Away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, there is a place called "Yanaka Ginza" where the atmosphere of old Japan remains. Yanaka Ginza is a central spot in the area called "Yanesen" (Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi), which preserves the old townscape of Tokyo.

This is an area that has escaped urbanization and redevelopment, allowing visitors to feel the daily life of local Tokyoites. It's a popular area even for us Japanese to visit with a sense of nostalgia, and I would recommend it to foreign visitors who value local experiences.

In the old days, Tokyo had many stray cats that were loved and cared for by the locals. This tradition is still alive in Yanaka Ginza, which remains a place where "town cats," now a rarity in Tokyo, are cherished. As a cat-loving neighborhood, the shopping street is lined with cat-themed shops and ornaments.

This article serves as a guide to enjoy the local charms of Yanaka Ginza.

Table of Contents
This article comprehensively introduces the attractions of Yanaka Ginza. If you want to read only specific information, please refer to the following sections:

Yanaka Ginza Zone Map and Access

Yanaka Ginza consists of a shopping street and its surrounding area. First, I will briefly introduce the characteristics of each area.

Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street Area

The area where you can most feel the local life is the shopping street. There are shops catering to tourists, but stores that locals have been using on a daily basis still remain.

The delicatessens (called "sozai" in Japanese) sold at various stores around the Yanaka Ginza shopping street are what locals buy every day, but they are also perfect as street food for travelers to take along while strolling through the streets.

There are also stores selling handmade Japanese crafts and various other types of stores lining this street.

On the outskirts of Yanaka Ginza, there is "Yuhi Dandan," a famous photo spot where you can see the old townscape of Tokyo illuminated by the red sunset in the evening.

If you want to enjoy the Yanaka Ginza area, I recommend spending most of your time on this shopping street, and if possible, visiting during the evening hours.

East: Nippori Station Area

Yanaka Ginza shopping street has two nearest stations to the east and west, and one of them is Nippori Station to the east. There are historical spots such as Yanaka Cemetery and Tennoji Temple near this station that allow you to feel the nostalgia of the past. Especially, Yanaka Cemetery and Tennoji Temple are easily accessible from the station, and they are places where you can enjoy the seasonal nature. Many locals enjoy strolling here. Be sure to visit during the cherry blossom season in spring.

West: Sendagi Station Area

Around Sendagi Station on the west side of the shopping street, there are historical spots such as Nezu Shrine and the Former Yasuda Kasunojo Residence Garden. Nezu Shrine is popular among tourists for its scenery of lined-up red gates (torii), offering a sacred and photogenic view. Be sure to visit this area in conjunction with the Yanaka Ginza shopping street.


You can reach the Yanaka Ginza shopping street in about a 5-minute walk from both Nippori Station to the east and Sendagi Station to the west.

If you are staying in an area where you can use the JR Yamanote Line, such as Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Akihabara, or Ueno, you can get to Nippori Station without transferring. It's also possible to walk to the shopping street in about 20 minutes from Ueno Station.

Sendagi Station is on the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line, which runs through Yoyogi Park, Omotesando, and Akasaka. If your accommodation is closer to a Tokyo Metro station, head to Sendagi Station via the Tokyo Metro.

Nezu Shrine, famous in the Yanaka area, is located between Nezu Station and Sendagi Station on this line. Therefore, if you plan to visit Nezu Shrine, it would be efficient to get off at Nezu Station, walk to the shrine, and then walk through Sendagi Station to reach the Yanaka Ginza shopping street.

3 Best Spots to Feel the Local Tokyo in Yanaka Ginza and Its Surroundings

Here, I'll introduce three must-visit spots in the Yanaka Ginza area, where the traditional townscape of Tokyo remains.

Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street: A Place Mirroring Old Tokyo

Yanaka Ginza Entrance
Source: Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street Official Website

The main spot in this area is the Yanaka Ginza shopping street.

Why do you think visiting here allows you to enjoy the "old Tokyo"?

In urban areas like Tokyo, traditional shopping streets that supported the lives of locals have declined due to redevelopment and the emergence of large commercial facilities.

However, in the old area of Tokyo, centered around Yanaka, many people still reside and have rejected redevelopment. As a result, the old shopping streets have remained lively.

Yanaka Ginza is a very lively shopping street in such circumstances, and its nostalgic atmosphere is precious and attractive even to me as a Japanese person.

The shopping street has many street foods, cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops, making it a spot you'll want to spend time enjoying.

Furthermore, on the way from Nippori Station on the east side of the Yanaka Ginza area to the shopping street, there is a set of stairs called "Yuhi Dandan" (Sunset Steps), which offers a famous photo spot of the old Yanaka townscape illuminated by the red sunset.

