A Perfect Day in Tokyo
Only one day available to see Tokyo? No worries–you can still make it perfect, and see what makes Tokyo so amazing. Check out a combination of Tokyo’s traditional (Asakusa temples) and modern (Shibuya crossing) sides, and stroll through Yoyogi and Ueno Parks, each with their own unique attractions, both Japanese and Western. Even if you have just a short layover at Tokyo’s main international airport, Narita, you can soak up local culture at a temple just outside the airport’s perimeter.

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Tako Bell

Here is tako (octopus) for sale at one of the many merchant stalls dotting the Ame-yoko shopping street in Ueno, Tokyo.

Ameyoko (アメ横) is a busy market street along the Yamanote Line tracks between Okachimachi and Ueno Stations. The name "Ameyoko" is a short form for "Ameya Yokocho" (candy store alley), as candies were traditionally sold here. Alternatively, "Ame" also stands for "America," because a lot of American products used to be available here when the street was the site of a black market in the years following World War II. Shops here sell everything imaginable—fish, foodstuffs, fruits and vegetables, clothing, fashion accessories, shoes, cosmetics, toys, housewares, heath goods, and sports equipment. It's known as a good place to find rare and unusual stuff. There is also a plethora of food stalls serving everything from ramen to doner kebabs.

Ameyoko is unlike most other Tokyo shopping districts in that merchants are very aggressive and willing to negotiate, which attracts bargain hunters from all over the city. You can often land incredibly low prices if you're willing to buy in bulk (e.g., 10 identical pairs of shoes), which are usually onetime offers, auction style. Hours depend on individual stores, but stores typically open around 10am and close around 7pm. Many stores remain closed on selected Wednesdays.

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by Jon Sheer
AFAR Local Expert
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