The Yanaka Ginza

SNA Travel (Tokyo) — For one of Tokyo’s more pleasant walking tours, the Yanaka area is a very good choice. While most other areas in this part of Tokyo burned down in the bombings of 1945, the Yanaka area was spared, and partly for this reason it is considered to be one of the best preserved examples of old Tokyo, maintaining something of the spirit and charm of the Edo era.

Nothing about the Yanaka Ginza shopping street is particularly dramatic. None of its attractions are overwhelming. But when the weather is fine and your company good, it is among the best places in this city for a casual stroll.

It’s not a large area. After descending into the Yanaka Ginza, the single pedestrian street is less than 180 meters from end to end, and holds about 70 small shops. If you move too quickly you’ll reach the end all-too-soon.

Three features stand out about the Yanaka Ginza.

First, you will see many cats. Some of these cats are the artistic types, but the actual living ones will make an appearance as well.

Second, you will find many gift and souvenir shops packed with all sorts of items. The prices here tend to be lower than in the more crowded tourist areas of the city.

Third, the Yanaka Ginza has a particularly abundant concentration of food shops, most of them offering snacks and light meals at reasonable prices.

Transportation to the Yanaka Ginza is also rather simple. From Tokyo Station it is 6 stops or 10 minutes to Nippori Station. Proceed out of the West Exit and walk straight for about 5 minutes. And you’re there!

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