Ameyoko Market is noisy and it smells. Some parts of Ameyoko smell good and some, not so good. In some sections, the brilliant smell of Kebab fills the air and in some, you get the refreshing smell of fresh fruits. Then, of course, this being a wet market, in some sections, the smell of fresh fish hovers around your nostrils. I've seen women in fashionable clothing, high heels and heavy make-up walk around here pinching their nostrils shut. I have advice for those people. Don't go to Ameyoko Market. If you go to a fish market and start complaining about the smell, shoot yourself. You knew it was coming. I can never understand people like that. It's the same as heading to a beach with an umbrella and clothes covering every part of your skin. Yo! Don't go! Keep your princess behind at home or with the other princesses in places like Ginza or Omotesando or something. Forget about Ameyoko Market.
I'm a Rat. The smell of fish is way better than the crap that I have to deal with in the sewers. You humans think that fish smell bad? I smell what you let out everyday and let me tell you, it ain't pretty. The first snack that I tried for this visit to Ameyoko however, smelled delightful. I was walking around trying to figure out what to eat. I was really tempted to get a Kebab, but the smell of Xiao Long Bao seduced me away from that. I followed my sense of smell and ended up in Ameyoko Yatai with an Assorted Xiao Long Bao Set for 880 yen.
After my encounter with them Chinese Dumplings, I headed to my favorite grocery store to do some grocery shopping. I needed to get myself some shallots, tamarind paste, lemongrass and Thai rice. All of which are not sold in supermarkets in Japan and because of the lack of love shown by Japanese supermarkets towards ingredients that I need to cook up food from my region, I come to Nozawaya Grocery Store once a week to stock up. You can find many different types of spices, sauces and even Halal goods in Nozawaya Grocery Store. Watch the video below to find out more about what they sell.
After breathing in the aroma of spices from Nozawaya Grocery Store, my stomach started to grumble again. The Xiao Long Bao is now nothing, but a distant memory. I walked around Ameyoko Market for a bit, searching for the next lucky food item that will get a chance to meet my digestive system. After about 10 minutes of searching, I finally found it. From perky Chinese Dumplings to Japanese Balls. This food adventure just keeps getting sexier by the minute. I got myself a set of four Octopus Balls from Minatoya for 200 yen.
When I was chewing on them balls, I noticed a store next to Minatoya that sells snacks. It was filled with tourists. After investigating the scene for a bit, I found out that Niki No Kashi is a chain store selling Japanese snacks. They have stores in many parts of Tokyo, but this store in Ameyoko Market is one of the biggest and it has one of the widest selection of snacks. I would suggest spending a bit of time here getting souvenirs for your loved ones back home. There's a wide range of Japanese snacks being sold for really cheap. Cheapest I've seen in my 3 years living here! Watch the video below to check out some of my favorite snack items and how much they cost.
With my hands full of bags with groceries and snacks, it was time for me to head on home to do some cooking. As I was walking back to Ueno train station, I thought my body needed one last addition to the system before I can formally bid farewell to my Ameyoko adventure. To end this adventure, like all my Ameyoko adventures, I got myself a Karinto Manju from Kanda Daruma for 120 yen. There's no better way to end any adventure. A sweet way to end another day in the hustle and bustle of Ameyoko Market.
All in all, I spent about 1,200 yen on filling my tummy for this trip to Ameyoko. Great food at great prices. If you would like a closer look at all that I devoured, do check out the video below.
When my parents visit Tokyo, they sometimes reserve a hotel room in Ueno. If you are looking for affordable, good food and cheap shopping, I highly recommend staying in the vicinity of Ameyoko Market when you visit Tokyo. A one stop shop for great food and shopping.