Buddha the Bargain Hunter

Posted by Glenn Kardy at


#8: Buddha the Bargain Hunter — January 8, 2013

The Manga University Daibutsu knows a good deal when he sees one. Today we took a trip to Ameyayokocho, more popularly known by its nickname, Ameyoko. During the Allied Occupation of Japan, this was the area of Tokyo where black-marketeers haggled with American servicemen, who were there to buy (and sell) candy, clothing, and wartime souvenirs.

Residents who have lived here since the postwar era still refer to the neighborhood — in English — as "American Alley."

Today, it's an old-fashioned outdoor bazaar where you can get ridiculously great discounts on everything from designer handbags and flight jackets to plastic bags full of fresh squid. We watched our budget, though, and only ended up buying a couple of juicy pineapple kebabs — freshly cut and skewered onto waribashi (disposable chopsticks). One hundred yen apiece, and absolutely delicious.

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