Be sure to visit here in the evening to feel the local Tokyo while taking photogenic pictures.

Access: 3-13-1 Yanaka, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0001

Yanaka Cemetery: A Local Cherry Blossom Spot

Yanaka Cemetery
Source: Wikipedia

Yanaka Cemetery, located near Nippori Station on the east side of Yanaka Ginza, is a historic graveyard that has been in Tokyo for a long time. This cemetery, established in 1874, contains graves of many historical figures and cultural figures.

Yanaka Cemetery is located on a high plateau, offering an unobstructed view of the Yanaka area. The cemetery has well-maintained walkways, making it a place where you can stroll while enjoying the flowers and trees of each season.

This graveyard is particularly famous as a cherry blossom spot, with the large street leading to the cemetery becoming a tunnel of cherry blossoms in spring.

If you visit this area in late March or April, be sure to visit Yanaka Cemetery and enjoy the beautiful full-bloomed cherry blossoms.

Open 24 hours
Address: 7-5-24 Yanaka, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0001

Nezu Shrine: A Scenery Like a Famous Spot

Nezu Shrine
Source: Nezu Shrine Official Website

At Nezu Shrine, said to have been built in this area around 1700, the highlight is the impressive "Senbon Torii" (Thousand Torii Gates) lined up in a row of red gates.

While the scenery of lined-up torii gates is famous at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, even if you don't plan to visit Kyoto on this trip, I highly recommend Nezu Shrine as you can enjoy a similar photogenic scenery.

Unlike the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, which is often crowded with tourists, you can enjoy a serene and sacred atmosphere as if time has stopped at Nezu Shrine.

You can also enjoy the "Tsutsuji Festival" in April, where over 3,000 beautiful azalea plants bloom.

Address: 1-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 113-0031
Closed: None
Hours: 6 AM - 5 PM (Opening and closing times may vary depending on the season and events)

Yanaka Ginza as a "Cat Town"

Yanaka Ginza is known as a cat-loving neighborhood. This section introduces the background and recommended cat spots.

Why is it called a "Cat Town"?

Old townscapes like Yanaka Ginza are areas with dense small houses and shops, forming an environment suitable for cats to live in.

The cats have been affectionately cared for as "town cats" by many people in a casual manner. The area is also safe for cats as it doesn't have heavy traffic.

With cat-themed shops, cafes, and ornaments lining the shopping street and its surroundings, it's clear that this is a "Cat Town" where people cherish cats.

3 Places Where You Might Encounter Town Cats

While Yanaka Ginza is still famous as a "Cat Town," in my opinion, the opportunities to see real stray cats in this area have decreased recently. I feel it's no longer a situation where you can see cats everywhere on the streets like in the old days.

So here, I'll introduce places where you have a relatively high chance of encountering town cats, as well as cat cafes that shelter stray cats.

Back Alleys

Cats prefer quiet places away from people, so if you want to see stray cats in Yanaka Ginza, it might be better to explore the back alleys rather than the crowded shopping street. In Shitamachi areas like Yanaka, narrow alleys crisscross the residential areas that have remained since olden times. You can access several alleys from the Yanaka Ginza shopping street, so be sure to take a stroll.

Yanaka Cemetery

As introduced earlier, Yanaka Cemetery is a spot I recommend to encounter town cats. With minimal vehicle and pedestrian traffic, a quiet and safe environment for cats is maintained. The cemetery has many trees, bushes, and gravestones, so take a look around these hiding spots to spot cats.

Open 24 hours
Address: 7-5-24 Yanaka, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0001

Yadori Gi: A Cat Cafe to Interact with Cats

Source: Yadori Gi Official Website

In Yanaka Ginza, there are several cat cafes where you can meet cats. Among them, Yadori Gi is a cafe where you can interact with "rescued cats" that were originally pets but couldn't return home.

Inside, there are rescued cats that have become accustomed to people, so cat lovers will surely enjoy being able to freely interact with them while enjoying drinks and meals.

You can spend 1 hour for 1,200 yen (including a drink), or 2 hours for 2,200 yen. There are also plans that include meals starting from 2,500 yen for 2 hours.

As a note, if you have interacted with stray cats along the way, it is announced that you cannot enter the cat cafe due to concerns about infectious diseases.

If you want to be sure to meet cats in Yanaka Ginza, I recommend you visit this cat cafe from the beginning.

