Okachimachi is an area on the JR Yamanote Line, just south of the major Ueno Station. It is one of the areas of Tokyo that is well known for its shopping and excellent range of foodie options. Expect lots of fashionable youngsters here and crowds of hungry shoppers.
What to eat and drink in Okachimachi
To the southeast of Okachimachi Station There is a shopping street called Okazu Yokocho (technically in the Torigoe neighborhood). This is the place to go for eating and drinking. The street features around 230 shops that sell a huge range of groceries, ready-made meals and the very traditional and well-loved okazu (sides). In Japan eating on the street while walking is looked down on, but luckily street-snacking is more than welcome here as there is a small designated rest area with tables and chairs, which is found near the middle of the street. Eat away friends. Do note that most of the shops are closed on a Sunday.
There is of course sushi to be had in this area. Head to Ginzo Sushi for some tasty options. The atmosphere of the restaurant is relaxing with piano jazz playing. Go for the Sakura Nigiri Set for ¥790, which includes 8 pieces of sushi, chawanmushi (a type of savory egg custard and prawn) and a delicious miso soup. Lunch sushi sets will cost you from ¥790 up to ¥2,600. If you’re not a sushi fan, they also have a good range of other sets which include udon, grilled fish, tempura and donburi. Great value and great choice here.
What to do in Okachimachi
Ameyokocho is said to be Japan’s last black market. This little number is great for both food and shopping. It really is just a random selection of stalls here. You can see heaps of clothes racks filled with shoes and coats. At another place will see you okonomiyaki, another monja, some French and Italian cuisine here, and other types of Asian restaurants there. You can find running shoes, perfumes, toys, watches, lychees, kebabs and shaved ices all in the same vicinity—the possibilities really are endless. Go here for an interesting and never-ending browse.
Let’s get some shoes. Told you this area was a fashion hub. With heaps of options at this shoe haven of an area, your feet will feel fabulous at any of these Okachimachi finds. Hit AbAb for a very good summer sale with pairs of shoes being reduced from ¥7,000 to as a little as ¥1,000—bargain! (Do be warned though, if you have a larger size of feet for a woman, you may struggle to find a shoe that fits in Japan!)
For even more shopping amazement, head to the giant multi-building department store Takeya. Takeya has 42 floors spread among its various buildings.
Located near Okachimachi Station lies the Shitamatchi Museum. The museum displays the history and life of shitamachi (downtown). The first floor showcases the living space of shitamachi such as a merchant’s house and a row of tenement house flats. The second floor shows a range of materials that detail the history of the shitamatchi area and there is even an area where visitors can see olden-day toys.
If you’re on the hunt for that perfect souvenir, make your way to 2k540 Aki-Oka Artisan—an alley of artisan shops and one-of-a-kind craftsmen discretely tucked away under the Yamanote tracks midway between Okachimachi and Akihabara stations. (There are a few good cafes on site if you need your morning caffeine fix.)
Got a half day to spare? Why not try our walking tour of the neighboring Ueno area that’s chock full of parks, museums, temples and more.
Where to stay in Okachimachi
Okachimachi Station Hotel is a standard hotel option with no fuss. A capsule room will cost you 2,600 yen and there are student discounts available on certain types of rooms. It’s only three minutes from the JR Okachimachi too—score. There’s also a branch of Super Hotel—a cheap chain dotted around Tokyo.
For more, check out your accommodation options in the Ueno area.