Are you the type of traveler who likes to fill your itinerary up with activities from early morning in order to maximize your vacation time? Then you'll love these stores that open early for customers interested in early morning shopping or food!
We'll help by introducing you to stores that come highly recommended by women in their 30s who have been working at or commuting from Ueno for more than 10 years.
Ecute: Ueno specialty goods and souvenirs
Located right within Ueno Station on the JR Line, most stores in this area are open from 8:00 a.m. onwards. You'll find a steady supply of candies, bento lunchboxes, and other foodstuff here, and there are plenty of souvenir stores around for you to shop in as well. Even if you're not intending to use the JR Line, you can still buy an entry ticket (140 yen) to enter the area and shop till you drop if you like!
Yu Nakagawa: Incredible products made from uniquely Japanese fabric
This old textile brand from Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten has made and sold hemp fabric products for more than 300 years since it was first established in Nara during the Edo era (1603 to 1868). Their current range of products include bags, western-style clothing, and other cloth-based items made with Japanese-style fabric.
The Ueno store is full of panda-themed products, since it's located near Ueno Zoo, where a panda cub was recently born. The panda handkerchief (702 yen, tax included) here is what we recommend buying, since it's only available in the Ueno store!
Yu Nakagawa Ueno Ecute Store遊 中川 上野エキュート店
- Address 3F within JR East Ueno Station, 7-1-1, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to, 110-0005
Within JR East Ueno Station
- Phone Number 03-5826-5607
Mondays to Saturdays - 8:00 a.m. — 10:00 p.m. (9:30 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays)
Uenoland: The place to go to for Ueno specialty souvenirs
Just look at that adorable panda salt bottle (1,080 yen, tax included)! But that's not all the creativity you'll see from the products here, of course. Every month, the shop teams up with a famous artist to create unique panda goods that you can only buy from this particular store.
- Address 3F within JR East Ueno Station, 7-1-1, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to, 110-0005
Within JR Ueno Station
- Phone Number 03-6231-7780
Mondays to Saturdays — 8:00 a.m. — 10:00 p.m. (9:30 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays)
Seijo Ishii: Hypermart fully packed with products stringently selected from all over the world
The concept behind this store is "global foods at global corner store prices". Seijo Ishii is a supermarket known for discovering delicious foodstuff from all around Japan and the world, and then bringing them together into one convenient spot for easy shopping. This particular store located in the station's Atre area is a one-minute walk away from the Shinobazu exit of Ueno Station on the JR Line.
Besides developing their own original products, the supermarket also has a central kitchen where they research and produce self-made deli foods, desserts, and other edibles. The company also imports products that were sourced from overseas. The unique system they have in place allows them to offer an unbeatable range of products that can only be found in Seijo Ishii supermarkets.
Popular products include the "Seijo Ishii Hand-rolled Nattō (fermented soybeans)" for 1,590 yen (1,718 yen, tax included) and the "Seijo Ishii Hand-rolled Nattō Tripartite Mix 170g" for 1,590 yen (1,718 yen, tax included). This is a dessert made from locally produced soybeans that were thoroughly ground into nattō and freeze-dried, seasoned with aromatic roasted sticky rice, mustard, spring onions, and soy sauce before finally being wrapped in premium Ariake seaweed in the style of hand-rolled sushi. The mix bag contains three flavors: Plain, kishu plum, and cheese.
There's also the "Seijo Ishii Thick Roasted Moshio (Seaweed Salt) Rice Crackers 130g" for 360 yen (389 yen, tax included). Each rice cracker is bursting with the umami flavor extracted from local koshihikari rice and seawater minerals (from seaweed). The crackers are on the smaller side, making them easier to bite into. They are very popular as finger food.
The supermarket opens its doors at 7:30 a.m. and sells light meals such as bento, deli food, dessert, and side dishes. Beverages are readily available as well, of course, and because the product lineup contains items sourced from all over the world, just strolling through the aisles of this store can be an adventure in itself!
