In Tokyo, redevelopment continues, and areas where you can enjoy the old streetscape are becoming scarce. However, Yanaka Ginza retains the appearance of old Tokyo.

In the surrounding area, there are many nature-rich tourist spots such as Yanaka Cemetery with beautiful cherry blossoms and Nezu Shrine with its azalea flower festival.

In particular, at the Otome Inari Shrine of Nezu Shrine, there is a passage where thousands of red wooden gates form a tunnel-like path, which is very beautiful, and I definitely recommend visiting.

The biggest attraction is the Yanaka Ginza shopping street, which has about 60 individual shops lined up. Some shops have been around for over 100 years, and as a Japanese person, I find many nostalgic products that make me want to buy them.

This time, I, a lover of traditional Japanese sweets, will introduce shops where you can enjoy traditional Japanese sweets and snacks in Yanaka! Please note that many shops do not accept credit cards, so be sure to bring cash.

Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street

Goto no Ame (Candy)

Goto no ame
Source: Tabelog

Goto no Ame, established in 1922, is a handmade candy shop that also offers a wide variety of traditional Japanese snacks.

The handmade original candies have simple ingredients and a moderate sweetness. There are many varieties that will catch your eye, but my recommendations are the roasted green tea candy and matcha (green tea) candy. The roasted tea candy uses roasted green tea from a local tea shop, giving it a rich tea flavor. The matcha candy has a rich matcha aroma.

There are also fruit candies made by mixing in fruits without using flavorings. Of these, I particularly like the yuzu (citrus) candy.

I also recommend the "anko tama" as a traditional Japanese confection - it is made of sweet bean paste covered in roasted soybean flour. I also like "imokenpi" (deep-fried shredded sweet potato) and "karinto" (Japanese brown sugar snack).

Handmade candies are perishable, so there are fewer products available in the summer. However, from October to March, there is a wide variety. It is a take-out-only shop, and they do not accept credit cards. It's a great snack for your stroll!

<Store Information>
- Address: 3-15-1 Nishi-Sugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
- Closed: Wednesdays, summer break
- Phone: 03-3821-0880
- Hours: 10:30 - 19:00
- Official Website:
- Payment Methods: Cash only


Source: Tabelog

Waguriya is a shop that uses Japanese chestnuts in its food products. The owner himself cultivates the chestnuts using an environmentally friendly method without pesticides or fertilizers.

Their specialty is the exquisite Mont Blanc dessert. Although Mont Blanc is not a traditional Japanese sweet, it allows you to enjoy the delicate Japanese style.

I recommend the "Mont Blanc de Cerf Houjicha Set." The freshly squeezed, fluffy Mont Blanc paste is rich in chestnut flavor and has a moderate sweetness.

On weekdays or rainy days, you can usually get in without too much wait. Even on weekends, you often only have to wait 30 minutes to 1 hour. There is a one-order-per-person rule, and you must order a set menu.

For reservations, please check their website (和栗や-谷中-本店/). They do not accept credit cards.

For take-out, you cannot get the Mont Blanc dessert, but you can order their soft-serve ice cream made only from fresh milk and chestnuts. You can eat it on the benches outside.

I want to visit again, so if you like chestnuts, please stop by!

<Store Information>
- Address: 3-9-14 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Closed: Mondays 
  *Open daily during Golden Week, summer, fall, and New Year holidays
- Phone: 03-5834-2243
- Hours: 11:00 - 17:30 (Last order 16:30)
  *Closing time may vary depending on the ingredients
- Official Website:
- Instagram:
- Payment Methods: Cash only, no e-money, QR code payment available

Yanaka Kenshindo

Kenshin do
Source: Tabelog

Yanaka Kenshindo is a cafe and shop for traditional Japanese crafts, located on the 2nd floor where you can look down on the Yanaka Ginza shopping street from a slightly elevated viewpoint.

The sweets and drinks, dedicated to Japanese tradition, are filled with a Japanese aesthetic from their very appearance.

My recommended menu item is the "Mizuanmitsu." This rare, transparent jelly is made from natural spring water and served with traditional Japanese syrup, sweet bean paste, and white sweet dumplings.

You can also purchase carefully selected traditional Japanese crafts as souvenirs. Since the owner handpicks each item, you'll find pieces unavailable at larger souvenir shops.

The cafe has only around 6 seats, so I recommend visiting alone or with 1-2 others. Credit cards are accepted for purchases over 3,000 yen.

If you'd like to view Japanese traditional crafts or enjoy sweets, I definitely recommend a visit.

