Shotengai generally refers to shopping streets full of small stalls and local venders. It can be easily found everywhere around Japan, and plays an essential role to provide daily necessities for locals. It also attracts a number of tourists as an exciting spot which allows them to try local specialties or get memorable gifts to bring back to their country. Tokyo boasts countless numbers of Shotengai, and each of them offers enjoyable shopping experiences with a range of shops dealing with unique products. Here is a list of 10+ interesting Shotengai in Tokyo!
1. Ueno Ameyoko
Ameya Yokocho also known as Ameyoko is one of the most famous Shotengai in Tokyo. It is located on a narrow street stretching about 500 meters between JR Ueno and Okachimachi Station. Some 400 small shops are lining the vibrant street and sell a variety of products for an affordable price. The shotengai is visited by a number of people both around Japan and overseas looking for an exciting shopping experience in Tokyo. Its history dates back soon after WWⅡ, when it started as a black market mainly dealing with international products. Today, you can find fresh seafood, prepared food, cosmetics, clothing, shoes, accessories, and much more! There is always something for everyone, and the welcoming atmosphere of the street makes it a comfortable shopping spot even for people visiting there for the first time!
When you take the train to Okachimachi Station and continue north, you will pass the various shops lining the shotengai. The street end the south entrance of one of Tokyo’s Largest Parks: Ueno Park. Combining a visit to Ameyoko and Ueno is a fun half day activity, experiencing some of Tokyo’s diversity.
Sugamo is a peaceful town located in Toshima ward. It is widely recognized as an old town which is especially popular among elderly people. Sugamo Jizou-dori Shopping Street is a symbolic shopping district which covers 800 meters full of local venders and shops and it’s called grandma and grandpa’s Harajuku. They sell a range of products such as wagashi, traditional Japanese sweets and beautiful craftworks as well. Koganji is an iconic temple situated in the center of the shopping street. Shinshoji is another historic temple which is also loved by locals. It is a perfect spot to enjoy both shopping and historic attractions around!
3. Yanaka Ginza
Yanaka is a peaceful area which is within walking distance from JR Nippori station. It remains the retro atmosphere back in the Showa period with a number of old shops and traditional buildings around. It makes you feel as if you were back in the old days while surrounded by the friendly and welcoming locals. Yanaka Ginza refers to the main shopping street stretching about 170 meters with a range of venders and small shops. Try to find 7 hidden cat statues that are said to bring a fortune while exploring the relaxing street and have some local finger foods. Yanaka Shippoya is a cute donut shop selling handmade donuts in the shape of cat tail. You can also find several historical spots around the area, a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll experiencing the traditional side of Tokyo!
If you would like to explore the area more deeply and learn about the rich history and see the best places; we offer a short tour exploring Yanaka area with local guide. Explore the backstreets and listen to the background stories of this area!
▶Book Yanaka Shitamachi Backstreet Spot Tour
4. Togoshi Ginza
Togoshi Ginza is known as the longest shopping street in Tokyo which is often featured on TV show as an exciting spot to enjoy the variety of tasty foods. The 1.3km street boasts about 400 shops selling great local dishes and unique products. Japanese crispy croquette stuffed with mashed potato, ground beef and vegetable is a must-try. And Japanese favorite sweet, Taiyaki which is a fish-shaped sweet filled with red beans paste is also good! Many products are sold in a small quantity, which makes it convenient to enjoy the handy food while walking around the street. When you get lost or need some help, visit Togoshi Ginza Information Center which offers helpful services and information for international tourists as well!
5. Asakusa Nakamise-dori
Asakusa is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Tokyo full of historical spots. Nakamise-dori is a 250 meters shopping street packed with a number of stalls standing along the main approach to Sensoji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo. It has been developed along with the temple itself over centuries, and attracts a growing number of visitors with a variety of shops. Once you walk through Kaminarimon Gate, the symbolic red gate to Sensoji temple, you are welcomed by the smell of local dishes and colorful gift shops selling traditional small gifts. Try the takeaway street snacks and shop for some traditional souvenirs while making your way to the main temple!
If you want to know more history behind the area and the best things to do and eat, we offer the several walking tours with English speaking guides.
