Yanaka Ginza is a unique part of Tokyo where you can experience “shitamachi (old downtown)” atmosphere. Shitamachi neighborhoods offer nostalgic feel of old Tokyo just like the ones we see in old movies, and Yanaka is the best example. Yanaka has an awesome combination of old and new businesses – from stores that have been selling, say, rice crackers for generations, to young bakers and craftspeople that are fitting themselves into the old buildings and long tradition of handicrafts in the neighborhood.The easiest place to start and see all of this is the Yanaka Ginza shopping street, which you can reach by taking the a train to Nippori Station. Take the west exit and right outside the station, the first thing is to decide whether to take a detour into Yanaka Cemetery. It's a favorite cherry blossom viewing site, and the old gnarled trees are cool in any season.
Many buildings look cramped together, and the main street of Yanaka is filled with traditional looking shops. You'd see many people passing by in Kimono or traditional outfits. Unlike many neighborhoods in Tokyo, Yanaka survived the World War II bombing, which is why large part of its nostalgic charm is still well preserved. Interesting fact is that even many locals in Tokyo have not visited or know much about Yanaka or its history. If you end up Visiting Yanaka, try Crockett and Tonkatsu as that's what Yanaka is known for! Must-visit for those who enjoy exploring non touristy or traditional sites not too crowded with other tourists. Just short walk from Nishi Nippori or Sendagi Station.
Yanaka Ginza - A Historical Neighborhood in Tokyo
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