<Store Information>
- Address: 2F, 3-11-15 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo  
- Closed: Weekdays *In principle, open on weekends and holidays
*Temporary closures announced on SNS:
- Phone: 03-4283-5200  
- Hours: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm (Last order 30 minutes before closing)
  *Hours may vary by season (longer hours in summer)
- Official Websites:
- Payment Methods: Credit cards accepted (VISA, Master), no e-money

Around Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street

Japanese Confections "Soradaki"

Source: Official Facebook

Soradaki is a Japanese confectionery shop located down a small street off the main Yanaka Ginza shopping street. It's a renovated old building where the owner handmakes seasonal fruit confections.

I recommend the "Daifuku," a traditional Japanese treat with sweet bean paste wrapped in soft rice cake. The strawberry daifuku is particularly delicious.

The "Dōmyōji," a pink confection with a nice cherry blossom leaf aroma, is also sold during the cherry blossom season.

The seasonal fruit pound cakes are tasty as well. However, be sure to eat them the day of purchase as they contain no preservatives or additives.

Products rotate seasonally - apple daifuku from early October to late February, strawberry daifuku from mid-December to late March, and so on.  

It's take-out only, but you can eat on the bench by the entrance. Cash only, no credit cards.

They may sell out early, so calling ahead during business hours to reserve is recommended.

<Store Information>
- Address: 3-11-12 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Open: Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays
- Closed: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays (Irregular closures)
- Phone: 03-5809-0125
- Hours: 12:00 - 18:00 
  *Closing when sold out
- Official Facebook:
- Payment Methods: Cash only, e-money accepted  

Yanaka Sembei

Yanaka Senbei
Source: Official Facebook

Yanaka Sembei Shin Sendou is a rice cracker shop that has been in business since 1913. Sembei are flat, crispy rice crackers that have a long shelf life, making them a popular offering at Buddhist memorial services when there were many sembei shops. However, Yanaka Sembei is now the only remaining shop.

The sembei are carefully handmade one by one without any preservatives, colorings, or chemical seasonings for a simple flavor.

I recommend the "Kenmaru" - the standard soy sauce flavor is perfect for those who want to try classic Japanese sembei. The "Zarame" made with sugar has a slightly sweet taste and is easy to eat. The sesame, peanut, nori seaweed, and shrimp varieties are also delicious. As a sembei lover, I always end up buying a variety!

It's take-out only, cash only, but you can buy them one piece at a time, making it affordable.

If you visit between 10am-2pm, you may be able to see the sembei being made.

<Store Information>  
- Address: 7-18-18 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Closed: Tuesdays  
  *Temporary closures posted on Facebook
- Phone: 03-3821-6421
- Hours: 10:00 - 17:30
- Official Facebook:
- Payment Methods: Cash only, no cards, no e-money, no QR codes

Fukumaru Manju

Fukumaru Manju.jpeg

Fukumaru Manju is a popular shop known for offering authentic, small Japanese confections at reasonable prices. They also have small branches at stations around Tokyo.

I recommend their most popular item, the karinto manju - a wheat dough skin kneaded with brown sugar and filled with sweet bean paste, then deep-fried for a crispy texture. It gained popularity after being featured in a TV drama, attracting many Japanese visitors.

I also like the hitokuchi daifuku (bite-sized rice cakes with bean paste filling) and dorayaki (sweet azuki bean paste sandwiched between small pancake-like castella cakes).

Everything is very inexpensive, so you can buy it without hesitation. However, some items have a short shelf life, so it's best to only buy what you can eat that day or the next.

It's take-out only, and they may sell out in the late afternoon, so I recommend going in the morning.  

Cash only. You can call ahead to reserve, preferably the day before.

<Store Information>
- Address: 3-7-8 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 
- Closed: The main Yanaka shop is open year-round
- Phone: 03-3823-0709  
- Hours: 11:00 - 17:00
  *Closing when sold out
- Official Website:
- Instagram:
- Payment Methods: Cash only, no cards, no e-money, no QR codes

At Yanaka Ginza, you can find shops selling traditional Japanese sweets and snacks loved for over 100 years. Many Japanese snacks come individually wrapped, perfect for strolling and snacking.

While in Yanaka Ginza, immerse yourself in Japanese food culture, but also be sure to visit the shrines and temples to experience Japan's history.

If you want to enjoy Yanaka in 3.5 hours, I recommend the Magical Trip Yanaka Tour! You can learn about Japanese history at shrines, enjoy traditional sweets at cafes, experience Japanese craft-making, and buy traditional snacks at Yanaka Ginza. A knowledgeable local guide will show you around Yanaka's cultural highlights in English.

>>Tour Details:

Yanaka retains an old Tokyo nostalgia that is becoming lost to redevelopment - an atmosphere even Japanese people find nostalgic. Please come visit this charming area!