Yanaka Ginza is a shopping street that naturally emerged centered around individual stores after 1950. Over 60 stores line the approximately 170-meter-long street, supporting the lives of people for a long time.

Although old townscapes are being lost in Tokyo due to redevelopment, Yanaka Ginza has preserved the old, good Japanese streetscape from that time based on the idea of cherishing the old townscape. Yanaka Ginza shopping street is one such place. In Yanaka, you can experience the local Japanese culture unique to this downtown (shitamachi) area.

Yanaka Ginza is also called a "cat town" because there are few cars and many cats living there. As someone who loves cats, I love strolling through Yanaka. I also recommend walking a bit farther from the shopping street to visit Yanaka Reien Cemetery, famous as a cherry blossom spot in spring.

This time, I'll introduce cafes where you can enjoy delicious coffee on your walk around Yanaka. Yanaka is home to various cafes, from historic retro cafes to stylish modern ones. I'm sure you'll find your favorite shop.

Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street

Yanaka Kenshindo

Yanaka Kenshindo
Source: Official website

At Yanaka Kenshindo, surrounded by Japanese sundries, you can take a break with Japanese sweets and tea. Their famous "water anmitsu" attracts long lines of visitors every day. The translucent jelly made with natural water is smooth and plump. You can add matcha honey to taste and enjoy it with sweet red bean paste and dango dumplings - a novel sweet experience you can only have here.

The cute Japanese sundries will make perfect souvenirs! The shop has only about 6 seats, so it often gets crowded. It's recommended to visit with ample time.

<Store Information>
- Hours: Sat, Sun & Holidays 11:00 - 17:00
- Closed: Mon - Fri
- Address: 2F, 3-11-15 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 
- Phone: 03-4283-5200
- URL: https://www.yanaka-kenshindo.com/

Cafe Manman Dou

Source: Tabelog

As you stroll along the Yanaka Ginza shopping street, you may be drawn in by the aroma wafting from this retro old house - it's cafe Manman Dou. 
The owner, passionate about coffee, carefully brews each cup from meticulously selected beans from around the world.

Photography and phone calls are prohibited inside, so keep your smartphone in your bag. Immerse yourself in the quiet flow of time without worrying about your phone.

<Store Information>
- Hours: Tue - Sun 10:30 - 18:30  
- Closed: Mondays
- Address: 3-15-4 Nishi-Nippori, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo 
- Phone: 03-3824-4800
- URL: https://www.facebook.com/cafe.manmandou

Yanaka Hisuian

Yanaka Hisui-an
Source: Tabelog

*As of May 2024, temporarily closed

When you break a sweat, what food do you crave? That's right, shaved ice (kakigori)! Yanaka Hisuian is a shop where you can enjoy rare natural shaved ice from Nikko.
The shaved ice made from natural ice has a fluffy, gentle texture. 
They offer a variety of Japanese flavors like matcha, wamogori (red bean and condensed milk), and yuzu. Although their main focus is shaved ice, they also serve coffee.
Why not pair the cold, sweet shaved ice with a rich, warm cup of coffee?

<Store Information>
- Currently closed
- Closed: Mon & Tue (Open on holidays)  
- Address: 3F Magazan Yanaka, 3-11-11 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Phone: 03-5809-0167
- URL: https://www.instagram.com/yanaka_hisuian/

Cafes Around Yanaka Ginza 

Coffee Koujyou

Source: Official website

At Coffee Koujyou, you can get takeout coffee at reasonable prices starting from 340 yen per cup. My recommendation is the "Coffee Jelly Drink" - a greedy combination of a cafe latte with coffee jelly added, merging a drink and a sweet treat! It's perfect for snacking while walking.

At the adjacent "Oyasumidokoro & Niwa" section, you can sit and relax in the spacious interior or on the terrace. Their "Corned Beef Sandwich" and "Char Siu Sandwich" using meat are popular even among regulars. It's a recommended spot for lunch too.

<Store Information>
- Hours: Mon - Fri 11:00 - 19:00 / Sat & Sun 10:00 - 19:00
- Address: 3-13-7 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 
-Website: https://www.tatamicafe-yanaka.com/


YANAKA coffee
Source: Tabelog

When it comes to coffee beans in Tokyo, look no further than the main store of Yanaka Coffee here in Yanaka. They always have 30 varieties of coffee beans from 15 countries ready, and you can choose the grind depth and coarseness, making this shop famous among coffee connoisseurs.  

The aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans always fills the shop as they roast each order on the spot. Coffee lovers can't get enough of this place. You can also buy takeout coffee while waiting for your freshly roasted order to be ready.

