Shopping in Ueno is a diverse experience. The choices range from your usual mall boutiques carrying popular branded goods to open-air shopping street stalls selling quirky and interesting souvenirs. For sure, you will not go home emptyhanded as you are bound to find something you’d like. Here’s your guide to the 10 best shopping destinations in this popular Tokyo downtown district:
Ameyoko Shopping Street
Ameyoko Shotengai is Ueno’s iconic open-air shopping street. It used to be a marketplace for black market goods during the post-World War era, but today, it has transformed into a vibrant shopping destination particularly for discounted goods, cheap restaurants, fresh produce, and everyday essentials. The place has a “slice of life” feel to it as locals from adjacent neighborhoods do their daily shopping here. Hence, dropping by this part of Ueno is interestingly a sightseeing, cultural immersion, and a shopping trip all rolled into one!
Address: 4-Chome Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://ameyoko.net/ (Japanese only)
Ueno has a rather impressive roster of museums, so if you fancy something with high artistic value, then, museum shops are good places to start. From art prints to merchandise inspired by the museum’s collections, you can trust that items sold here are well-curated and worth the splurge. Thus, if you plan on visiting any one of Ueno’s top museums listed below, do not skip the gift shop!
Tokyo National Museum Shop
Address: 13-9 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Website: https://www.tnm-shop.jp/ (Japanese only)
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum Shop
Address: 8-36 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
National Museum of Western Art
Address: 7-7 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
National Museum of Nature and Science
Address: 7-20 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
One of Tokyo’s oldest department stores, Matsuzakaya Ueno is a fashion and lifestyle mall located near the southern side of Ueno Park. On top of the usual finds one can expect from a Tokyo mall, this place is said to have a good selection of products that cater to the elderly crowd, as well as boutiques that sell formal and casual kimonos.
Address: 3 Chome-29-5 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
2k540 AKI-OKA Artisan
Interestingly located under the elevated train tracks of the Yamanote Line that run between Akihabara and Okachimachi Stations, 2k540 Aki-Oka Artisan Alley is an exciting shopping destination for those with a taste for non-mainstream stuff. It is populated by shops run by some of the city’s creative entrepreneurs selling a curious mix of fashion, arts & crafts, and lifestyle goods – from jewelry to clay dolls. At the same time, it is a hipster hangout with a couple of trendy cafés and an event gallery space.
Address: 5-10 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.jrtk.jp/2k540/ (Japanese only)
Everything that you could possibly need, you’ll find in Takeya. This collective of iconic purple buildings in Ueno is a one-stop shopping destination for food, medicine, cosmetics, health food, household goods, electronics, watches, accessories, designer fashion, clothing, and furniture at discount prices. Tourist shoppers get an extra incentive, too, as it also offers duty-free shopping.
Address: 4-33-2 Taito, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Atre Ueno is particularly popular among Tokyo’s young fashionable females. It is home to boutiques selling the latest fashion trends, service-oriented shops like nail salons, casual dining restaurants, and of course, cafés. The best part about is its location. Just outside the ticket gates of Ueno Station, there are two Atre buildings – East and West.
Address: 7-1-1 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Ecute is the shopping area inside the JR Ueno Station Building. If you like to shop for food, you’ll find here a great selection of bakeries, confectionery shops, and bento kiosks as the majority of establishments are food-related. There are a couple of miscellaneous goods shops, too, in case you need to shop for last-minute souvenirs.
Address: 7 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Website: https://www.ecute.jp/ueno/ (Japanese only)
For a more inclusive shopping experience, there’s Marui. This shopping mall has something for both its male and female customers, whether it’s fashionable clothes, accessories, cosmetics, or athletic wear. It also offers tax-free shopping in selected stores, a plus for just visiting shoppers.
Address: 6-15-1 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
When it comes to women’s fashion finds at reasonable prices, Abab offers a whole building worth of options. Go through several floors of trendy clothes, shoes, and accessories for any types of occasions, and when you need a breather from all that shopping, have a break at Sweets Paradise located on the 7th floor. Their all-you-can-eat desserts will definitely give you the energy boost you need.
Address: 4 Chome-8-4 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Ameyoko Center Building Underground Shopping Mall
This basement food hall is like nothing else in Tokyo. It is not as bright, as clean, nor as organized as department store food marts, but what it lacks in presentation, it makes up for intriguing finds. Here, you can expect shelves filled with spices and sauces from different parts of Asia, and unique ingredients such as rice noodles from Vietnam or tom yum soup base from Thailand. Literally and figuratively, this shopping destination is an underground scene worth checking out especially if you are a foodie or someone who likes to cook.
Address: 4 Chome-7-8 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Thumbnail image is from Flickr.