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Tokyo

Ameyoko

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During the war Ameyoko was the place to get black market American goods such as liquor, chocolate, tobacco. Today it is no longer a black market but Tokyo’s largest open-air bazarr. Wth more than 500 stores selling everything from bargain foreign brand name clothes to sporting and electrical goods to fruits and vegetables and almost always at a discounted price, Ameyoko buzzes with a distinctly Asian market vibe and is a nice counter-point to the clean modern parts of the city.

  • Location: Ameyoko lines the street running between JR Ueno and Ueno-Okachimachi Station
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Inaricho District

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This is the Tokyo headquarters for wholesale religious goods; Shinto household shrines, Buddha images, paper lanterns, every sacred item required for home-worhsip is available here in a range of models. Located south-west of Ueno station.

  • Subway: Inaricho Station, Ginza Line
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Kappabashi-dori

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This area is known mainly for producing the miniature foods that are present outside most Japanese restaurants to tempt potential diners. These miniatures can be quite exquisite and are in general much more pricey than the real foods. The street also contains shops selling all kinds of kitchen appliances and utensils. A map can be found at the Asakusa tourist information centre.

  • Subway: Asakusa Station, Ginza Line - TOEI Asakusa Line: Asakusa Station
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Marui Department Store

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Marui is a department store specializing in fashion and accessories for mature men and women.

  • Subway: Ueno Station, Ginza and Hibiya lines - JR Yamanote Line: Ueno Station

Atré

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This modern shopping presents a good range of boutiques and retail chains appealing to a younger female set. Very busy on weekends with hoards of Japanese teenagers, it may be best to visit during the week.

  • Subway: Ueno Station, Ginza and Hibiya lines - JR Yamanote Line: Ueno Station
  • Address: 7-1-1 Ueno, Taito-ku
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Yamashiroya

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This is an enormous seven-storey toy shop specializing in everything anime, manga or Disney. Manga ‘comic pictures’ are hugely popular in Japan, originating shortly after the war, the content is diverse from politics to baseball, martial arts to romance and people of all ages enjoy this entertainment medium. Searching for a vintage comic? Or some Mickey Mouse plush toys? This toy mecca is worth a visit just for the sheer scope of it.

  • Subway: Ueno Station, Ginza and Hibiya Lines - JR Yamanote Line: Ueno Station
  • Address: 6-14-6, Taito-ku
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Kurodaya

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Located at the Senso-ji Temple, Kurodaya is a 140-year old craft store. Beautiful Japanese washi, delicate hand-made paper sheets is this shop’s specialty. Chiyogami, or traditional wrapping paper is also an area of expertise. Traditional woodblock prints onto paper is one of Japan’s most admired forms of artistry. Traditionally themes included beautiful women, kabuki actors, landscapes and the supernatural but nowadays more modern imagery is creating using the ancient methods. Kurodaya also stocks a wide range of traditional masks, clay figurines, kites and calligraphy equipment.

  • Subway: Asakusa Station, Ginza Line - TOEI Asakusa Line: Asakusa Station
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