Tokyo is quite an expensive city to live in, compare to other neighboring Asian capital or even compare it to the West. No wonder why most of its local and foreign residents plus the occasional tourists are looking for places to shop where the purchasing power of 1,000 Yen is better than your nearby supermarket.
Welcome to Ameyoko! Located along the tracks of two JR Stations – Okachimachi and Ueno, a busy street market where the sound of the passing Yamanote Line train is completely dissolved by the shouting of the vendor offering you 5 packs of sweets for 1,000 Yen only.
The offered goods on this market ranges from dried fish to fresh seafood, shoes, clothes, jewelries, toiletries, perfumes, bags, fruits, variety of nuts, key chains and things that are cute enough for a souvenir. Ameyoko is a combination of your typical dry and wet market without any separation-well, let me put it this way, you can see a fish stall beside a shoe shop. If I’m in any Southeast Asian cities, I would suspect that the Nike shoes or the North Face windbreaker sold here are fake but being on the actual Chinatown in Japan where there is no imitation goods being sold, I would trust that these are the real deal.
Even if you are not in the purchasing mood, you can still enjoy Ameyoko by feasting on street foods (who doesn’t love street food?). Try just walking from one end to another, I’m pretty sure that you will not resist the temptation of a gyoza and green tea tapioca or divulge into 100 Yen per slice of pineapple and watermelon. Oh well, I had a minor bloating after stuffing myself with every food that I can see. I guess to much pearl milk tea.
To say that my family has a sweet tooth is such an understatement. Buying chocolates at Duty free is not enough, so I need to buy in “bulk” (believe me). Good that there is Ameyoko, where they seem to have enough stocks of Meiji and Lotte brand chocolates for omiyage back home.