Useful tips for exploring shotengai

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Shotengai Tour―Neighborhood Shopping Streets for a Local Experience of Tokyo

Useful tips for exploring shotengai

The basics of shotengai, and a collection of phrases for communicating with the shop owners—learn this section by heart and explore Tokyo's shopping streets like a local.

The basics of Japanese shotengai

  • What are Japanese shotengai?

    Shotengai are shopping streets home to many private stores that offer daily necessities and inexpensive, delicious foodstuffs. Each community has one with unique attractions. Residents shop for groceries, children buy their snacks, and workers stop by for after-hours drinks. The shotengai is a natural gathering place for the locals.

  • What time of the day is best for visiting a shotengai?

    Many stores are open from around 11 in the morning to 7 in the evening.

  • Are there any special rules to follow?

    Don't eat while walking if the streets are busy. Don't cut in front of others in a line. Don't litter. Simply use your common sense and mind your manners.

Japanese phrases for shotengai

Selecting a product

Japanese
おすすめはなんですか?
Pronunciation
Osusume wa nan desuka?
Meaning
What do you recommend?
Japanese
なにをつかった料理ですか?
Pronunciation
Nani wo tsukatta ryouri desuka?
Meaning
What is this dish made of?

Making a purchase

Japanese
これをください。
Pronunciation
Kore wo kudasai.
Meaning
I'll take this, please.
Japanese
いくらですか?
Pronunciation
Ikura desu ka?
Meaning
How much is it?

Eating a food item now

Japanese
ここで食べてもいいですか?
Pronunciation
Koko de tabetemo ii desuka?
Meaning
Can I eat this here?

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