Walking and the pedestrian environment
February 2, 2007
Shopping Street Ranking (Tokyo)

Top five shopping districts in Japan, based on number of times showcased on TV.

This is an appendix to the special feature Merchants of Koenji, introducing the shopping districts (商店街, shoutengai) of Tokyo's Koenji (高円寺, Kouenji) neighborhood.

Recently the TV show Rankine's Paradise (ランキンの楽園, Rankin no Rakuen) profiled the top five shoutengai based on the number of times they appeared on TV in the last year.

Here's the ranking, with some of the notes from their site:

#1: Sugamo Jizo Street Shopping Disrict (巣鴨地蔵通商店街, Sugamo Jizou Doori Shoutengai), in front of Sugamo Station in Tokyo. Appeared 403 times. 800 meters long with over 200 shops. Known as "Old-timer's Harajuku" [Harajuku is a very busy commercial neighborhood aimed at young people]. While the crew was on location, they ran into crews from "Sanma no Karakuri Terebi" and "Hanamaru Maaketto", who were both doing interviews. On the show they profiled tea houses selling wagashi, bread shops selling an-pan, and a clothing store famous for selling the best red underwear in Japan. Don't worry, it's weird to the Japanese too.

#2: Tsukiji Fish Market (築地場外市場, Tsukiji Bagai Shijyo), in eastern Tokyo near Ginza. Appeared 360 times. "The kitchen of Japan", with 340 shops. You can always get cheap seafood. Of all of the shopping districts mentioned, this is the only one frequented by foreign tourists.

#3: Togoshi-Ginza Shopping District (戸越銀座商店街, Togoshi Ginza Shoutengai), near Oosaki in south-central Tokyo. Appeared 153 times. The longest shopping street in Japan, at 1.6 km in length. Over 400 stores. Created their own brand, and have released milk, sake, and 22 other types of goods, with over 100 items in their catalog.

#4: Nakano Broadway (中野ブロードウェイ, Nakano Buroodouei), near Nakano Station. 115 appearances. Four floors above ground, and one below. Over 300 shops. Since it's all in doors, the weather has no impact on shopping. Although Akihabara is world-known for it's otaku shops, Nakano Broadway was the real birth place of otaku culture. Mandarake is headquartered here, and has taken over a good part of the store fronts on the 3rd floor. Among other otaku-oriented stores, there is a maid game center (メイドゲーセン, meido geesen) and used to be an elf cafe.

#5: Happy Road Ohyama (ハッピーロード大山, Happii Roodo Ooyama), at Ohyama Station near Ikebukuro in Tokyo. Appeared 98 times. 560 meters long with 260 shops. One shop has 320 gumball toy machines. The crew bought some croquet (コロッケ, korokke) and fried chicken balls (チキンメンチ, chicken menchi) but failed to bring any back for the TV hosts.

They were surprised that Ueno's Ame-Yoko (Candy?) Shopping Street (上野アメ横丁, Ueno Ame Yokocho) didn't make the list, and only appeared 50 times. It shows up alot at the end of the year, and is the locations for season-long dramas.

Posted by Rob Ketcherside at February 2, 2007 9:46 PM
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