6 Japanese Street Foods to Try at Ameya Yokocho Market in Ueno

By Emily Suvannasankha
Updated: November 17, 2022

Interested in grabbing a bite to eat in the bustling streets of Ueno, Tokyo? Then you've got to stop by Ameya Yokocho, or "Ameyoko" for short, a famous food market in Ueno that's as diverse as it is delicious! Beat the crowds in this video with Shizuka as she takes a rainy day tour of Ameyoko. What classic and innovative Japanese street foods will she discover?

For a guided tour of Ueno, book the Ueno Food Tour >>

Must-Try Japanese Street Foods at Ueno's Ameya Yokocho Market

In the Ueno district of Tokyo, you'll find tons of fascinating attractions to capture your interest, such as Ueno Park, Ueno Zoo, and countless Japanese history, art, and science museums including the Tokyo National Museum, National Museum of Western Art, and National Museum of Nature and Science. But while you're exploring all the rich cultural gems in the area, be sure to hit the nearby Ameya Yokocho (Ameyoko Market) for a snack (or multiple)!

Ameya Yokocho, or "candy shop alley," gets its colorful name from the plethora of candies it was originally known for selling. "Ame" may also refer to "America," as Ameyoko was the site of a black market selling American goods after World War II!

However, these days, Ameyoko is home to a dazzlingly diverse selection of Japanese and international foods and products. You can find anything you might need at these old-school shops and modern markets, from fresh fish and packaged snacks to cosmetics and handbags. But the real attraction is the food stalls that draw you in with their delicious aromas as you shop! Find out which Japanese street foods Shizuka recommends at Ameyoko in the video!

Shizuka Anderson in Ameya Yokocho Market eating a yaki shoronpo (pan-fried soup dumpling), a classic street food

First, Shizuka chats up the attendant of a chocolate shop and finds out their surprising, never-before-seen way of selling chocolate. Then, Shizuka moves on to delicious street food, trying a cheesy Korean hot dog, a Chinese soup dumpling, and—perhaps the biggest shock of all—a saucy menchi katsu (ground meat cutlet) made with rare, high-quality A5 wagyu beef! Can Shizuka tell the difference between a regular beef cutlet and A5 wagyu?

Shizuka's next stop is at a tachinomi (standing bar), where she daringly lets the employee choose a sashimi and sake pairing for her.

A plate of sashimi and a glass of sake at Ameya Yokocho Market in Ueno, Tokyo

Last but certainly not least, Shizuka tries traditional Japanese kakigori, a heaping pile of refreshingly cold shaved ice. The flavor she orders may seem unusual, but it's actually a common choice for Japanese desserts! What is this mystery flavor? Find out in the video!

Japanese Kakigori at Ameyoko Market in Ueno, a heaped pile of shaved ice topped with matcha syrup and red bean

Book a Food Tour of Ueno

If you're looking to experience a tantalizing variety of textures, flavors, and cultures all in one outdoor market, check out this Ueno Food Tour! Eat outside at the street tables or inside the traditional standing bars and izakaya of Ameyoko, while mingling with Japanese locals. If you're feeling brave, you can even try some good-natured haggling! For a friendly, warm, and authentic Japanese street food adventure in Ueno, you can't miss the hustle and bustle of Ameyoko.

Come along with Shizuka as she explores the retro bars of Shibuya or dines with a demon at the Namahage restaurant. Subscribe to the byFood YouTube channel for the latest videos.

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan's food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.
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Emily Suvannasankha
Masquerading as a grad student in Linguistics, Emily can typically be found counting the minutes ‘til her next peach chūhai. She has two years in Nagoya before her need for jumbo peanut butter sends her crawling back to the US.
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