Tokyo is a big high-tech city, but just in the neighborhood of high-rise building areas, there are local food markets which allow you to feel daily life of Japanese.
Tokyo Street Food Market introduces local food market like Shotengai (traditional shopping streets), fish market, and farmers market.
Those markets serve fresh food such as vegetables, fish, meat, and mouth-watering street food.
Why don’t you explore the market while enjoying communication with local people ?
Types of Tokyo Street Food Markets
Tokyo Street Food Markets are roughly categorized into three types.
- Shotengai is a traditional local food market which is familiar to local people, since it has supported their daily life since long time.
They carry daily consumption goods like fresh fish, vegetables, meat, miso paste, sake, rice, and mouth-watering prepared food, you can enjoy at that place chatting with shop owners or local people.
- The wholesale market is a big market where huge quantities of foods are exchanged.
You may have heard of Tsukiji fish market, which was the world famous fish market. The fishmarket, itself, moved to Toyosu area, but you can enjoy exploring Tsukiji outer market. Lots of fish, meat, vegetables, sushi, and prepared food attract you there, it is still one of the most popular tourist destinations.
- We have also farmers markets in Tokyo, they are not permanent markets but held on a regular basis.
People visit these markets and find freshly harvested vegetables and fruits.
Tokyo Street Food Market | Experience old-warm world
Now, let’s visit some shotengai or local shopping streets which lead you to an old and warm world.
Having communications with local people helps you understand our everyday life.
Yanaka Ginza Shotengai
About three minute walk from JR Nippori station or Tokyo Metro Sendagi station, there is an old shopping street named Yanaka Ginza, or Yanaka shopping street, stretching for 170 meters with 60 brick-and-mortar stores.
Founded in 1945, Yanaka Ginza is very popular for its nostalgic atmosphere, where you can see everyday life of Tokyoite.
In there you can enjoy freshly fried snacks at a meat shop or a cup of sake at a liquor shop.
Since there are lots of cats around Yanaka, Yanaka is also known as “Cats’ town” and several cat’s decorations welcoming you.
You can find lots of cat-motif goods and baked doughnuts called “Cat’s tale” are very popular sweet.
There is a long line in front of very popular shops.
One is Waguriya, chestnut-desert shop, and the other is Himitsudo, shaved ice shop, which has a long line even in winter.
Our recommended street food is Dorayaki served by Kamikura for 180 yen.
Dorayaki is a traditional Japanese sweet consisting of two small pancakes and red bean paste between them.
Dorayaki looks delicious and if you take a bite, you’ll love it!
URL : https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131105/13104435/
Opens : 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Known as a symbol of Yanaka, Kabaya is around 90yrs old coffee shop where was once closed 10yrs before but renovated and opened in cooperation of the owner’s family and neighborhoods.
Enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere changing by time and weather.
Yanaka’s old houses connect the past, present to the future.
Recommendations are Egg sandwich and very sweet Ice cream Anmitsu.
There is always long line in front of Kabaya, you should book in advance.
Togoshi Ginza Shotengai
Togoshi Ginza shopping street is located nearby Tokyu Ikegami line Togoshi Ginza station.
With the length of 1.3 km, Togoshi Ginza is well known as the longest shopping street in Japan.
Togoshi Ginza is also locally based shopping street, but thanks to the number of stores, it is fun to try many kinds of street food.
Especially, croquettes called Togoshi Ginza croquettes are well known as their specialty and many shops serve their original croquettes.
Among them, Oden croquette is a very unique one, which is made of potatoes simmered in traditional oden (simmered fried fish paste and vegetables) soup.
Togoshi Ginza is also called “a mecca of croquettes”.
Besides croquettes, there are various street food, such as Gyoza dumpling, meat bun, oden, yakitori, doughnut, ice cream, etc.
You can enjoy them walking, but some stores have eat-in space.
Recommended street food is Okonomi Taiyaki by Omedetaiyaki Hompo.
Taiyaki is a traditional fish shaped bun with sweet red bean paste filling.
However, this Okonomi Taiyaki is a savory fish shaped bun filled with cabbage and bacon.
Price : from 200 yen
Opens : 11:00 am to 7:00 pm
Happy Road Ohyama
Located nearby Tobu Tojo line Ohyama station, Happy Road Ohyama shopping street consists of 200 shops and stretches for 560 meters.
