Atre Ueno is one of two popular shopping centers inside JR Ueno Station. The other shopping center, Ecute, is located inside the ticket gates. Atre however, is located outside the ticket gates. This shopping mall has a good range of shopping facilities with a lot of fashion boutiques and souvenir shops, a supermarket, a drugstore, a bakery and a bookstore. There are also plenty of cafés where you can take a break, and restaurants serving both international and Japanese cuisine.
Atre is arranged in two halves which are located on the east and west sides of the station’s Grand Concourse. Most of the shops are located on the west side of Atre, while the east side has mostly restaurants. In this article we will look at each side of Atre in turn and introduce some individual stores.
The west side of Atre has a good mix of stores selling mainly fashion and food, along with general gift shops, a bookstore, a few cafés, and also some restaurants on the outside of the building. Most of the stores are located on the 1st floor, but there are also small number of stores outside the Shinobazu Ticket Gates on the 2nd floor which include a café and a convenience store. Here are some highlights.
Urban Research Make Store is a popular fashion boutique selling stylish but casual ladies wear.
Passage Mignon is a ladies fashion store which tries to recreate the experience of a Parisian flea market. Here you can find an array of hats, bags, shoes, and other accessories.
United Arrows is a fashion boutique selling select international brands for both ladies and men.
Kutsushitaya is a shop specializing in socks for both ladies and men. This shop stocks a range of colorful socks for casual wear, and sensible socks for business, but all the socks are guaranteed to be comfortable.
Birthday Bar is a gift shop with a huge range of goods including stationary, kitchenware, accessories, leather goods, clothing, interior goods and beauty products. Because this is the Ueno branch you can expect to find a lot of panda themed gifts and cuddly toys too.
There is a small English language books section in Books Meishodo where you can find both popular fiction and books about Japan.
The Garden Jiyugaoka is an extensive quality supermarket which includes a delicatessen with prepacked meals such as sushi and bento lunch boxes, and a very well-stocked drinks section.
Right beside the Garden Jiyugaoka supermarket is the luxury Belgian chocolate shop, Godiva.
West Side Dining
In this section of Atre there are four cafés on the 1st floor, these include a branch of Starbucks, and a tearoom called Afternoon Tea where you can get British-style tea with freshly baked cakes or cookies. Afternoon Tea also operate a gift shop beside their tearoom called Afternoon Tea Living where you can buy teapots, tea sets, and other tea making utensils, as well as stationary and other assorted goods.
Andersen is a Danish-style bakery which also includes a café. The bakery stocks a good range of breads, pastries, and ready-made sandwiches and because this is Ueno, you can also buy some panda-themed bread and cakes here. In the café you can enjoy hot sandwiches and other freshly baked goods with a cup of tea or coffee.
Anmitsu Mihashi is an old-fashioned Japanese sweets parlour specializing in desserts featuring anmitsu which is a kind of agar jelly. The Mihashi company has been operating cafes like this in Ueno for over 70 years and their Japanese-style parfaits are a famous local treat.
There is a fifth café on the 2nd floor outside the Shinobazu Ticket Gates. This is a branch of the Dotour chain of coffee shops and you can get a decent cup of coffee and reasonably priced sandwiches there.
There are also a number of restaurants on the western exterior of the station building which face onto Park Avenue. Mostly these are noodle shops, but there is also a Spanish restaurant here and an Italian restaurant. To reach these restaurants you should go out of the Yamashita Exit on the west side of Atre and you will then find them on your immediate right.
The east side of Atre mostly consists of restaurants and bars. On the first floor there is a branch of the American style diner, Hard Rock Café, and a French bistro restaurant called Brasserie L’écrin. The second floor is also entirely occupied with a restaurant arcade where you can find a variety of eateries serving sushi, noodles, pork cutlets, hamburger steaks, Japanese sweets, Thai food, as well as a British style pub.
There are a small number of shops in the east side of Atre. L’Occitane en Provence is a popular international retailer of natural skincare and beauty products, fragrances, hand creams, essential oils, and hair care products.
Kokumin is a drugstore selling pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, health food, haircare products, and bathroom supplies. Tax discounts are available for overseas residents who shop at this store. If you bring your passport and spend up to 5,001 yen on consumable goods, or 10,001 yen on general goods, you can get a refund on consumption tax.
There is an information counter on the 1st floor of the west side of Atre. There you can pick up a free guide to the shopping center which includes a map to help you find your way around.
There is also a currency exchange counter on the 2nd floor of the east side of Atre. This World Currency Shop is open from 11.00 until 19.00.
Atre Ueno Station Opening Hours:
Shops: 10.00 – 21.00
Restaurants & Cafes: 11.00 – 22.30
(Some business hours may differ)
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.