Price Range : Mid-range
Cuisine : Japanese (Donburi)
Recommended For : A filling pit-stop to fuel a full-on shopping session
Catphobia-Friendly? : Yes! (No stray cats at all on the streets of Tokyo! Hurrah!)
There are two main reasons why Ameyoko is always packed with pedestrians: 1) it is a haven for budget shoppers and 2) it is a haven for food lovers! Finding ourselves fitting comfortably in both categories, we took the train to Ueno to witness and savour first-hand this highly-recommended street bazaar.
True enough, when we arrived at the arched entrance, we could see the street was packed! That’s always a good sign, right? We happily strolled along the shops selling a whole variety of goodies! There were at least 4 ABC Mart shoe stores there, along with countless other shoe stores; and a lot of crazy sales going on for sportswear, for some reason. It’s also a good place to buy food-based souvenirs in bulk, as there are a few food marts here that offer relatively low prices for seaweed products, mochi, green tea, sweets, candies and such. A lot of seafood is on offer here too, and we would have bought the tubs of ebiko and generous slabs of salmon if it weren’t for our lack of a fridge.
Trying to get the best deal from one store to another can get quite exhausting, and our tummies rumbled urgently when we passed by this plastic quilt of donburi photos:
Donburi is essentially a bowl of rice topped with the flavours of your choice. We scanned through the photo squares, each tempting us with mentions of fatty tuna, salted salmon roe, scallops, shrimp, and octopus. We were craving for salmon anyways after salivating over them at the seafood stalls, and decided on the Roasted Fatty Salmon with Salmon Roe (JPY 600, approximately RM18).
Lightly seared fatty salmon pieces topped with a generous mountain of slightly salty roe, a dollop of wasabi and a bowlful of rice. It just does not get any better than this! (Though the addition of some slices of tuna to the bowl probably wouldn’t hurt? ;P)
If you’d like to give this donburi house a try the next time you’re in Ameyoko, just look for the humongous plastic sheet displaying their rice bowl offerings. We came across two of these stalls, and they are quite easy to spot during lunch time, with their long lines of hungry diners waiting for their turn to gobble down their rice bowl of choice.
Ameyoko Street Bazaar
Ueno, Taito, Tokyo
How to Get There:
It is a 5-minute walk from the JR Ueno Station,
and a 15-minute walk from the Tokyo National Museum.
You can also take the train to Okachimachi Station on the JR Yamanote Line,
and the bazaar is right opposite the station.