▶Tokyo Food and Drink Tour @Tsukiji and Asakusa
Also, if you like drinking around, we have a bar hopping tour in Asakusa!
▶Asakusa local food bar hopping tour
Kichijoji is home to a number of shopping streets that offers different shopping experiences. Most of them are conveniently located close to JR Kichijoji station, which makes them a perfect shopping district both tourists and locals. Head to Kichijoji Sunroad which is a shopping arcade full of small shops and modern fast-food chains. Kichijoji Nakamichi-dori is another shopping street with a cozy atmosphere created by fashionable boutiques and relaxing cafes. On a rainy day, visit Kichijoji Daiyagai which offers an exciting shopping experience under the safe arcade protecting you from the rain!
If you take the JR Chuo Line from Shinjuku station, it takes only 4 minutes to get to Nakano area. It has developed rapidly over the last few decades with a number of new facilities and local shopping streets around the station. Nakano Sunmall Shopping Street is conveniently accessible from the north exit of Nakano station, which stretches 224 meters with many small shops. Walk through the lively shopping arcade until you reach Nakano Broadway, a large shopping complex including grocery store, residential floors, and food spots. It a popular place for (international) visitors to witness some of the Japanese pop culture with interesting shops selling Anime or Manga-related products.
8. Ultraman Shotengai
Ultraman is a fictional superman character that has been loved by Japanese people over decades. It was created by Tsuburaya Productions, a famous film company that once had its headquarters in Soshigaya area. Ultraman Shotengai refers to three separate shopping streets that were integrated under the new name of Ultraman Shotengai in 2005. They are conveniently located around JR Soshigaya-okura station, and visited by both locals and Ultraman fans enjoying shopping at the local shops selling original products featuring the character. You can easily find Ultraman everywhere: signboards, small flags hanging along the shops, and the iconic big statue standing right in front of the station!
10+ Popular Manga and Anime Locations in Tokyo
Koenji boasts 17 different shopping streets most of which are conveniently located near JR Koenji station. Koenji Junjo Shopping Street is a popular shopping destination located in the north of the station. While there are small shops loved by locals for decades, it also draws younger generations with a number of cozy cafes, Karaoke shops, modern music clubs, and Izakaya bars. Koenji Pal Shopping Street is a shopping arcade which can be found on the south side of the station. It is widely known for a big Awaodori (traditional style of dance in Tokushima prefecture) event that is held every August.
▶To find more things to do near Koenji; Fun Things to Do along Tokyo’s Chuo Line
10. Asagaya Parl Center
Asagaya is a peaceful area that is only next to Koenji station on the JR Chuo Line. It developed as a high-class residential area because of the convenient location close to major districts such as Shinjuku which is less than 10 minutes away by train. Asagaya Parl Center is an iconic shopping street that extends 400 meters from the south of JR Asagaya station down to Minami Asagaya station. There are about 240 shops offering a range of food and services such as traditional Japanese sweets, ramen noodles, fresh foods, and more! It is also known for the Tanabata festival (The Star Festival) that is held every August. During the event, the shopping arcade is fabulously decollated with colorful ornaments and paper decollations!
11. Sunamachi Ginza Shotengai
In this 670 meters long street, there are about 180 stores and restaurants. Sunamachi Ginza Shotengai has been loved by locals for the delicious foods with an affordable price. Friendly locals sell the finger foods on the street so that you can enjoy tasty foods while walking. There are the kindest and warm-hearted people you could ever meet in Tokyo!
We offer the walking tours in Sunamachi Ginza including local recommended foods you should try there, exploring Sunamachi Ginza with a knowledgeable guide will help you understand the neighborhood better and also the Japanese culture represented in foods!
▶Book Tokyo Local Street Food and Drink Tour @Sunamachi
Japan Wonder Travel Tours
If you need some help to organize your trip, you should definitely check out our private tour with a English guide.
We can arrange your tour upon your request, walking around Tokyo with English speaking guide will help you get a deeper understanding of Tokyo!
Explore the nostalgic shopping street and historical spots while enjoying local food with us!
Visiting Shotengai offers a unique shopping experience for you that is different from going to large shopping malls. It also allows you to interact with locals, or built a connection with them through joining exciting events organized by local community. If you visit any of our recommendations introduced above, let us know how you like it!
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