tool) Street] – Tawaramachi -- <Tokyo Metro Ginza Line 2min.> -- Asakusa –- [Nakamise]
*The times required with public transportation are approximate.
Ameya-yokocho Market Street
A market street that offers food, clothes, cosmetics, etc. at low prices, widely-known as “Ameyoko”. There are also many shops that sell fresh fish, and at the end of the year, they are particularly crowded with customers who come to buy them for New Year’s. Some of the interesting shops also include those that fill your shopping bag with chocolates and candies while shouting “Throw some in! Throw some in!” if you pay a thousand yen – giving you a look at the traditional Japanese sales practice of “Tatakiuri”.
Furthermore, there are shops that offer food products from all over the world such as spices from India and medicinal foods from China. The abundance of other establishments includes shops specializing in cosmetics, bags, clothes, and so on.
Kappabashi Dougu (Tool) Street
A shopping street with shops that offer goods related to food such as eating utensils, cookware, packages, and food samples. The customers range from housewives to first-rate cooks as there are many staff members who are well-acquainted with the products. Statues of Kappa, which are water imps in Japanese folklore with beaks for mouths, can be found throughout the area.
Elaborately made food replicas are some of the famous items of Kappabashi. These unique products include magnets shaped like sushi and yakitori, and bookmarks that look like bacon. They make the perfect gift if you are looking for something unusual.
One of the oldest shopping streets in Japan, connecting the famous Asakusa sightseeing spots of Kaminarimon Gate and Senso-ji Temple. The vermillion-lacquered structures lined along the stone-paved road are very Japanese and make nice spots for taking photos.
There are many shops here that offer products that can only be found in Japan such as traditional Japanese craft products and Japanese sweets.
Wooden “Kokeshi” dolls, which are shaped and painted into girls in kimonos, are traditional folk crafts. The “Maneki Neko (beckoning cat)” dolls are said to be beckoning good luck with their front paws.
There are also many clothing items such as T-shirts with Kanji characters and Ukiyo-e woodblock paintings printed on them, as well as Karate uniforms. Among the most popular items are kimono-type bathrobes. They are washable because they are made of nylon. But most of all, they can be worn easily without any help.
There are also shops that sell imitation samurai swords. They are elaborately made and are quite impressive. Many of them are replicas of swords that actual famous samurais used. There are also imitations of ninja weapons such as throwing stars and knives.