<Store Information>  
- Hours: 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
- Address: 3-8-6 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 
- Phone: 0120-874-877
- URL: https://www.yanaka-coffeeten.com/


Source: Official website

Close to the lively shopping street is the serene TENSUKE CAFE, an adorable shop with stylish wallpaper. TENSUKE is the name of the owner's dog. Being a dog lover, the owner allows small dogs in carriers inside.  It could be a nice stop during a dog walk.

They have an extensive drink menu, and the cake sets are popular. My recommendation is the "Indecisive Sweets 3-Piece Set" where you can choose 3 different cakes for just 1,380 yen - a great deal for a sweet tooth like me!

<Store Information>
- Hours: 11:00 - 17:30
- Closed: Irregular
- Address: 2F, 3-13-5 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 
- Phone: 080-6850-1010
- URL: https://tensukecafe.jimdofree.com/


Source: Official website

CIBI, with its main store in the cafe town of Melbourne, Australia, has the catchphrase "Making Life Enjoyable" as their concept.

Their "CIBI Breakfast" made with house-made natural yeast bread draws many customers from early morning. The popular "Flat White," said to originate from Oceania, lets you enjoy the authentic taste in Japan! Their lunch using seasonal ingredients and muffins made with the same recipes as their Melbourne location are also recommended.

<Store Information>
- Hours: 8:00 - 18:00  
- Address: 3-37-11 Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 
- Phone: 03-5834-8045  
- URL: https://www.cibi.jp/about

Sansakizaka Cafe

Sansaki-zaka cafe
Source: Tabelog

While sushi and ramen may be the most familiar Japanese foods, at Sansakizaka Cafe you can enjoy homemade side dishes (osamurae) in set meals, considered the taste of a Japanese home. The meals use plenty of vegetables and offer a wide variety, attracting regulars who visit daily as well as those who come from afar seeking this taste.

If I lived in Yanaka, I would probably become a regular too. The artistic interior also hosts concerts and other events in the evenings.

<Store Information>
- Hours: 11:00 - 17:00
- Closed: Wednesdays  
- Address: 5-4-14 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 
- Phone: 03-3822-0527
- URL: https://sansakizaka.com/

Cafe Yue

Cafe Yue
Source: Tabelog

The homey Cafe Yue is a cozy cafe with an extensive menu. My recommendation is the "Ultimate Roast Beef Bowl" using ichibu, a rare meat that yields only 2kg per cow. The meat just melts in your mouth. The large size is also available for big appetites.

They actively support the reconstruction of Tohoku, sourcing ingredients and crafts from the region. You can even enjoy Tohoku craft beers with the cafe menu! There is also an outdoor terrace allowing pets. 

<Store Information>
- Hours: Tue & Wed 8:00 - 17:00 / Fri, Sat, Sun & Holidays 8:00 - 17:00
- Closed: Mondays (Closed Tuesdays if Monday is a holiday), Thursdays
- Address: 6-3-12 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 
- Phone: 03-6356-6008
- URL: https://www.facebook.com/yanakacafeyue/

Kissa Nikai

Source: Tabelog

Kissa Nikai" is a cute shop with a retro signboard. It is located on the second floor, and you can reach it by climbing the stairs adorned with tableware and "Kokonn" items. The nostalgic interior, seemingly frozen in time for over 50 years, is bustling with young women seeking the "Showa Retro" atmosphere.

The signature menu item, "Nikai's Cream Soda," is a captivating beautiful blue. The ice cream on top uses yogurt ice cream, allowing for a refreshing taste. As a food lover, my recommendation is the sandwich that uses corned beef. It's generously portioned, and even among regular customers, it has a well-established reputation for being "delicious!"

<Shop Information>
- Business Hours: 11:00 - 18:00
- Regular Holidays: Wednesdays
- Address: 2nd Floor, 6-3-8 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Phone Number: 03-5834-2922
- instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kissa.nikai/?igshid=1ogdkxh39terg

C'afe COLO

Source: Tabelog

C'afe COLO is a quintessential old-school cafe. Using a siphon, they meticulously brew each cup of coffee one by one. The beautiful sight of the coffee boiling in the flask over the lamp's flame is captivating.

Their signature "Iced Coffee" has the rich aroma and crisp taste unique to siphon coffee. Served in a copper cup, it goes down smoothly. The handmade coffee jelly is also recommended.

<Store Information>
- Hours: Mon - Sat 11:00 - 17:30 / Sun 11:00 - 19:30
- Closed: Irregular  
- Address: 3-14-5 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 
- URL: https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131106/13195509/


Source: Tabelog

When I want to spend a quiet moment, I head to pásele. After passing through the lush garden, you'll arrive at this Spanish cafe - "pásele" means "welcome" in Spanish. Their signature menu item is "Churros con Latte," the classic Spanish snack of churros dipped in hot chocolate.
The lightly sweetened, light churros paired with the hot chocolate made from cacao beans are simply sublime.

