Japan is an exciting destination to visit! To Explore! To Shop!
Let me share about the Anello bags we found in Tokyo. *wide smile*
My first purchase of this handy bag was at OG Orchard Point, a department store in Singapore. The next ones were bought from Anello stores in Ayala Center Cebu and Greenbelt 5 in Makati. What can I say but that I like the bag made by the Carrot Company of Japan, lol.
Reasons? They are sturdy, can be opened wide, youth cool vibe, plus they come in pastel colors too!
For our Japan trip, Titus was zeroing-in on gundam models and anime action figures, I was raring to get my hands on some Anellos in Tokyo. The bag makers Carrot Company is based in Ginza, Japan.
But alas, when we got there we were not able to spot any Anello stores and boutiques in the big malls – like Sky Tree’s Solamachi, Esetan, and Diversity Tokyo.
I tried googling for info on where to buy Anello bags in Tokyo. Browsing thru various comments on Trip Advisor, Agoda reviews, blog posts, etc was no good lead. It’s puzzling since it is easy to spot someone carrying one of these bags in the airport, subway, around tourist spots, etc. but we couldn’t find a store selling Anello hand bags, backpacks, pouches, etc. I was stumped. Where exactly in Tokyo did they get the bags in the first place?
The day before our designated ‘pasalubong shopping in Tokyo’ day, I chatted with a good friend, Rammel, who, together with his family, is a long-time resident of Tokyo. He recommended Japanese food to try and pasalubong spots, and would you know, out of the blue, he said if you want to buy Anello bags, get them at Ameyoko, it’s the cheapest there.
Right on!!! Perfect!!! Thank you, mel!!! Hahaha 😊
Rammel quips after my gushing … ‘Daan pa ko!’ (‘Just as I thought!’). Yep, Anello is popular among pinoys as Japan pasalubong and personal souvenirs. Am definitely excited!!! Lol.
How to Get to Ameyoko Market
We researched right away, Google Map says that Ameyoko market is just a few kilometers from Kanda, where our hotel is located. Next, I checked the HyperDia website (bookmark it if you are going to Tokyo, real handy!) for the nearest subway station to the location; we decided that we will get off in Okachimachi station on the JR Yamanote line going to Ueno/Ikebukuro. Fare was just JPY 140 per person.
The train ride was just 3 minutes JR Kanda station > Akihabara station > Okachimachi station.
*You may also get off in Ueno station since later in the day we found out that the location of the market is in-between Okachimachi and Ueno stations.
Ameyoko shopping district is a haven for those looking to buy sneakers, clothing, Japan souvenirs, and yes, Anello bags too! There is also a fresh seafood section and lots of local restaurants and eateries to try. We had giant scallops there, yum!!!
As you exit the train in Okachimachi station, notice this signage just across the road, that’s the entrance to the market. Real easy to spot.
Ang daming Anello bags dun! Lots of stores selling all types of Anello bags. Walk further inside the market for more choices.
Buying Anello Bags in Tokyo
I bought a couple of bags for myself, and the rest are for pasalubong.
*Pasalubong is a Filipino tradition of bringing back something from your trip. Usually it’s food or souvenir from the place you went to. Pasalubong giving usually signifies that you want to share your trip with those you will give pasalubong to and that they are not far from your mind during the getaway. Usually pasalubong are given to closest family and friends only, and not everyone you know; good thing, otherwise you’ll go home bankrupt haha.
We spent a total of JPY 26,200 net of discounts for the Anello bags. The prices there are really cheap compared to the bag’s prices in the Philippines. Resisting is futile!
p.s. the shop seller can speak a few lines of Tagalog! parang sa Divisoria ‘di na kaya’ when requested to give more discount hahha
At the end of the day’s splurge on pasalubong shopping, we were forced to buy an extra-luggage and a bag-trolley. The luggage we already have won’t cut it. Lol.
The day before we splurged on Gundam models in Tokyo Base Odaiba, the gunpla boxes were light-weight but bulky to pack. Because of the pasalubongs, bags, and toys, our baggage ballooned to 45 kilos from the 19 kilos that we were carrying from Manila to Tokyo. Hahha.
By the way, I find the Japanese sales clerks to be really accommodating and appreciative. A prime example is the guy who manned the Anello store. When we got to the market, we needed to change our US dollars to Japanese Yen. We haven’t look at any stuff yet, we just asked where we can exchange our USD.
The store’s in-charge took the time to walk-us around the bend, so he can point to the building where there is a foreign currency exchange counter. He isn’t even sure that we will go back to his store to buy, but still, he went out of his way. Totally appreciated it! Of course, we went back to his store after we got some yen. 😊
*In case you want to change your money, there is also a forex smart machine in Ameyoko located just across a Game Taito Station, near a corner. But the rate is a bit better at the 2nd floor of Daikoku-ya Brand-Kan. The first floor is dedicated to luxury hand bags.
There are lots of sneakers in Ameyoko, mostly the regular models of Nike, Adidas, New Balance etc. We haven’t spotted the special models and rare ones like what you can find in Hong Kong’s Mongkok’s sneaker street. But I supposed that one can get good deals for rubber shoes and sneakers in this Tokyo market. Are they original, and not fakes? Yes, we believe so.
Lunch in Ameyoko
There is a wet section of the market in Ameyoko with loads of fresh seafood!!!
Local eateries serving authentic Japanese food also abound in and around the area.
We decided to have our lunch at this resto KaisenHamayaki. Some of their bestsellers are 3 taste scallops and fresh oysters.
Funny thing is, it seems Filipinos are drawn to this resto. There were 3 tables, including ours, na Pinoy ang kumakain heheh. Really good meal! Love the huge scallops!
Back to Anellos…
We walked from Ameyoko shopping district to Akihabara, we just followed the train line. *There are also Anello bags in the 2nd floor of BIC Camera in Akihabara, but the prices were cheaper in Ameyoko.
You can also spot Anello bags for sale in Asakusa, particularly in the street leading to the main entrance of Sensoji Temple. Not sure if the prices there are more expensive there than in Ameyoko, but I think so.
Are the Anello bags that we found in Tokyo originals?
The feel, look, stitching, and over-all quality points to the bags as originals and not knock-offs. I based my observation on the Anello bags that I bought in stand-alone Anello boutique stores in the Philippines. My observation may be wrong due to limited experience, best to check for yourself when you get there.
So how much are the Anello bags in this market in Tokyo? Prices varies slightly. Example, one of the bags we bought was selling at JPY 3,000 and we found it on sale at JPY 3,500 in another store, still in Ameyoko.
Some stores sell Limited edition bags.
We bought 5 different types, some type in various colors. Check out the picture for the prices.
We are excited to go back to Japan and shop for toys, and Anello, and action figures, and eat, and explore!!!
This post is part of the Penfires series on Japan Travel. 🙂