Ameyoko became famous as a post-war black market after WWII during the occupation. Seventy five years later, it has morphed into a place where locals and tourists go for bargains during the day, and food at night. As we walked from Ueno park to the metro station we saw a lively road leading off under the Yamanote line overpass. Across the world colourful districts under railway or road bridges can become exciting places, so we went down this rabbit hole.
Already, in the early afternoon, the atmosphere had begun to turn boisterous. Some of the shops were still open. I could see shops selling DVDs and CDs (old technologies do not seem to die in Japan) and sex toys. The famous sweet shops which give the locality its name were beginning to shut down (no quarter given for Children’s Day, which was two days away) and it was definitely too late for the fresh food stores. We’d missed our chance to haggle about prices using our translation app, and we’d had lunch too late to sit down at one of the food stalls.
It was a good time to walk around and take photos. At three in the afternoon, the light was still too bright to yield atmospheric and moody photos. So after being busy with my phone, I had to spend some time with the editor to bring you these photos of Ameya Yokocho in the witching hour. If the day had not tired us out, we would have made our way here earlier to look at some of the shops. That’s a bit of Japan left for the future.