Yanaka Ginza

Lily Crossley-Baxter
a year ago
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Known for a winding cemetery, old-town shopping district and a relaxing atmosphere, Yanaka is the perfect district to stroll through. Filled with independent, family-run shops and cafes, it holds a nostalgic charm unique to the shitamachi areas of Tokyo. Referring to the lower part of the city which runs along the Sumida river, shitamachi captures the old-town style of the capital, an Edo-era world that never quite caught up with the modern changes that followed. Yanaka Ginza is a shopping district with 60 stores, all governed by a local community group aimed at ensuring specialty products and independent businesses. Alongside sweet steamed buns you’ll find cute cat-shaped taiyaki - a nod to the felines residents of the area. The renewal of the area has led to a combination of sake bars, coffee shops and craftsmen mixing to form a unique and fascinating community. The nearby cemetery was once part of Tennoji Temple and is home to the resting place of the Edo era’s final shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu among many notable names. Lined with corkscrewed cherry trees the paths are dotted with cats and offer a quiet place for reflection. There are numerous temples and shrines in the area and exploring on foot is the best way to go - lookout for the 100-year old Himalayan Cedar tree that towers over a small street junction. Planted by a shopkeeper’s grandfather, the tree has appeared on a variety of tv shows and films and was saved from removal by a dedicated community group.
  • Details
  • 3-chōme-13-1 Yanaka, Taito City, Tōkyō-to 110-0001, Japan
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    Physical 1
    Culture 3
    Fun 4
    Education 2
  • Tags
    Family friendly
    Hidden gem

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