Friday, August 31, 2012

Will Miss #483 - Ameyokocho

One of the oldest shopping streets or shotengai in Tokyo is located in Ueno. It is called either "Ameyoko" or "Ameyokocho" and has one of the most unique atmospheres of any shopping area in the city. There are a fair number of discount shops, a famous one at which a man stands outside and throws candy into a bag and tells you a discount price for the entire lot. There are also sellers who have laid out enormous displays of neatly arranged bags of Japanese food staples, sweets, snacks, and spices that I have to imagine take a very long time to set up each morning. The biggest reason to go there isn't to save money, but rather to soak up the slightly rundown and seedy yet utterly non-threatening feel of the area. 

This particular shopping area has a special feel which is very much "Japan" to me, and I will miss it.