Seijo Ishii Atre Ueno成城石井 アトレ上野店
- Address 1F Atre Ueno, 7-1-1, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to, 110-0005
Within "Atre" inside JR Ueno Station building
- Phone Number 03-5806-1336
Opening Hours: 7:30 a.m. — 11:00 p.m.
Edonogenmusu: Takeout-only onigiri (rice balls) with an astounding amount of local regulars
Edonogenmusu is a shop selling onigiri, or riceballs, in the Ueno area with more than 50 years of history. Nearly 90% of its patrons are office workers, and many of them are regulars. In fact, about half of their regulars visit the shop almost every day! The shop opens from 7:30 a.m. and has been the support of many a working person's starving stomach in the mornings.
There are about 20 types of onigiri being sold here. Besides the standard white rice balls, you'll also find onigiri made of wholegrain, brown rice, and more. All the onigiri here are wrapped up securely in a piece of sturdy seaweed and is made with a generous amount of rice and other ingredients. This is what onigiri should be all about - a hearty taste of Japan! Aptly named Japan's soul food, in recent years, the humble rice balls here have attracted the attention of many foreign visitors as well.
Genmusu onigiri are uncompromising on the quality of their rice and seaweed, reflecting the owner's background - he came from a family that sold rice as their livelihood. Onigiri handmade from stringently selected chemical-free organic ingredients are truly in a class of their own.
The shop also offers finger food, like daily deli, karaage (deep-fried chicken), and other standard side dishes. There are also two types of daily bento that start selling from 11:30 a.m. every day. The period where you'll see the most amount of products on sale is at about noon time. The onigiri you'll see most the often are regular favorites like salmon, cod roe, and mentaiko (pollack roe).
Each onigiri will set you back a reasonable 150 yen (tax included), and we recommend buying some takeout from here before heading down for your park or zoo visits. Only cash is accepted at the store, so be sure to bring some spare change to avoid disappointment!
- Address 6-16-17, Ueno, Taito-ku
2 minute walk from JR Ueno Station
- Phone Number 03-3831-5960
Rest Days: Saturdays, Sundays, Public Holidays
Ueno-no-Mori no Panyasan - Wholesome Ueno Koen L'ueno Store: A convenient food court and bakery
The concept behind L'ueno is "picnic-dining", and it is a complex built like a large food court, taking inspiration from things in the forest and animal world for its design. The variety of shops include hamburger joints, pasta and pizza shops, bakeries, and plenty of other food stores. The eating space can seat up to 200.
Once again, it's not Ueno if you don't see panda goods, and it's no different for bread as well. Start with the adorably panda-patterned "L'ueno Red Bean Bun (230 yen, tax included)". Also, pandas will keep popping out of the "Pandas Everywhere (880 yen per slice, tax included, and 450 yen for half a loaf, tax included)" loaf no matter how you slice it - literally.
The creative thought that must have gone into all of their food items will surely amuse you to no end. The bakery is conveniently open from early morning until the time people are starting to head back from the zoo.
The kids area is also designed after a zoo theme, with different kinds of chair-animals and cute animal wallpaper. Chairs and tables are low enough for little children to easily use, so if you're visiting with family in tow, fret not, because the whole family can definitely have a good time eating together here!
L'ueno is the only place in the Ueno area open during early morning for visitors with families to sit down for a proper meal. Try it out for your breakfast, breathers, and other scenarios as you're working through your Ueno itinerary!
Ueno no Mori no Panyasanうえのの森のパンやさん
- Address 1-57, Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to, 110-0007
1 minute walk from JR Ueno Station
- Phone Number 0120-070-612
Opening Hours: 6:00 a.m. — 11:30 p.m.
Rest Days: Not fixed
Kickstart Your Morning with Some Quick Shopping in Ueno!
There are so many places you can visit in Ueno. Go to the zoo, take a walk on the street, and visit the museums and parks. Before you head out to do all that, however, consider dropping by the places we've recommended in this article to fill up your stomach for the action-packed day ahead!
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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