<Store Information>
Address: 3-15-1 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Closed: Mondays, Tuesdays  
Phone: 03-5809-0864
Hours: 10:00 - 20:00

NECO REPUBLIC: Cat Walk Along the Walls

Yanaka Neco Republic
Source: NECO REPUBLIC Official Website

NECO REPUBLIC operates cat cafes that shelter cats across Japan, and at their Yanaka branch, you can see cats walking along a cat walk installed along the walls.

The fees are 1,100 yen for 30 minutes on weekdays and 1,300 yen on weekends/holidays. For 60 minutes, it's 1,500 yen (1,700 yen on weekends/holidays). An additional 500 yen is charged for every 30-minute extension, so the 60-minute plan is slightly more economical if you plan to stay for an hour.

As it's reservation-priority, you may encounter a waiting time during crowded periods, but the cats leisurely enjoying the cat walk are definitely worth seeing!

<Store Information>
Address: 3-9-15 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo 3F
Closed: Wednesdays
Phone: 070-9090-2993
Hours: 12:00 - 18:00

Places to Enjoy Cat-themed Items and Art

In the cat-loving neighborhood of Yanaka Ginza, you can find many cat-themed artworks and items that will make cat lovers smile. Here are some recommended places to enjoy traditional crafts and artworks featuring cats.

Cafe Neko-e-mon: Create Lucky Cats (Maneki-neko)

Cafe Nekoemon
Source: Cafe Neko-e-mon Official Website

In Japan, cats have been cherished since ancient times as animals that "bring good fortune."

It was believed that the gesture of a cat washing its face was a gesture that invites happiness. Cats making this gesture became known as "Maneki-neko" (Beckoning Cats) and have been used as motifs in various artworks and items.

At "Cafe Neko-e-mon," a renovated traditional Japanese-style cafe, you can experience painting your own Maneki-neko figurine.

In addition to using the cafe, you can also enjoy cakes and drinks. Not only is there a cat-painted sign at the entrance, but you can also find cat figurines and interiors inside.

In Tokyo, opportunities to get handmade souvenirs are rare, so I would love to take foreign friends here when they visit Japan.

<Store Information>
Address: 5-4-2 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Closed: Mondays
Phone: 03-3821-0090
Hours: 11:00 - 19:00

Kaiun Yanakado: Maneki-neko Specialty Store

Source: Kaiun Yanakado Official Website

This store sells many handmade Maneki-neko figurines by designers. It's a sister store of Cafe Neko-e-mon, located right next to the cafe.

A variety of expressive Maneki-neko figurines that will make you smile are sold here, so I recommend you visit not only for souvenirs but also to get inspiration before your hands-on experience at the cafe.

<Store Information>
Address: 5-4-2 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Closed: Mondays
Phone: 03-3822-2297
Hours: 10:30 - 17:00

Gallery Nekomachi
Source: Google Map by Corso Como

This gallery exhibits various artworks themed around cats.

Rather than historical works, it features unique ceramics, paintings, and photographs by contemporary artists.

For example, in April-May 2024, there was an exhibition of paper cuttings and copper plate prints featuring cats.

While the entrance has quite a steep set of stairs, which may be difficult for those with mobility issues, it's definitely a spot worth visiting for cat lovers.

<Store Information>
Address: 2 Chome-6-24 Yanaka, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0001
Closed: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays
Phone: 03-5815-2293
Hours: 11:00 - 18:00

Related Article

Food Guide: Recommended Street Food, Japanese Cuisine, Sweets, and Drinks in Yanaka Ginza and Its Surroundings

The Yanaka Ginza shopping street is famous for its street food that is also popular among locals. Here, we'll introduce not only such street food but also recommended restaurants, cafes, sweets, and drinking spots in Yanaka Ginza and its surroundings.

3 Best Street Foods in Yanaka Ginza

The Yanaka Ginza shopping street is famous for its street food that is also popular among locals. Here are three must-try street foods in the Yanaka Ginza shopping street.

Yanaka Shippo-ya: Cat Tail-shaped Sweets

Yanaka Shippoya
Source: Tabelog by ykh110389

"Shippo-ya" is a shop that offers street food befitting the cat-loving neighborhood of Yanaka Ginza. "Shippo" means "tail" in Japanese, and as the name suggests, they sell doughnuts shaped like cat tails.

I was so charmed by their cute appearance that I hesitated to eat them!

Including seasonal limited items, about 13 varieties of products are sold, making it a recommended street food shop for both foreign and Japanese visitors.