Founded in 1978, Happy Road Ohyama is relatively new, and there are both traditional family-owned shops and newer shops appealing to young people like bubble tea stores.
Since Happy Road Ohyama is an arcade shopping street connected to the station, you can stroll around without an umbrella even in a rainy day.
In Happy Road Ohyama, you can also enjoy lots of street food.
Our recommended street food is yakitori from Yakitori Hamakei.
One stick of yakitori can be purchased for 99 yen!
Hamakei is a takeout yakitori chain they serve not only yakitori but various chicken dishes like fried chicken, grilled chicken wing, even a bog roast chicken.
Price : from 99yen / one stick
URL : https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1322/A132203/13040221/
Opens : 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Besides yakitori, there are many popular stores, like Bakery Maruju for big fried curry bun, Pierrot for 200 kinds of crape and soft cream.
If you are tired after enjoying many street food, take a break at a tea shop “Oyama en” where you can enjoy lots of herb tea as well as Japanese green tea.
Ameya Yokocho is a very popular shopping street which stretches for 600 meters between JR Ueno station and Okachimachi station and consists of 400 stores.
Ameya Yokocho becomes the most busiest place in Japan at the end of the year with people who come to get ingredients for new year holiday.
People also call it Ame Yoko.
Ameya Yokocho has been a very popular shopping street for a long long time, which is highly recommended if you like lively atmosphere.
Shops along Ameya Yokocho street are miscellaneous, they carry tuna sashimi, meat, nori seaweed, candy, vegetables, clothing, shoes, and bags.
Among them, there is a very famous candy store where you can see the attendant stuff too much chocolate in a big plastic bag and sell it for 1000 yen.
So, lots of local people come and buy things ranging from bags and cosmetics, to many kinds of food.
In this shopping street, you might get a cute dress at a 60-percent discount!
There are also many casual restaurants and bars in the shopping street and lots of people come for lunch, dinner or drink.
Our recommended street food is green tea flavored soft ice cream by Kiminoen for 350 yen.
This tea store has over 90-year history and carries various Japanese tea leaves for souvenir.
Price : around 350 yen
URL : http://www.kiminoen.jp/
Opens : 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Closing day : third Tuesday of every month.
Sugamo Jizo Shotengai
Sugamo Jizo Dori Shotengai is only 5 minute walk from JR Sugamo station.
780 meter-long street is lined with 170 shops and restaurants.
Sugamo Jizo Dori Shotengai has a long history and the atmosphere is slow but comfortable.
Along Sugamo Jizo Dori Shotengai there are famous temples, one is with a healing jizo statue and the other is with six jizo statues.
And holy monkey statue called Koshinzuka are also very popular, and symbol of health and longevity.
Temple’s fair is held on the 4th, 14th, and 24th of each month and lots of stalls carrying various goods like food, antiques, second handed kimono open on the street.
Our recommended street food is Daigakuimo or sugar coated fried sweet potato by Oimoyasan Koshin at 480 yen for 200 grams.
Daigakuimo use various kinds of sweet potatoes depending on the season and process them without any additives. So, they are safe and good.
Price : around 480 yen / 200 grams
Opens : every day from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Besides sweet potato, there are many street food, for example, Daifuku mochi or race cake with red bean paste filling, rice crackers, pickles, buns with red bean paste filling known as Japan’s best Anpan.
There are not only street food, but also lots of reasonable restaurants.
You can enjoy a whole day there.
Nakamise Dori shopping street is only three minute walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza line Asakusa station.
Lined with about 90 stores and restaurants, the street stretches for 250 meters.
Nakamise Dori is the oldest shopping street in Tokyo, developed as an approach path to Sensoji temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo.
There are lots of food stores and restaurants so that pilgrims have been able to grab a bite before visiting the temple and to get some souvenirs after visiting.
There are lots of popular street foods, but we recommend Ningyo yaki or doll shaped soft buns with red bean paste filling served by Kimuraya Head store. The price is 480 yen for 200 grams.
Kimuraya is a long-established buns’ shop founded in 1868, which has kept same flavor from the old days. Watching the making process is also fun.
Kimuraya Head store
There are lots of popular street foods, but we recommend Ningyo yaki or doll shaped soft buns with red bean paste filling served by Kimuraya Head store. The price is 480 yen for 200 grams. Kimuraya is a long-established buns’ shop founded in 1868, which keeps a flavor from the old days. Watching the making process is also fun.
