Ameyoko

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Ameyoko is a lively shopping area in the Ueno section of Tokyo.  It runs along a main railroad line close to Ueno station.  After World War II it was a thriving black market during the occupation.  A group of junior high school students were on a field trip through the crowded alleys. The latest fashions are available from shops that display their goods high above the streets during good weather.  It's a great place to get American style jeans and t-shirts. These shoes are high fashion among some hip young men in Tokyo and Nagoya.  They look even more ridiculous when their owner walks down the street. This year these vending machines were very popular.  Rows and rows contain small toys and trinkets that dangle from your cell phone.  The manga character looks like he's about to abduct one of the young ladies. Past the clothing stores is a fresh market with fish and vegetables.  As I was trying to take a photo of this vendor calling out his bargains, his friend stopped by to assist, grabbing a discount sign to add a humorous touch. Hokusai's print of "The Great Wave Off Kanagawa" is one of the world's most used and abused artworks.  Here it tastefully adorns a restaurant. The national government has launched an aggressive anti-smoking campaign.  This banner combines the face of a traditional Kabuki actor with modern international graphics.  Tokyo's local neighborhood governments began the effort about five years ago. This shrine is tucked between the stores and billboards.  It's a quiet oasis in a bustling business district and actually sits above a commercial establishment.