<Store Information>
Address: 3-11-12 Yanaka, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0001
Closed: Irregular
Phone: 03-3822-9517
Hours: 10:00 - 18:00 (Open until 7 PM on weekends and holidays)
Website: (Available in Japanese Only)

Niku no Sato: Yanaka's Signature Menchikatsu

Niku no Sato
Source: Tabelog by a_monary

"Sato" is a popular shop where locals in the Yanaka area visit to purchase Japanese delicatessen items called "sozai."

This shop sells deep-fried items like menchikatsu (minced meat cutlets) and croquettes, which are beloved by all Japanese people. The sozai made with domestically produced meat is perfect for street food.

Each item ranges from 100 yen to around 300 yen at most, so I tend to buy a lot. You could even take the sozai you purchase here for a picnic at Yanaka Cemetery, just be sure to take your trash with you.

<Store Information>
Address: 3-13-2 Yanaka, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0001
Closed: Mondays
Phone: 03-3821-1764
Hours: 10:00 - 19:30
Website: (Available in Japanese Only)

Yakiya: Squid-based Snack

Yanaka Yakiya
Source: Tabelog by Wakameshi

"Ikayaki" is a classic Japanese street food made by dicing squid and wrapping it in batter. It's often seen at summer festival stalls, but at "Yakiya" in Yanaka Ginza, you can enjoy it as street food anytime.

All menu items can be enjoyed for between 300-500 yen. Note that they are only open on weekends and holidays.

<Store Information>
Address: 3-11-15 Yanaka, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0001
Closed: Weekdays
Phone: 090-1313-9999
Hours: 11:00 - 19:30

4 Restaurants and Cafes to Enjoy Retro Atmosphere and Japanese Cuisine

In Yanaka Ginza and its surroundings, there are restaurants and cafes renovated from traditional houses where you can enjoy meals while feeling the nostalgic atmosphere of the past. This area also has places to enjoy Japanese cuisine.

TAYORI: Enjoy Japanese Set Meals (Teishoku)

Source: TAYORI Official Website

TAYORI, located in an alley off the shopping street, is a cafe where you can enjoy Japanese set meals (“teishoku” in Japanese) in an interior blending a retro and modern atmosphere.

The teishoku, consisting of rice, miso soup, a main dish, and side dishes, is well-balanced and filling, making it popular among locals. I always choose teishoku when I want to eat healthy food.

At this shop, you can enjoy various teishoku meals for 1,500 yen. Especially at lunchtime, it can get crowded, so be prepared to wait a bit before being seated.

They are open until 8 PM from Wednesday to Saturday, so I also recommend you visit for dinner to avoid the lunchtime rush.

<Store Information>
Address: 3-12-4 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Closed: Mondays, Tuesdays
Phone: 03-5834-7026
Hours: Wed-Sat 12:00-20:00 (Sun/Holidays until 18:00)

Soba Azegami: For Soba and Tempura

Soba Azegami
Source: Tabelog by YR

At "Azegami" on the Yanaka Ginza shopping street, you can enjoy soba, a traditional noodle dish loved by Tokyoites.
This restaurant has a wooden exterior and interior, exuding a warm atmosphere.

All the soba noodles are handmade in-house, yet you can enjoy them at an inexpensive price of around 700 yen per serving.

During lunchtime, they offer set menus combining soba with tempura or tonkatsu (pork cutlet) donburi.

The restaurant is not very spacious, and they don't accept reservations, so I recommend you arrive at opening time or visit in the evening.

It's a plus for me that they are open until 9 PM, which is relatively late for the shopping street where many shops close early.

<Store Information>
Address: 3-11-11 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Closed: Mondays (closed every other Tuesday)
Phone: 03-5815-8710
Hours: 11:00-21:00
Website: (Available in Japanese Only)

HAGI CAFE: Renovated Traditional House Cafe

Source: HAGI CAFE Official Website

HAGI CAFE, opened in a 68-year-old renovated traditional Japanese house, is a retro-style cafe located in a residential area slightly away from the shopping street.

You can enjoy hand-dripped coffee, curry rice, and sweets, and they are also open from 8 AM for breakfast.

Sweets like ice cream, cakes, and parfaits range from 500-1,100 yen, while light meals like hot sandwiches are mostly between 800-1,000 yen.

The retro exterior that looks like it could be from a Japanese anime is charming and nostalgic to me.

<Store Information>
Address: 1F HAGISO, 3-10-25 Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Closed: None
Phone: 03-5832-9808
Hours: 08:00 - 10:30 / 12:00 - 17:00 (Open until 20:00 on weekends and holidays)

Kamachiku Nezu: Udon with a Japanese Garden View

Nezu Kamachiku
Source: Kamachiku Official Website

While "soba" is made primarily from buckwheat flour, "udon" noodles are thicker and made mainly from wheat flour. Both have been loved by Tokyoites.

