Jun 12, 2022 COLUMN

”To regain the hustle and bustle of Ameyoko,” said Mr. Chiba, a spokesperson for the Ameyoko Federation.


The number of people in Ameyoko is decreasing under the corona. Therefore, we must regain the hustle and bustle of previous Ameyoko. To that end, public relations and event activities will play a part in the revival. So, this time, I asked Mr. Chiba, who is in charge of public relations of the Ameyoko Federation, about his activities so far and future prospects.

Mr. Chiba
(Ameyoko Federation Public Relations)

He opened “Albuquerque” in 1992. At the direction of the former president of the Ameyoko Federation, he began to be in charge of public relations more than 10 years ago.

What kind of activities have you carried out so far?

So far, I have held many events in Ameyoko. For the last two years, it’s not possible to have events under Corona, but before Corona, We had an event 2.3 times a year every year like “Ueno Sakura Festival” in spring, “24-hour TV charity” in summer, and “Halloween” in autumn.
At 24-hour TV charity, I received a letter of appreciation for collecting donations in Ameyoko for seven years. I also have other activities such as professional wrestling on the 5th floor of the Ameyoko Center Building, street live performances and events with Star Wars and Harry Potter actors.
In addition, I am actively receiving TV coverage, and recently I have been promoting Ameyoko by expanding the range of media such as appearing on YOUTUBE “Ega Channel”.

You said that you have held various events, why did you start to focus on the events?

Ameyoko is famous all over Japan, but I feel that many people do not know what kind of shops are in buildings such as Ameyoko Plaza. Also, there are many people who have never come even if they know Ameyoko. I started the event with the hope that such people would actually visit Ameyoko and get to know it.

How is the event effect?

The effect of the event is enormous, and during the event period, the number of people will almost double compared to the normal day. Furthermore, I heard that there are many people who get to know Ameyoko owing to events and continue to come there after that. However, not all events have been very successful. Some worked, others didn’t. As a result of continuing to hold events through repeated trial and error, I feel that recently it has finally become known what kind of stores are inside Ameyoko. And Ameyoko’s recognition has spread not only in Japan but all over the world, and interviews from overseas such as South Korea, China, Thailand, Malaysia, etc. are often coming.

What part of Ameyoko will you want to convey?

There are many izakaya and fish stores outside, Also there are many merchandise inside. It is a shopping district like a defeated department store. There is nothing that isn’t in Ameyoko. I want more people to know that we sell everything except cars. I want you to come with a sense of treasure hunting. Ameyoko is where you can experience such fun. There is no arcade, no pavement, and there are frequent talks about repairs from vendors, but I dare to refuse all of them. If it rains, water will collect. I don’t want to erase the retro style that has been going on since the old days. I would like to continue to promote the fact that “Ameyoko is a retro shopping street”.

What kind of people do you feel you need to publicize in the future?

For a long time, the customers in Ameyoko were mainly elderly people, but recently, I feel that many young people are coming because there are many izakaya. Therefore, I think it is necessary to carry out activities to convey to young people not only the izakaya but also the appeal of product sales. I would like you to go inside and see our products.

Please tell us about your future prospects.

Since the number of people has decreased under Corona, we plan to go back to the start and do activities.
Previously, as an event in the shopping district, I often did “Galapon” which you could draw lots and redeem for prizes when you shopped in Ameyoko, which was one of the exciting events. Therefore, I would like to hold high-impact events such as Garapon again.
Also, since there are many vacant stores in Ameyoko plaza, we are always accumulating ideas such as plans to hold food fairs using the vacant space. When Corona calms down a little more, we will start activities at once.
I also feel that it is necessary to convey the appeal of Ameyoko not only to people who is outside of Ameyoko but also to young people who work in Ameyoko. I want young people to think about opening a store and inherit Ameyoko. Also, we must train young people. As part of that, I think it would be good to absorb the ideas of young people and jointly plan the event.

There was a time when many people were negative about events because they thought it was natural that people gathered in Ameyoko. However, the number of customers has decreased due to the influence of Corona, so many people are asking for an event. In response to that voice, I would like to continue to do activities.

A lot of events in Ameyoko have entertained many people so far. Interesting projects will continue to be implemented. Keep an eye on future Ameyoko information.

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