Yanesen is a popular area in Tokyo with rustic streetscapes and chic shops. Today, we introduce some highlights including the quaint Yanaka Ginza shopping street, a cherry blossom viewing spot, cafes and more!
Let's Explore Tokyo's Yanesen Area
Located near JR Nippori Station, the popular neighborhoods of Yanaka, Nezu and Sendagi are collectively called Yanesen. In today's article, we feature these three areas and highlight our recommended destinations!
Interesting Spots in Yanaka
Yanaka has a retro flavor. It's also known to the locals as "temple town," or "cat town."
１. Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street
Yanaka Ginza is a shotengai, or shopping street, located just five minutes from JR Nippori Station's west exit on foot.
This shopping street is lined with 70 shops along its 170 meter length. Its fruit and vegetable shops are a local favorite, and the many souvenir shops make it the perfect place to find a gift or souvenir. There are also shops that serve taiyaki (*1) and kakigori, or shaved ice.
If you stop by for a visit, you'll be able to enjoy the cozy and comfortable atmosphere that's unique to this area.
*1 taiyaki: a fish-shaped pancake filled with sweet bean paste.
2. Yanaka Cemetery
The Yanaka Cemetery area is popular as a cherry blossom viewing spot. During the sakura season, many people walk along the quiet streets and gaze up at the cherry blossom petals gently floating in the wind.
3. Tokyo Kitsch Yanaka
Tokyo Kitsch Yanaka is a souvenir shop specializing in Japanese-style goods. The owner's pet Shiba dog is the shop's star attraction.
Their unique souvenirs include business card holders covered with rush grass, the material used in making tatami mats, earrings in the shape of Japanese characters, and neckties sporting Mt. Fuji patterns!
All items are Made in Japan and feature both practical and fun design.
4. Yanaka Matsunoya
On the ledt-hand side of Yanaka Ginza's entrance, you'll find Yanaka Matsunoya.
The shop is very particular about selling daily goods made by local craftsmen. By doing so, the shop owners hope that customers will come to appreciate traditional crafts and the high quality of the handiwork.
5. Yanaka Kenshindo
Yanaka Kenshindo is both a cafe and a retail shop selling Japanese-style miscellaneous goods.
While gazing out at the activity along the shopping street, guests can enjoy a matcha latte, as well as zenzai and other sweets on the cafe premises. The many souvenirs capture the flavor of Japan and are really cute.
6. Kayaba Coffee
Kayaba Coffee is a cafe that first opened in 1938. After temporarily closing, it reopened in 2009 with its original retro atmosphere!
The shop owners want customers to spend truly relaxing and enjoyable time here, and also want young people to enjoy the unique culture of Japanese coffee shops.
Their specialty egg sandwich was recreated from the shop's original menu. Take one bite of the soft, plump eggs and you'll be hooked!
Formerly a student dormitory, hanare was renovated into a hotel and gallery cafe.
Their concept is "the entire town is your hotel." They offer a unique accommodation style in which guests are encouraged to have lunch and dinner at eating establishments in the neighborhood and take their baths at a local sento (public bath).
The Traveling Breakfast is served in the cafe on the first floor. It uses local ingredients and is very popular.
Spots To Visit in Nezu
Lined with numerous galleries, Nezu is an area that's well known as an art spot. Nearby, you'll find Tokyo University's Hongo Campus.
8. Nezu Shrine
Nezu Shrine has a history spanning some 1,900 years. The haiden (worship hall), karamon gate, and sukibei (wall with lattice work) were built during the Edo period and are Nationally Designated Important Cultural Properties.
On the shrine grounds, visitors can also enjoy a spot featuring a path lined with many torii gates.
In April and May, a festival is held featuring the shrines 3,000 azaleas in full bloom.*
*In 2021 the Azalea Garden closed on April 25th. For details on the garden's reopening please see Nezu Shrine's official homepage (Japanese)
9. Ryokan Sawanoya
Sawanoya Ryokan is a small, family run facility. The outside has a nostalgic look and inside there are 12 Japanese-style rooms. It's a popular place with international visitors because you can really connect with Japanese culture.
The cozy atmosphere might even have you saying "I'm home!" when you return after a day of sightseeing.
10. HOTEL GRAPHY NEZU
HOTEL GRAPHY NEZU is a hotel where guests have ample opportunities for social interaction. The hotel provides a wide open common space where guests can meet with each other and others who drop in for a visit.
From the hotel's rooftop you can get a panoramic view of the surrounding area. During the summer you can also see the nearby Sumidagawa Fireworks Festival.
read the rest of the article on the MATCHA website......