The Best Shopping Streets to Visit in Tokyo | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan
Shopping Streets Tokyo

The Best Shopping Streets to Visit in Tokyo

By Ashleigh Herbert Jul 31, 2023

A paradise for those who want to have a day out and spend some money, shopping streets are a popular option to go to in Japan. From electronic stores to sushi restaurants, having a variety of different stores and restaurants all in the same area is just too convenient! On the weekend, it is common for these streets to be bustling, full of people, young and old alike. 

Shopping Streets in Japan

Out of the many shopping streets that you will find in Tokyo, the following are my recommendations.

Yanaka Ginza

Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street

Photo credits: Nakaharu Line

One of the most well-known “downtown” shopping streets is Yanaka Ginza. You will step back in time when you walk past the variety of independent stores and food stalls that are still run by those living in the area. It is easy to access from JR Nippori Station and Sendagi subway station. If you walk downhill from Nippori Station, you will notice the level of street food will increase by the time you get to the end of the road, whereby tables and stools are set up for you to eat there. This is where you can see the friendly interactions between locals, who take great pride in their shopping street.

This year, on August 5th and 6th, Yanaka Ginza will have its own Summer Festival. The street will be decorated more than usual and has the theme of  “downtown cool” referring to how the atmosphere and charm of a summer festival in downtown Tokyo make you forget about the heat that Japanese summers are notorious for. The food stalls will sell ice-cold beer and shaved ice for dessert.  There will be entertainment for children too, such as yoyo fishing. This year’s highlight for the festival is the Ice Sculpture demonstration. This water and light show will be performed twice per day. They are also planning to have evening lotteries, that will give away a total of 30.000 yen in prize money.  Don’t be sure to miss it!

Togoshi Ginza

Togoshi Ginza Shopping Street

Photo Credits: Author

A shopping street with a similar name, Togoshi Ginza is also a popular place to go. It was actually the first shopping street in Tokyo to use Ginza in its name. The reason for this is that the Ginza district gave the Togoshi district bricks that got damaged in the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. The street is 1.3km in length, making it the longest shopping street in Tokyo. Along the road, keep an eye out for Gin-chan, Togoshi Ginza’s super cute mascot. A few shops have statues or toys of him in their stores because Gin-chan is believed to bring luck. The area prides itself on its croquettes, as there are around 20 croquette stores that sell their own kind of croquette.

If you feel like relaxing after walking around the area, be sure to go to the famous onsen there, which is also named after the area. The onsen is one of the main reasons why people go to Togoshi Ginza. The layout of Togoshi Ginza Onsen mixes both modern and traditional styles. From cold mineral springs to thermal pools, this onsen gives its customers the opportunity to try many different types of baths and find the one that is the right temperature for them. 

Nakano Sun Mall

As you exit from the north side of Nakano Station, you will see a glass-roofed building. This is Nakano Sun Mall. It has plenty of restaurants but what makes this shopping street interesting is the traditional Japanese shops, including Maruzen and Tsujiya, that are selling products, such as tableware and paper parasols, exclusively ‘Made in Japan.’ What is even more impressive about Tsujiya, a traditional Japanese dress store, is that it was founded in 1926 and has been passed down in the family for generations. This is just one of the many stores that have a long history at Nakano Sun Mall and makes this shopping street a good place to shop for one-of-a-kind gifts for family and friends that are overseas.

At the end of the street, Nakano Sun Mall connects to the more famous Nakano Broadway, an otaku heaven filled with many stores relating to anime, manga, and collectible action figures. Nakano Broadway is also famous for the viral sensation that is the giant, rainbow soft serve ice cream that comes with 8 different flavoured and coloured scoops of soft serve.



Photo credits: Ayumi Kubo

Situated right next to Ueno station, Ameyoko is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The name, which is actually Ameya Yokocho, derives from the history of the street, which used to be famous for selling candy, which is known as “ame” in Japanese, post-World War 2. As time has progressed, there has been a shift in the area, as there is now a high concentration of foreigners owning stores that sell a variety of spices in big packs, fresh fruit, or fresh seafood. If you go to the basement of the Ameyoko Centre building, then you will find even more ethnic foods and spices that originate from China. I didn’t even know that this building had an underground section until someone told me. The building on the left-hand side of Ameyoko resembles markets and sells different types of items, such as cosmetics, bags, jewellery, and foreign foods, all at a cheap price. If you get hungry, there are many cheap and delicious restaurants along the street and on nearby streets too.

With the variety, good food, and cheap prices that Ameyoko has to offer, it comes as no surprise that when Lifull Homes conducted a survey last year that asked those living in Tokyo to rate their favourite shopping street and Ame Yokocho ranked first.

What Shopping Streets Would You Like to Visit?

This is a list of just a few of the many shopping streets that can be found in Tokyo. They all have unique stores that are privately owned, so who knows what kind of treasures you will come across? Why don’t you go and have a look at one of these places and discover the great atmosphere for yourself? It could be one from this list or maybe one that you have discovered on your own.

Related Articles:

5 Traditional Shitamachi to Visit in Downtown Tokyo

Featured image photo credits: Hafeisi