With only around 10 seats, this cozy shop only accepts parties of 1-2 people. To preserve the ambiance, laptop use and photography are prohibited. Enjoy a digital detox in this tranquil space.

<Store Information>  
- Hours: Mon - Thu 13:00 - 19:00 / Sat, Sun & Holidays 11:00 - 19:00
- Closed: Fridays
- Address: 2-15-5 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 
- instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pasele.yanaka/

Cafe Flamboyant

Cafe Flamboyant
Source: Google Reviews

As you stroll through Yanaka, you may be drawn in by the alluring aroma of spices wafting from Cafe Flamboyant.  

In addition to the typical cafe fare of coffee and cakes, they also offer Indonesian cuisine for lunch. My recommendation is the Rendang - beef simmered for hours in spices. This dish was even ranked #1 on CNN's "The world's 50 best foods" list in 2017. Be sure to try this world-class dish!

<Store Information>
- Hours: Mon - Fri 11:00 - 17:00 / Sat & Sun 10:00 - 17:00
- Address: 2-8-12 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 
- Phone: 03-5834-7410  
- URL: https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131106/13157755/

Retro Cafes


Source: Official website

HAGI CAFE is located inside the wooden building HAGISOU, constructed over 60 years ago. Originally an apartment set for demolition, it was renovated by local volunteers and reborn as a facility housing a cafe, gallery, and salon.

Their popular "Traveler's Breakfast Set" served during morning hours offers traditional Japanese dishes like grilled fish and egg rolls. For lunch, the "Saba Sandwich" using the same recipe since its founding is recommended - a hefty sandwich packed with crispy grilled mackerel.

<Store Information>
- Hours: Mon - Fri 8:30 - 10:30, 12:00 - 17:00 / Sat, Sun & Holidays 8:30 - 10:30, 12:00 - 20:00
- Address: 3-10-25 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Phone: 03-5832-9808
- URL: https://hagiso.com/hagiso/


Kayaba Coffee
Source: Tabelog

KAYABA Coffee is one of the oldest buildings in Yanaka, constructed over 100 years ago in 1916. It started operating as Kayaba Coffee in 1938, but closed in 2006 before being revived by an NPO in the same year.  

This historic cafe's classic menu items remain popular today. The signature "Egg Sandwich" uses delightfully fluffy eggs and bread made with special yeast. My recommendation is to pair it with their "Lucian" drink, a blend of coffee and cocoa - an unchanging taste from the past.

<Store Information>
- Hours: 8:00 - 18:00
- Closed: Mondays (Closed Tuesdays if Monday is a holiday) 
- Address: 6-1-29 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 
- Phone: 03-4361-3115
- URL: https://www.instagram.com/kayabacoffee/

Cat Cafes for Cat Lovers

Yadorigi Cafe & Restaurant to Interact with Rescued Cats

Yadorigi Cafe
Source: Yadorigi Cafe Official Website

Yadorigi Cafe & Restaurant is a dream come true for cat lovers - you can dine surrounded by over 20 rescued cats! Their signature "Cat-ccino" latte art featuring cute cat designs is adorable enough to make any cat lover swoon.

The Italian owner serves up authentic Italian dishes like pasta and tiramisu. While considered a high-level restaurant, Yadorigi is popular as "the cat cafe" in Yanaka. 

As the cafe rescues stray cats, entry is prohibited for those who have visited other animal cafes or interacted with stray cats to prevent spreading disease. Be sure to check their website for other rules before visiting.  
Reservations are required on weekends and holidays.

<Store Information>
- Hours: Wed - Fri 13:00 - 21:00 / Sat, Sun & Holidays 11:00 - 19:00
- Closed: Mon & Tue
- Address: 3-15-1 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 
- Phone: 03-5809-0864
- URL: https://www.yadorigicafe.com/

Lu Plebe

Lu Plebe
Source: Tabelog

The retro cafe Lu・Plebe is open from 8am, with an antique atmosphere. Here, you may encounter the owner's two cat residents who freely roam between the cafe and residence through a hole, going wherever their cat mood takes them. Spotting both would be very lucky! The cafe is also decorated with cute cat knickknacks.  

I recommend their "Morning Set" with the quintessential cafe fare of ham, eggs, toast, and coffee - a perfect way to start your day surrounded by comforting cat vibes.

<Store Information>
- Hours: 8:00 - 19:00
- Closed: Wednesdays
- Address: 2F, 1-12-6 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 
- Phone: 03-3823-6254
- URL: https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131106/13076329/dtlrvwlst/B483077132/?lid=unpickup_review

Cafe Nekoemon  

Cafe Nekoemon
Source: Cafe Nekoemon Official Website

Cafe Nekoemon is housed in a retro townhouse over 90 years old, with a chic modern Japanese interior space. 

