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David Huang / © Culture Trip
David Huang / © Culture Trip
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10 Markets in Tokyo You Should Visit

Picture of Corlena Bailey
Updated: 17 April 2018

When we think of Tokyo, one of the first things that come to mind is shopping. With so many eye-popping goods at every corner, it is easy to get lost in an abyss of shopping centers and marketplaces without a proper guide. Here we introduce you to 10 of Tokyo’s best markets.

Takeshita-dori
Market, Shop

Crepe shop on Takeshita Street | © Dick Thomas Johnson/Flickr

After Gwen Stefani made Harajuku a household name, it only makes sense to check out the birthplace of this street style. Takeshita-dori runs through Harajuku Station and Meiji-dori, and is a crossroads for street-style cultures. Down this pedestrian-only street, you will find shops specializing in unique styles, such as punk or costumes. Though the market may be more crowded on the weekends, it is worth visiting for the people-watching.
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Atmosphere:

Loud, Instagrammable, Photo Opportunity

Mottainai Flea Market
Market, Shop
Flea markets have become quite popular in Japan over the years, many of which are organized by locals, recycling councils or civil organizations. Mottainai Flea Market is a market the people of Tokyo look forward to each year which focuses on secondhand clothes. The organizers aim to reduce waste. You will also find books, CDs, and DVDs in perfectly good quality.
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Sat - Sun:
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Atmosphere:

Crowded, Outdoors

Tsukiji Fish Market
Market, Shop

Tsukiji Market | © Arian Zwegers/Flickr

Tsukiji Fish Market is the largest seafood market in the city. The real attraction for visitors is the Outer Market, where the fresh seafood can be purchased at a reasonable price.
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Mon - Sat:
5:00 am - 2:00 pm

Atmosphere:

Loud

Nakamise Shopping Street
Market, Shop
Nakamise-dori in Asakusa, Tokyo | © Dieter Karner/Flickr

Nakamise-dori in Asakusa, Tokyo | © Dieter Karner/Flickr

Leading up to Sensoji Temple, there is, surprisingly, one of the oldest shopping centers in Japan, Nakamise Shopping Street. From 1688 to 1735, special permission was granted for people to open shops in the surroundings of the temple in service to the visitors. Today, Nakamise Shopping Street has around 90 shops that sell various kinds of Japanese souvenirs, some dating back to the Edo era. Look out for some good bargains on clothes and shoes. You can also buy traditional snacks and dishes that are popular during festivals.
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Sun - Sat:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Atmosphere:

Crowded

Ameya-Yokochō
Market, Shop

Ameyoko indoor-outdoor market | © Danny Choo/Flickr

Ameya-Yokochō, abbreviated Ameyoko, means ‘Candy Sellers’ Alley’. This is a vibrant, colorful market located in the Ueno area of Tokyo. Ameyoko Market was originally a black market that sold sweet potatoes and sugar after World War II. Today, anything can be purchased at Ameyoko Market. You will find good bargains on clothes, shoes, fish, meat, farm produce, golfing equipment, anime DVDs, food, and more. There are plenty of restaurants and bars around in case you get hungry or would like to have a drink.
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Sun - Sat:
10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Atmosphere:

Loud

Tokyu Food Show
Market, Shop
Located in the basement of Tokyu Toyoko Department Store, Tokyu Food Show is a beehive of food stalls selling sweets, pastries, deli goods, wines, and a variety of foods from all over the world. The self-proclaimed “theater of food” is one of the largest markets, with an impressive variety of products. Many of the stalls are associated with established restaurants. The majority of them cater for takeout only; however, a few provide small counters where you can eat on the spot.
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Sun - Sat:
10:00 am - 9:00 pm

Atmosphere:

Instagrammable

Nogi Shrine Antique Flea Market
Market, Shop
Nogi Shrine in Tokyo | © Rs1421/WikiCommons

Nogi Shrine in Tokyo | © Rs1421/WikiCommons

On the fourth Sunday of each month, the people of Tokyo, as well as visitors from all over the world, are anxious to see what goodies are available at Nogi Shrine market. Held on the sandō road of Nogizaka’s Nogi Shrine, more than 40 shops are set up. They sell furniture, secondhand clothes, cooking utensils, and other antiques. Get incredible bargains on just about anything. There are also some food stalls selling snacks and other delectable treats just in case you get hungry.
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Sun:
9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Atmosphere:

Touristy

Omotesando is a street in Harajuku lined with high-end stores that target fashionable urbanites. Ask anyone for Tokyo’s Champs-Elysees. This is the nickname for the broad, tree-lined avenue located south of Takeshita-dōri where you will find Omotesando. Although this isn’t the typical market, in this bustling shopping area you will find the items you couldn’t find in Tokyo’s markets. Many famous international stores offering the very best in shopping and dining experiences have been established there, especially after the Tokyo Olympics in 1964.  A wealthy clientele can be seen browsing the famous shops, cafés, boutiques, and restaurants.

Boro-Ichi Street Market
Market, Shop
Dating back to some 430 years, Boro-Ichi Street Market is the place to shop if you are looking for antique kimonos, toys, and clocks, as well as a variety of other items. A trip to this market is not just ideal for shopping, you will also be taking part in a dynamic folk-cultural activity. In its early beginnings in the 1570s, the market was established as a “free market” where taxes were removed to boost the economy. Now it has grown into a biannual two-day event set on the 15th and 16th of December and January, attracting over 700 sellers.
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Heiwajima Antique Fair
Market, Shop
Heiwajima Antique Fair is a three-day event held five times a year in the months of March, May, June, September, and December. Heiwajima Antique Fair was established in 1978, making it the oldest antique fair in Japan. It attracts over 280 dealers from all over the country. Since most homes in Japan do not have a garage, the citizens look forward to these events to sell and purchase items. You will find products like pottery, furniture, textiles, jewelry, paintings, glass, lacquer, and other items. Try going on the final day where you will get the best deals.
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