"Kamachiku" is an udon specialty restaurant renovated from a warehouse built over 100 years ago. It's located near Nezu Station, one station away from Sendagi Station nearest to the shopping street.

In addition to the solemn atmosphere, there are also seats where you can enjoy udon and tempura dishes while gazing at a Japanese-style garden and feeling the changing seasons.

Udon alone costs 850-1,000 yen, while seasonal course meals are 5,500 yen.

<Store Information>
Address: 2-14-18 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Closed: Sundays, Mondays
Phone: 03-5815-4675
Hours: 11:30-14:30 / 17:30-21:30

Related Articles

In this area, you can also enjoy traditional Japanese sweets. One of the charms of Yanaka Ginza is that you can enjoy sweets that are usually only sold during specific seasons year-round.

Waguriya Yanaka Store: Savor Japanese Chestnut Sweets

Source: Google Map by Waguriya

Chestnuts have been used as a sweet ingredient in Japan since ancient times. At "Waguriya," located in the shopping street, you can savor Mont Blanc desserts made with Japanese chestnuts.

In Japan, Mont Blanc is typically sold only in autumn, but here you can enjoy it year-round, making it a popular spot even for Japanese people who love Mont Blanc.

While there are menus in the 2,000 yen range, which may seem a bit pricey compared to street food, this is a highly rated sweets shop in Yanaka Ginza, so I definitely recommend giving it a try.

<Store Information>
Address: 3-9-14 Yanaka, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0001
Closed: Mondays
Phone: Unavailable
Hours: 11:00 - 17:30

Himitsu-do: Shaved Ice Sweets Enjoyed Year-Round

Source: Google Map by Ichigochip

"Kakigori" is a Japanese dessert made by shaving ice and topping it with syrup.

While it's generally a cold sweet enjoyed in summer, at "Himitsu-do" in Yanaka Ginza, you can enjoy kakigori made with various seasonal ingredients throughout the year.

The menu changes according to summer (May to October) and winter (November to April) seasons. Personally, I recommend the strawberry menu in winter and the melon kakigori in summer.

Many of the menus are around 1,500 yen, which may seem a bit pricey for shaved ice. However, they use amazing fruits and the size is large, so I feel very satisfied. It might be good to purchase one and share it between two people.

<Store Information>
Address: 3-11-18 Yanaka, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0001
Closed: Mondays, Tuesdays  
Phone: 03-3824-4132
Hours: 10:00 - 17:00

While many shops in the shopping street area close at night, there are plenty of places to enjoy drinks in the surrounding areas.

CRAFT SAKE STAND Yanaka Junmai-ya: Enjoy Sake from All Over Japan

Yanaka Junmai-ya
Source: Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street Official Website

This is a shop located on the Yanaka Ginza shopping street where you can enjoy sake from all over Japan, as well as local beers and foods that pair well with alcohol. Its open atmosphere makes it welcoming for travelers to casually drop in, which is one of the reasons I recommend it.

In 2024, during the summer period (5/11 - 9/29), they will be offering shaved ice, resulting in irregular closing times. It seems they often close as early as 6 PM or as late as 8 PM, so it's a good idea to check their Instagram for the latest information before visiting. You can still enjoy alcoholic beverages during the period when they offer shaved ice.

<Store Information>
Address: 2F, 3-11-11 Yanaka, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0001
Closed: Weekdays
Phone: 03-5809-0195
Hours: 10:00 - 18:00

Yanaka Beer Hall: Enjoy Original Craft Beer in a Traditional House

Yanaka Beer Hall
Source: Google Map by xxx

In the tasteful interior of a renovated traditional house, you can enjoy the original "Yanaka Beer." They also offer tasting sets, allowing you to simultaneously enjoy various types of Yanaka Beer. Most beers are priced at 1,100 yen per glass.

Located near the recommended sightseeing spot Yanaka Cemetery and open from 11 AM to 8 PM, this is a convenient and recommended spot to enjoy drinks in this area.

<Store Information>
Address: 2-15-6 Uenosakuragi, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0002
Closed: Mondays
Phone: Unavailable
Hours: 11:00 - 20:00

Akira: An Izakaya Enjoyable for Families

Yanaka Akira
Source: Akira Official Website

"Akira" is an izakaya (Japanese-style pub) located near Sendagi Station, the nearest station to the west side of the shopping street. In addition to counter seats, there are also spacious table seats that can accommodate groups of 4-5 people.