Price : around 480yen / 200grams
Opens : 9:00 am to 7:00 pm everyday except for Tuesdays.
Other than Ningyo yaki, there are lots of popular street food like millet dumpling, sweet potato cake, and fried buns with red-bean-paste filling. There are many kinds of soft cream, and green tea flavored ice cream and gold paper coated ice cream are most popular. Why don’t you try some?
【Tokyo Street Food Market】Explore delicious flesh foods
There are 11 whole sale markets in Tokyo. And Tsukiji and Toyosu are the most famous and popular ones. Let us take a look at these two markets.
Tsukiji Outer Market
Tsukiji fish market is just 1 minute walk from Toei Oedo line Tsukiji Shijo station.
Tsukiji fish market used to be the world largest fish market.
The wholesale market put an end its 80-year history in October 2018 and moved to Toyosu, but the outer market still remains and is known as a place to get fresh food and delicious sushi!
The outer market consists of 400 stores and restaurants, where they carry not only fresh fish, but meat, vegetables, fruits… almost everything!
There, you might feel something different from local markets, something professional and much livelier atmosphere.
You will be surprised at a wide variety of fish and vegetables, and freshness of fruits, as well!
Nowadays, Kaisendon or sushi bowl with various sashimi and Japanese omlette are very popular among young people and toursts.
You can see long lines in front of restaurants and people eating skewered omlette.
Many stores and restaurants competing with each other there, so, you can choose your favorite one.
Among those, we recommend you a bowl with various parts of tuna, from fattier to leaner called Matakoidon served in Matakoiya Souhonten at a price of 880 yen.
You can taste fattier tuna called toro, lean part called akami, and minced tuna at a time at supprisingly reasonable price.
Don’t miss it! The business hour is from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm except for new year holiday.
Price : around 880 yen
Opens : from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm except for new year holiday
Toyosu Fish Market
Toyosu market is a totally brand-new wholesale market with a high-tech hygene system and factory-like appearance. It is famous for its tuna auction. Toyosu market is located nearby Yurikamome line Shijomae station.
Toyosu market opens from 5:00 am to 3:00 pm every day except Sundays and Wednesdays.
The tuna auction starts at 5:30 am. To ensure the safety and freshness of food, we, visitors cannot enter the market area, but can see from the tour course or visitors’ path.
Many restaurants have also moved from the old Tsukiji market, which attract lots of visitors from very early in the morning.
At 7:00 am already, you can see several long lines in front of popular sushi restaurants!
On the fourth floor of the market, there is a shopping street with 69 shops called Uogashi Yokocho, where you can purchase fresh meat, chicken, omelette, miso paste, and bento boxed lunch.
Between the Shijomae station and the market, there is a new shopping complex called Edomae Jokamachi, where you can also find street food and souvenirs.
Our recommendation is Ichigo Daifuku or mochi rice cake with strawberries served by Nishikawa, very soft rice cake with lots of strawberries and sweet been paste in it.
Nishikawa is a middleman of fruits and they serve very fresh and delicious fruits.
Opens : 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Other Tokyo Street Food Market
In the center of Tokyo, there are several farmers markets.
We introduce two popular farmers markets held on a regular basis.
Aoyama Farmers Market
Aoyama Farmers Market is just 4 minutes away from Tokyo Metro Ginza line Omotesando station, or 5 minutes away from JR Shibuya station, you can find a farmers market every weekend.
Aoyama Farmers Market is held in front of UN University and you cannot miss it.
About 70 shops gather from nationwide under the theme of “Live with Farm”. They mostly carry organic vegetables and fruits.
Shops change every time, so you can meet new shops every time you go there and buy their products while chatting with farmers, who may give you some cooking suggestions or good time you eat them.
You can also find some food tracks and home made bakeries.
Marche of the Sun
Marche of the Sun is held on the second weekend of each month at Tsukishima Park, which is nearby Tokyo Metro Yurakucho line Kachidoki station from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
This farmers market is one of the biggest non-permanent markets in Japan. About 100 farmers gather from nationwide and we can buy fresh vegetables and fruits.
In addition, lots of food tracks join them and you can enjoy many kinds of street food along with some events depending on the seasons.
The shops and food tracks change every time.