At Nekoemon, you can enjoy drinks while decorating a "Maneki Neko" (beckoning cat) figurine said to bring good luck since the Edo period. The cafe menu is full of cat-themed items like the "White Cat Cheesecake" and "Paw-Print Madeleines" - perfect for cat lovers like myself. Next door is Yanakado, a shop selling cat-themed goods.

<Store Information>  
- Hours: 11:00 - 18:00
- Closed: Mondays (Closed Tuesdays if Monday is a holiday)
- Address: 5-4-2 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 
- Phone: 03-3821-0090  
- URL: https://yanakado.com/c_nekoemon.html

Sightseeing Spots Around Yanaka Ginza

Yuyake-Dandan (Sunset Steps)

Yuyake dandan
Source: Jalan

After exiting the west gate of Nippori Station and heading towards Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street, you'll come across the "Yuyake-Dandan" steps, a symbol of Yanaka Ginza. Meaning "Sunset Steps," this name was chosen by public submissions and the steps are beloved by locals.

From the steps, you can overlook the entire shopping street. At sunset, the nostalgic scenery is painted in a beautiful red glow. I also love the view from the top of the steps looking back at the shopping street after strolling through it.

Address: 3-14 Nishi-Nippori, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo 

Yanaka Reien Cemetery

Yanaka Cemetery

Yanaka Reien, with its 7,000 graves across 10 hectares, is a cemetery surrounded by nature where you can even view the Tokyo Skytree. Famous as a cherry blossom spot in spring, the tunnels of blooming trees are breathtakingly beautiful.  

Far removed from the bustling city, this lush, serene cemetery may give you a different impression of graveyards. Locals often visit for strolls and runs, making it an oasis in the community. The cemetery is the resting place of prominent figures including Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the last shogun.

Address: 7-5-24 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo  

Tennouji Temple

Source: Tendai Buddhism Tokyo District Official Website

Tennouji Temple is located within the lush green Yanaka Reien Cemetery. Established in 1274 during the Kamakura period, it is the oldest temple in Yanaka. Although ancient,
Here is the continuation about Tennouji Temple and other sightseeing spots around Yanaka Ginza:

Tennouji Temple is located within the lush green Yanaka Reien Cemetery. Established in 1274 during the Kamakura period, it is the oldest temple in Yanaka. Although ancient, the temple grounds are beautifully maintained. During the fresh green season, beautiful scenery spreads out.

The large main statue is of Amida Nyorai, the Buddha said to deliver all beings from suffering.
The temple also enshrines Bishamonten, one of the Seven Lucky Gods in Yanaka. You can rest on the benches while admiring the Great Buddha statue.

Hours: 9:00 - 17:00
Address: 7-14-8 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 

Asakura Sculpture Museum

Asakura cho-so kan
Source: Official Facebook

This was the home and atelier of sculptor Fumio Asakura. Asakura first set up a small atelier here at age 24, gradually expanding it into the current impressive 3-story building.

Inside, lifelike bronze sculptures by Asakura are displayed. There are many highlights in this museum that exudes an unhurried atmosphere. My recommendation is the "Five Classics Pond" in the Japanese garden, where you can admire the beautiful koi carp swimming elegantly.

- Hours: 9:30 - 17:30
- Closed: Mon & Thu  
- Address: 7-18-10 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Phone: 03-3821-4549
- URL: https://www.taitogeibun.net/asakura/

Nezu Shrine

Nezu Shrine
Source: Official Website

Lush greenery spreads out at Nezu Shrine, right in the heart of the city. It is said that this shrine was established over 1,900 years ago by the Emperor Yamato Takeru when he unified Japan.

Famed as a top spot for azaleas, over 3,000 azalea plants create a stunning scenery when in bloom in spring. An azalea festival is even held in April, drawing many visitors. Don't miss the 1,000 tori gates leading to the Otome Inari Shrine precinct - you can feel the depth of Japan's spiritual heritage here.

- Hours: 6:00 - 17:00
- Address: 1-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 

This covered the recommended cafes worth visiting along the nostalgic Yanaka Ginza shopping street in the old Tokyo neighborhood of Yanaka, known as a "cat town."  
With many pet-friendly cafes with terraces, this is an area where you can feel the warmth of people and animals alike. Each cafe has its own unique character, making you want to become a regular. I hope you get to experience the enchanting ambiance of Yanaka for yourself!

Magical Trip offers a tour where you can learn about Yanaka's history from a local guide while experiencing gems like a traditional townhouse cafe and painting your own Maneki Neko lucky cat. It's a content-rich tour that lets you create special memories unique to this shitamachi area.

>> Check out the Yanaka Historical Walking Tour in Tokyo's Old Town