From hot tourist spots to residential areas, good finds are everywhere.

Have you ever wondered where Tokyoites do their shopping? While department stores and boutiques are aplenty, there are many folks that like to browse and buy at shotengai, or shopping streets. These are often long stretches of streets that are lined on both sides by restaurants, takeout stands, and stores selling fresh groceries, souvenirs, electronics, knick knacks, and pretty much everything you’d need in your daily life.

According to real estate company Lifull Home’s Press there are over 2,400 shotengai in Tokyo alone. To find the most popular ones, Lifull asked around 500 Japanese survey participants who said they enjoyed shopping at shotengai which one was their favorite. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Ameya Yokocho (11 percent of votes)

Ameya Yokocho, also popularly known as Ameyoko, is located in Tokyo’s Ueno neighborhood. Along with being fairly close to JR Ueno Station, it’s huge. They sell everything from food, to cosmetics, and to electronics. It is quite bustling and frequently filmed for Japanese television programs, but if you’re someone that likes to be where the party’s at, then Ameyoko is the spot for you.

2. Kichijoji Sun Road (8.1 percent)

Located in Western Tokyo, Kichijoji Sun Road is located right outside the northside exit of JR Kichijoji Station. It has restaurants, clothing stores, nicknack shops, and more. It’s split up into two sections to make it easier to navigate, and you can even find a cozy place to drink or eat in nearby Harmonica Yokocho. Japanese residents like Sun Road in particular because it has a comparatively retro vibe.

3. Asakusa Nakamise Shotengai (6.9 percent)

Chances are if you’ve visited the Asakusa area before, you’ve walked down this shopping street. It’s the shogentai that leads to Sensoji Temple, an ultra-popular tourist spot. You can find tons of souvenir shops along with delicious eateries, some of which have been there for decades (or centuries). Tokyoites like this one for its liveliness and like that it’s conveniently located near the famous temple.

4. Nakano Broadway (6.7 percent)

Into Japanese subcultures like anime and games? You’ll love Nakano Broadway. It’s well-known as a mecca for all sorts of otaku, housing a number of secondhand shops for figurines, games, manga, and other merchandise. It’s a great place to find a gift for yourself or the otaku in your life…or just a giant ice cream cone.

5. Musashi-Koyama Shotengai Palm (5.4 percent)

If you want a lot of options, Palm is where you should go. Tokyo’s longest covered shotengai is located a three-minute walk from Tokyu Musashi-Koyama Station. Locals say it’s easy to walk down, easy to access for people who live in the neighborhood, and offers a lot of shopping options. There are also plenty of festivals held in the shopping center, so you’ll never be bored.

6. Aoyama Kila-dori Shogentai (4.4 percent)

Aoyama Kila-dori Shotengai is located near Tokyo Metro Gaienmae Station. Along with nice restaurants and clothing stores, you can see interesting street art.

6. Togoshi-Ginza Shotengai (4.4 percent)

Tied for sixth place is Togoshi-Ginza Shotengai, located in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward. It’s considered the longest shotengai in Tokyo, spanning 1.3 kilometers (0.8 miles). Survey respondents said they like how lively it is and point out there are a lot of yummy bakeries. To get there, you can walk over from Tokyu Togoshi-Ginza Station or Toei Togoshi Station.

8. Sunshine 60-dori Shotengai (3.5 percent of votes)

Sunshine 60-dori Shotengai connects Ikebukuro Station to Sunshine City, a mecca for anime fans. The shopping street itself mainly sells clothing and miscellaneous items, but they’re sold at fair prices, according to survey participants.

8. Shimokitazawa Shotengai (3.5 percent)

In addition to its shopping options, this shotengai outside the South Exit of Shimokitazawa Station is known for its annual events. Along with a Setsubun Festival celebration, it also hosts an Awa-Odori Dance Festival. It’s a pretty amazing sight to see so many talented dancers on such narrow roads.

10. Asagaya Pearl Center (3.3 percent)

Rounding off the list is Asagaya Pearl Center outside the South Exit of JR Asagaya Station. All of it is covered, so you can shop there rain or shine. Survey respondents said it has an overall comfortable atmosphere and some good deals.

So if you find yourself in Tokyo and aren’t sure where to find the best deals, use this list as a reference. It’s a great way to pick up some fresh cuisine and find unique souvenirs that would be difficult to find in a department store. They’re also great spots to find New Year’s fukubukuro lucky bags. Happy shopping!

Source: Lifull Home’s Press
Top image: Pakutaso
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