Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Tokyo Sights

Ame-ya Yoko-cho Market

  • Market/Bazaar

Updated 08/19/2013

Fodor's Review

The sprawling stalls have become especially famous for the traditional prepared foods of the New Year, and, during the last few days of December, as many as half a million people crowd into the narrow alleys under the railroad tracks to stock up for the holiday. The market dates to World War II, when not much besides Ueno Station survived the bombings. Anyone who could make it here from the countryside with rice and other small supplies of food could sell them at exorbitant

black-market prices. Sugar was a commodity that couldn't be found at any price in postwar Tokyo. Before long, there were hundreds of stalls in the black market selling various kinds of ame (confections), most made from sweet potatoes. These stalls gave the market its name, Ame-ya Yoko-cho (often shortened to Ameyoko), which means "Confectioners' Alley." Shortly before the Korean War, the market was legalized, and soon the stalls were carrying watches, chocolate, ballpoint pens, blue jeans, and T-shirts that had somehow been "liberated" from American PXs. In years to come the merchants of Ameyoko diversified still further—to fine Swiss timepieces and fake designer luggage, cosmetics, jewelry, fresh fruit, and fish. For a break, the area also features numerous small restaurants specializing in raw slices of tuna over rice (maguro-don)—cheap, quick, and very good.

Read More

Sight Information


Ueno 4-chome, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007, Japan

Sight Details:

  • Most shops and stalls daily 10–7

Updated 08/19/2013


What's Nearby

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Sights

See all sights in Tokyo

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?




Don't Miss