It's a true local izakaya, offering many sashimi dishes using fresh fish loved by all Japanese people, as well as hot pot dishes and grilled fish dishes. With a wide variety of sake and shochu (Japanese distilled spirit) available, as well as soft drinks, I personally recommend it as an izakaya that families can enjoy.

<Store Information>
Address: 3 Chome-38-8 Sendagi, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 113-0022
Closed: Mondays
Phone: 03-3828-3435
Hours: 18:00 - 22:00
Website: (Available in Japanese Only)

3 Recommended Shops to Buy Japanese Goods in Yanaka Ginza

At the Yanaka Ginza shopping street, you can purchase handmade goods, Japanese folk crafts, and tableware.

Yanaka Kenshindo: Japanese Goods and Sweets

Source: Yanaka Kenshindo

At this shop, which has a cafe, you can purchase Japanese-style goods and enjoy “anmitsu”, a traditional Japanese jelly sweet.

Regarding the goods, many items feature cute and unique designs that add a modern twist to traditional folk crafts. It's recommended for those looking to buy cute and unique Japanese souvenirs.

<Store Information>
Address: 3-11-15 Yanaka, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0001
Closed: Weekdays
Phone: 03-4283-5200
Hours: 11:00 - 17:30

Midori-ya: Handmade Bamboo Items

Yanaka Midoriya
Source: Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street Official Website

"Midori-ya" sells various bamboo items, with most products being handmade. In addition to tableware like chopsticks, you can also find unique items like bamboo bookmarks and straws.

Not only do fans of Japanese goods from Tokyo visit here, but in recent years, I've also frequently seen foreign tourists at this shop. If you're looking to buy handmade Japanese souvenirs, this is definitely a shop worth visiting.

<Store Information>
Address: 3 Chome-13-13-3 Nishinippori, Arakawa City, Tokyo 116-0013
Closed: Mondays
Phone: 03-3828-7522
Hours: 11:00 - 18:00

Amehiko: Japanese Folk Crafts

Source: Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street Official Website

If you want to purchase traditional Japanese folk crafts like fans and Japanese-style dolls, I recoomned "Amehiko".

While the previously introduced "Midori-ya" mainly sells daily necessities like tableware, here you can also buy traditional Japanese toys and karuta (Japanese playing cards).

I recommend this shop for those visiting Yanaka Ginza with children or looking for souvenirs to give to children after returning home.

<Store Information>
Address: 3-11-14 Yanaka, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0001
Closed: Tuesdays
Phone: 03-3828-1729
Hours: 10:00 - 18:00
Website: (Available in Japanese Only)

2 Historical Temples Near the Shopping Street

In addition to the previously introduced Nezu Shrine, there are two other historical spots worth visiting in this area. Both are located near Nippori Station, to the east of the shopping street.

Tennoji Temple: Visit Before Heading to the Shopping Street

Yanaka Tennoji Temple
Source: Tendaishu Tokyo Kyoku

Tennoji Temple is a quiet and serene temple where you can see a large Buddha statue called the "Great Buddha." As it is located just a 1-minute walk from Nippori Station, you can stop by before heading to the Yanaka Ginza shopping street. It also provides easy access to Yanaka Cemetery.

While the combination of the green trees in summer and the temple/Great Buddha is beautiful, if you visit during autumn, be sure to take a photo of the Great Buddha together with the fall foliage.

Address: 3-11-14 Yanaka, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0001
Closed: None
Phone: 03-3821-4474
Hours: 9:00 - 17:00
Instagram: (Available in Japanese Only)

Kan'ei-ji Temple: A Vast Temple Famous in Ueno

Source: Kan'ei-ji Temple Official Website

Kan'ei-ji Temple, characterized by its vast grounds and solemn atmosphere, is located about a 12-minute walk from Nippori Station.

While it may be more accurate to say this belongs to the Ueno area rather than Yanaka, it's the perfect location to visit on foot after exploring Yanaka Ginza.

Kan'ei-ji Temple is one of the four major temples that protect Tokyo, offering a view of both the hills of Ueno and the vast Shinobazu Pond.

The Ueno Park on the hills and around Shinobazu Pond is home to beautiful nature, where you can enjoy seasonal flowers and cherry blossoms in spring.

While it's a bit far from the shopping street in a different direction, I believe it's definitely worth visiting, especially in spring when the combination of the cherry blossoms, temple, and pond is beautiful.

