Ameya Yokocho (AMEYOKO), Tokyo
Ameyoko is assumed by many to have gotten its name from combining the "Ame" in America with the "yoko" from "yokocho" however, the Ame is actually from Ameya (candy shop). Originally this street was a place to buy sweets. Over the years it has changed, and there was a period after WWII when this was actually used as a place to buy blackmarket American goods, so there is an America connection.
Ameyoko has a lot of different types of goods such as supermarkets, fresh foodstalls, clothing, souvenirs, and other knickknack shops. There are also restaurants. For the most part it's just a place for browsing and not a place that I would recommend spending a lot of time. Probably a lot of people visit just to say they went!
The Ameyokocho market in Ueno is well worth a wander. The narrow street is tucked between buildings and the JR line running south-north from Ueno Station. The market sells food, fish, vegetables, clothes, and other things beside. It is a great place to people watch and soak in a feeling that you may not find easily elsewhere in Tokyo. The backstreets of this area are also worth a look around. To the west, the area distinctly feels more like a provinicial Japanese city than the buzzing capital. You can buy food to make up a picnic lunch in the market and then take it over the road to Ueno park and sit under the trees!
Located in Ueno near Ueno Park is Ameyoko flea market. This flea market sells traditional Japanese souvenirs, tidbits, clothes and leather goods. There is a Japanese supermarket frequented by the locals and the prices there are reasonable. If you want to buy sake or any other traditional Japanese tidbits, I would recommend Ameyoko flea market instead of the departmental stores.
Ueno Park is a very unique place for local and foreigners. A lot of Asian coming here to buy Asian goods imported from Asia, A large group of Iranian are here to sell international telephone cards to these Asian, Japanese come here for the cheap seafood and the European are here to see everybody running their dairy activities here. So the life chain is linked and you will be the one of them, come and explore it.
This is a shopping zone for cheap souvenirs to bring back home. Lots of clothes and snacks jumbled into two parallel streets that lie underneath the JR East railway lines. There's also an open air market selling fresh fish and veggies too!
Shopping in Tokyo is expensive at touristy places, so why don't you shop where the locals shop?
Check out this cool shopping district in Ueno that's conveniently situated along the JR tracks between Ueno Sta. and Okachimachi Sta. You'll find about 500 shops selling things at a discount.
It used to be the place to fid black market goods like liquor, chocolate, cigarettes, etc, nowadays, the place is packed with stalls, bargain stores and...Pachinko's. Definitely worth the visit after a nice walk through Ueno park.
The Ameyoko Shopping Street is south of Ueno Stn, running beside and beneath the railway tracks close to Okachimachi Stn. Here you can purchase anything from fish to jewelry in an atmosphere reminiscent of street markets throughout Asia.
This area used to be a thriving flea market immediately after the end of the WWII. There are over 500 shops that sell everything from basic foods to high-class imported goods at reasonable prices, and thus it is always crowded with shoppers. The year-end special bargain sales, in particular, have become one of the scenes that add poetic charm to the season that reflect the lives of the common people of Tokyo.
For years, JR Ueno Stn was where people from the north arrived in Tokyo to start a new life. Although the Tohoku and Shinkansen lines have been extended to Tokyo Stn, for many Japanese Ueno still evokes memories of bygone days. West of the station is Ueno Park, a major cherry-blossom viewing location as well as the attractive setting for several important museums and a major zoo. The locations of historical interest in the park include Toshogu Shrine and a five-story pagoda. The Ameyoko Shopping Street is south of Ueno Stn. Here you can purchase anything from fish to jewelry in an atmosphere reminiscent of street markets throughout Asia.