3 selections of B-class gourmet food, souvenirs, and art in Ameyoko that foreigners visiting Japan can definitely enjoy

Some of you may be wondering, “What kind of place is Ameyoko? What’s so fun about it?” Ameyoko is full of historic markets and colorful food stalls, where you can eat everything from delicious Japanese food to flavors from around the world, and enjoy souvenir shops and art.

This article has condensed information on how to enjoy Ameyoko for the first time, from delicious shops and souvenir shops to art. Please read it.

■The secret behind the charm of Ameyoko shopping street

Ameyoko is about 400 shops lined up along the railroad tracks between JR Ueno Station and JR Okachimachi Station, about 500 meters away.

Ameyoko is not only home to a wide variety of shops selling food, clothing, medicine, and miscellaneous goods, but it is also a city that continues to evolve to meet the needs of foreign visitors to Japan. To help you enjoy Ameyoko even more, we will explain the origin and history of Ameyoko’s name.

A city that appeals to desired needs

Taito Ward, where Ameyoko is located, had 470,000 foreign visitors to Japan in 2020, about 67 times the number last year.

Reference: 2022 Taito Ward Tourism Statistics Analysis

Due to the entry restrictions in place until 2021 due to the coronavirus, the number of tourists visiting Japan has drastically decreased. However, since 2022, the border measures have been abolished, and the number has steadily increased to meet the needs of cashless stores and multinational restaurants.

What is the history and culture of Ameyoko?

After the Pacific War, a black market was born in Ueno due to a lack of employment due to the worsening social situation. There were hundreds of vendors selling hard candies, which were in high demand, and the area became prosperous and was called Ameya Yokocho or Ameya Dori.

Later, with the outbreak of the Korean War, demand for U.S. military products increased, and the number of stores selling military-released items increased, known as America Yokocho. Ameya Yokocho (ameya street) and America Yokocho merged to create Ameyoko. Ameyoko continues to meet the needs of customers while retaining its black market atmosphere, and has captured the hearts of many people.

■B-class gourmet food that captures the stomachs of tourists visiting Japan

The best part of Ameyoko is being able to enjoy gourmet food from all over the world with a drink in hand. We will introduce three popular restaurants where you can enjoy exquisite gourmet food.

・Large mountain of meat
・Arirang hot dog
・Oscar kebab

They often sell out, so try to get there early.

“Large mountain of meat” offers crispy and juicy croquettes and minced meat cutlets at an affordable price.

The three signature menu items are Takumi Wagyu minced meat, special minced meat, and addictive minced meat, and the freshly fried, crispy, juicy meat and ingredients are irresistible. You can eat while drinking alcohol at the counter in front of the store, so it will be a blissful moment.

“Arirang Hot Dog” with its addictive trolley and spreading cheese

Korean-style hot dogs with stretchy cheese are a popular food in Japan. The most popular item is the “Potato Lera”, which you can choose from your favorite powder such as soybean flour or coconut, and several sauces such as cheddar cheese or hot chili. Look for combinations that go well together.

There are chairs next to the shop, and if there are seats available, you can take a break and eat slowly.

“Oscar Kebab” with a unique oriental scent

A hearty Turkish gourmet dish made by carving out large chunks of meat with a knife and sandwiching vegetables and sauce between saltillas.

There are also sauces such as spicy and yogurt garlic, and the unique taste makes them perfect as snacks. There are chairs next to the shop, and if there are seats available, you can take a break and eat slowly.

There are 15 seats (5 benches). Please enjoy while drinking alcohol.

■3 interesting souvenir shops

Ameyoko has a wide variety of souvenirs, including sweets, yukata, and miscellaneous goods. Here we will introduce three recommended stores where you can definitely buy at Ameyoko.

・Shimura store
・Niki sweets
・Japanese miscellaneous goods store Sakura Komachi

Just going to any store can be fun, and you might end up buying too much.

“Shimura Shoten” where you can experience selling high-quality chocolate

This shop is famous for selling the original Ameyoko specialty chocolate. You can get high-quality chocolate at a bargain price with a quality and quantity that is impossible to find at a price of 1,000 yen.

Even if you don’t understand the language, this is a restaurant that is sure to make you have fun memories.

“Niki sweets” where you can get traditional Japanese sweets

With an overwhelming selection of products and no bargain prices, this is a very popular store with 90% of repeat customers. It’s a fun space where you’ll never get tired of spending hours with traditional Japanese sweets and rare foreign sweets.

It is also attractive that you can encounter sweets made with Hori Dashi.

“Sakura Komachi” where you can get Japanese souvenirs at low prices

There are many souvenirs unique to Japan, such as folding fans, furoshiki, yukata, hair accessories and earrings made from washi paper, and folk crafts, which are popular among tourists visiting Japan. The prices are low, and you are sure to get a catchy souvenir that will please you.

■Enjoy art after filling your stomach and shopping

Ameyoko is also famous as an art town, and there are many art galleries and museums within Ueno Park. The art in Ueno Park is also attractive, and just walking around it fills your heart.

Here we will introduce three popular art museums located in Ueno Park.
・National Museum of Western Art
・Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
・Ueno Royal Museum

Each location has its own special features, so please compare them as each location has its own unique characteristics.

The National Museum of Western Art is home to many famous Western painters

There is a wealth of works by famous painters from the Renaissance to Impressionism, such as Michelangelo and Monet, who can be found in art textbooks, so you can fully enjoy the charm of art.
The building itself is beautiful and has a sophisticated atmosphere.

Tokyo National Museum is a must-see for Japanese history buffs

From Jomon and Yayoi pottery to works of art such as Haniwa from the Kofun period to armor and swords, it is a treasure trove of Japan’s rich history and art that is irresistible to Japanese history buffs.

This is a space where you can take your time and enjoy the folding screens and sliding door paintings from the Edo period.

A stylish cafe and a relaxing space “Ueno Royal Museum”

The Ueno Royal Museum of Art is known for its harmonious combination of contemporary art and nature, where you can enjoy unique and innovative exhibits in a location surrounded by beautiful nature.

Another feature of the museum is that it has many prints depicting Ueno.

■Enjoy a multinational and condensed city

Ameyoko has a wide variety of products such as souvenirs, retro toys, gourmet food from around the world, yukatas, folding fans, and Japanese sweets. You’ll also find bargains that are only available at Ameyoko. Please enjoy sightseeing in Ameyoko, which has a historical atmosphere and a wide variety of products.


Q.What is the origin of the name Ameyoko?
A.Ameya Yokocho (Ameya Dori), which is lined with candy stores, and America Yokocho, where U.S. military products are sold, were combined to form “Ameyoko”.

Q . What kind of shops are there in Ameyoko?
A. There are over 400 colorful and diverse shops such as restaurants, clothing stores, sweets shops, and miscellaneous goods stores lined up within a distance of about 500 meters, and you can find everything if you go to Ameyoko.