Address: 1-14-11 Uenosakuragi, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0002
Closed: None
Phone: 03-3821-4440
Hours: 9:00 - 17:00

Seasonal Events & Festivals in the Yanaka Ginza Area

Festivals are held in the Yanaka Ginza shopping street during the New Year and summer seasons. In spring and autumn, you can also enjoy cherry blossoms and fall foliage in the surrounding areas.

Summer: "Hyakkoi Festival" with Cold Sweets and Games

Hyakkoi Fstival
Source: Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street Official Website

In my opinion, if you're aiming for a seasonal event in Yanaka Ginza, I recommend summer the most.

During the "Hyakkoi Festival" in summer, which means "a refreshing festival," stalls selling cold sweets like shaved ice and games like ball scooping appear, transforming the shopping street into an even more nostalgic atmosphere than usual.

Be sure to visit the shopping street during this period to experience the "good old Japanese summer." While the dates for 2024 are yet to be announced, the festival was held on August 5th and 6th in 2023.

The 2024 event information will be posted on the shopping street's official website, so if you're visiting Yanaka Ginza in August, be sure to check the schedule and participate in this local Tokyo festival.

Click Here: Yanaka Ginza Event Information

Winter: "Shichifukujin Meguri" - New Year Festival

Shichifukujin Meguri
Source: Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street Official Website

The "Shichifukujin Meguri" is a traditional Japanese event in which people visit the shrines and temples that enshrine the seven gods (shichifukujin) of that area, praying for happiness in the New Year.

In conjunction with this, a New Year festival is also held in the shopping street.

In Japan, there is a culture of eating rice cakes (mochi) during the New Year, and at this festival, you can enjoy freshly made mochi. In 2024, it was held on January 7th and 8th.

The 2025 event information is scheduled to be posted on the shopping street's official website around the end of the year, so if you plan to visit the shopping street during the New Year, be sure to check the schedule.

Click Here: Yanaka Ginza Event Information

Spring: "Yanaka Cemetery" Cherry Blossom Spot

Yanaka Cemetery Sakura
Source:Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association

If you visit this area in spring, Yanaka Cemetery is a spot you can't miss. The large street leading to the cemetery is lined with cherry blossom trees in full bloom, allowing you to take photogenic pictures of the quintessential Japanese spring scenery.

Open 24 hours
Address: 7 Chome-5-24 Yanaka, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0001

Autumn: "Former Yasuda Residence Garden" - Retro House and Fall Foliage Combination

Yanaka Yasuda Garden
Source: Google Map by temple kemway

This garden, located on the premises of a modern Japanese architecture built in 1919, is situated west of Sendagi Station, the nearest station to the shopping street. I especially recommend this place in autumn when the fall foliage in the garden viewed from inside the building is exceptionally beautiful.

It's open from 10:30 AM to 4 PM on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but please note that you need to complete the admission process by 3 PM at the latest.

Address: 5-20-18 Sendagi, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 113-0022
Closed: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays
Phone: 03-6380-8511
Hours: 10:30 - 16:00 (Wednesday, Saturday)

3 Areas to Visit with Yanaka Ginza

Here, I'll introduce three areas that are efficient to visit on the same day as Yanaka Ginza.

Ueno Park

Ueno Park
Source: Ueno Park Official Website

Ueno Park, famous for its cherry blossoms in spring and fall foliage, also has historical spots like shrines, numerous art museums and museums, and even a zoo where you can see pandas.

Ueno Station, adjacent to the park, is only 2 stations (about 4 minutes) away from Nippori Station, the nearest station to the shopping street, via the JR Yamanote Line, making it efficient to visit along with Yanaka Ginza. Don't forget to also visit the Kan'ei-ji Temple in Ueno that we introduced in this article.

However, since the shops in Yanaka Ginza are mostly open during lunchtime, I recommend you enjoy lunch and shopping in Yanaka Ginza first, then move on to Ueno Park.

You can also walk from Yanaka Ginza to Ueno Park in about 20-30 minutes without taking a train.

Address: 7 Chome Ueno, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0005


Source: Wikipedia

Akihabara, known for its many electronics stores and as a hub of subculture, can be reached in about 10 minutes without transferring from Nippori Station via the JR Yamanote Line.

Here, you can experience Japan's "otaku culture" by exploring anime, manga, idol, and game goods – a must-visit spot.

The shops in Akihabara are open late into the night. Therefore, I recommend you enjoy Yanaka Ginza and its surroundings during the day, and then visit Akihabara as the final destination of the day.

Address: 1 Chome Sotokanda, Chiyoda City, Tokyo

Suzuran-Dori Street

Suzuran-Dori Street
Source: Yorusanpo no Susume

In the Yanaka Ginza area, there is another shopping street called "Suzuran-dori."

