After visiting the Tokyo National Museum, we returned to Ameyoko Arcade on our way back to the Metro. What a difference a few hours made; the sleepy serpentine lanes were now teeming with life and plenty of shoppers. We’ve yet to see things get raucous in Japan, but this is probably the closest we’ll get (other than trying to take the subway during rush hour!). Although we’ve noticed that Japanese vendors, shopkeepers and waitstaff tend toward the verbose (regardless of whether you understand them or not), Ameyoko Arcade takes their normal patter and ratchets it up to 11. Vendors loudly call out to passersby as they attempt to attract individuals into their shops on whom they can flog their wares.

If you’ve decided that Tsukiji Fish Market isn’t your thing, you might try Ameyoko instead. The atmosphere is similar, but you won’t feel at all out of place browsing and taking your time as the sheer volume of merchandise is incredible. Whether you’re looking for shoes, seafood, cosmetics, purses, golf clubs, toys… you name it, and someone in Ameyoko is bound to have it. Legend has it that the “Ame” in Ameyoko refers to America, because after WWII, this is where people would shop to buy black market goods. Today, we’re sure you can still find some contraband goods should you search for them, but as far as we could tell, the market today has a good range of both U.S. and Asian name-brand merchandise (as well as some knockoffs) at really competitive prices. We contented ourselves to simply browsing (except for the sweat rag!), but if we lived in Tokyo, this would definitely be where we shopped!

Check out our video and pictures below to get a taste of Ameyoko Arcade:

Written by: Stephenie Harrison

In another life, I moved from Toronto, Canada to Nashville, TN to pursue my doctoral degree in Psychology. That chapter of my life is now finished, but I did earn the right to demand you call me Dr. Steph (though I respond just as well to plain old Steph). I am an avid reader whose book collection is rivaled only by my many pairs of cute shoes. I also like to knit, hold impromptu karaoke parties, and try new and unusual foods. Generally not all at the same time. I also really love to learn languages, which may explain why I took 3 years of Latin in highschool. I'm turning over a new leaf, so instead of looking forward, I'm going to work on enjoying the present, so the country I'm most looking forward to is whichever one we're in right now!

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