While it becomes a lively drinking spot with many bars and izakaya opening at night, compared to the Yanaka Ginza shopping street, it's a rather local and niche area.

While it may take some courage to enter the pubs, I recommend you visit at night just to take pictures of the nostalgic scenery of the shop lights lining the street.

Address: 3-43-6 Sendagi, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 113-0022

FAQ on Sightseeing in Yanaka Ginza

Here are answers to some common questions that tourists may have when visiting this area.

What are the hours when shops are open in Yanaka Ginza?

Shops are closed in the early morning and late night hours. For the Yanaka Ginza shopping street in particular, plan to visit between 11 AM and 7 PM, when most street food stalls, restaurants, and souvenir shops are open.

Many shops in the shopping street have one closed day during the week, so it's a good idea to check their business hours in advance. Additionally, most restaurants stop taking orders 30 minutes before closing time.

I recommend you visit shrines and temples in the morning as they usually close in the evening. Then, enjoy the Yanaka Ginza shopping street starting around 11 AM. If you're unsure about planning your schedule, you may want to consider joining one of the tours introduced later.

Is it possible to communicate in English on-site?

As this is an old-fashioned, local shopping street, it may often be difficult to communicate smoothly in English on-site. I believe it's a good idea to utilize tools like Google Translate.

Are there any local manners to be aware of?

While you'll probably want to enjoy street food as you stroll around Yanaka Ginza, be mindful not to litter or leave trash on benches. Remember that Shitamachi areas like Yanaka are not just tourist spots but also places where people live their daily lives. Respect the local residents.

Tours to Fully Experience Yanaka Ginza

I've introduced the charms of Yanaka Ginza and its surrounding areas so far.

While you can visit each area and shop on your own, joining a tour allows you to efficiently experience the best of Yanaka Ginza in a short amount of time.

Finally, let me introduce two recommended tours.

"Yanaka Historical Walking Tour in Tokyo's Old Town" by Magical Trip

Yanaka Tour Magical Trip
Source: Magical Trip

Merits of this tour:

  • Visit Nezu Shrine, famous for its torii gates
  • Experience painting a Maneki-neko (lucky cat) figurine at a traditional Japanese-style cafe
  • Relatively relaxed 3.5-hour schedule compared to the other tour

Demerit of this tour:

  • Does not visit Yanaka Cemetery, another recommended spot in this area

This tour provided by us, Magical Trip, starts at the impressive Senbon Torii (Thousand Torii Gates) of Nezu Shrine. Afterward, if open, you can enjoy a local gallery, followed by a hands-on experience of painting a Maneki-neko figurine at a traditional Japanese-style cafe in Yanaka Ginza.

While engaging in conversation with a Japanese guide, you can enjoy the charms of the Yanaka Ginza area from a local perspective and learn about the daily lives and customs of the residents.

Personally, I'm a bit disappointed that it doesn't include Yanaka Cemetery, which was recommended in this article, but the relatively relaxed schedule allows you to enjoy Yanaka Ginza at a leisurely pace.

Click here for more details: "Yanaka Historical Walking Tour in Tokyo's Old Town"

"Yanaka Walking Tour The Old Quarter of Tokyo" by Tokyo Localized

Yanaka Tour Tokyo Localized
Source: Tokyo Localized

Merits of this tour:

  • Visit 3 historical spots
  • Enjoy local Yanaka beer at Yanaka Beer Hall
  • Convenient with the same meeting and ending point at Nippori Station

Demerit of this tour:

  • Covering many spots in 3 hours may feel a bit rushed

The Yanaka Ginza tour offered by Tokyo Localized is characterized by visiting all the major spots.

Specifically, in addition to the 3 major spots recommended at the beginning of this article – the shopping street, Yanaka Cemetery, and Nezu Shrine – you'll also visit Tennoji Temple and Yanaka Beer Hall.

Compared to the Magical Trip tour, while you get to visit many places, the 3-hour schedule feels a bit rushed to me. However, if you want to visit as many spots as possible with limited time at each location, this is a tour I would recommend.

Click here for more details: "Yanaka Walking Tour The Old Quarter of Tokyo"

In this article, I comprehensively introduced the charms of Yanaka Ginza. For Tokyo locals like me, it is an area that can be visited with a sense of nostalgia. For foreign travelers, it is also a recommended spot where they can have a local experience.

To immerse yourself in the nostalgic and retro atmosphere filled with the charm of old town Tokyo, please be sure to pay a visit to Yanaka Ginza.