In Tokyo there are many sightseeing spots, recently Yanesen has been a popular spot among the locals. Yanesen is a neighborhood in the Taito Ward. It is located in the middle of Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi, the name is made up of the first kanji from each spot. This area has many traditional Japanese spots such as shrines, temples, and shopping districts. If you are looking for a less modern area in Tokyo, be sure to check out Yanesen and the Yanaka Ginza Shopping District.
At JR Nippori Station exit out of the north gate and head west. The Yanaka Ginza Shopping District is a five minute walk away.
Weekends are especially busy at the Yanaka Ginza Shopping District. There are general stores, cafes, restaurants, super markets, and souvenir shops.
Yanaka Ginza, Fried Squid at Yakiya
Yakiya is a popular shop serving fried squid on a cracker, you know its good because people were lined up to get this snack. Fried squid on a cracker is a popular treat in Osaka but kind of rare in Tokyo. This is a very affordable snack for those on a budget.
This time we got Ikasen, its fried squid sandwiched together between a cracker. It is cooked fresh when ordered, the cracker is crunchy and the salty sweet sauce matches well with the squid. If you are looking for a traditional Japanese snack, check out Yakiya.
Unique Personal Stamp shop, Shinimo Gurui
Shinimo Gurui is located near the fried squid shop, unique stamps with someone’s last name are used in Japan for proving one’s identity. The stamps at this shop are unique because they have cute animals by the characters. Generally personal stamps are very plain, these unique stamps might be a good souviner.
Find stylish good at Tamaru
Tamaru sells all kinds of Japanese style goods and souvenirs. Many of the goods are handmade, the shops wants to special, only one of a kind items are visitors. Yanaka is also known for Rakugo, Rakugo is spoken word theater. There is one person on stage and they are telling a comedic story, this is a very traditional Japanese type of entertainment.
Shipoya is a sweets shop modeled after a cats tail. Shipoya sells pan-fried doughnuts, there is over ten different flavors to choose from.
We ordered the tiger print doughnut. It had a very bouncy texture and it wasn’t overly sweet. It looks cute and it makes a great snack for cat lovers.
100 yen shop CANDO
With the Yanaka Ginza Shopping District, there is even a 100 yen shop. Since there are many visitors, the 100 yen shops have many Japanese style souvenirs such as sushi keychains. Since everything is 100 yen, you will probably but stuff you need and don’t need.
Fried snacks from Niku no Sato
Niku no Sato is a popular shop selling fried food. Some of the popular items are fried chicken, meat croquettes, and fried shrimp. The fried snacks are a very popular item so people were lined up. Within the area, the Yanaka Menchi and Yanaka Croquette are well-known.
We ordered the Yanaka Croquette, it was freshly fried so the croquette was hot and delicious. The meat was very flavorful and tasty.
Hama Matsuya, Kimono Shop
Hana Matsuya has been in business since 1891, they have everything you could possibly need for a kimono. The shop decor is very Japanese, it will feel like you time traveled. You can find many traditional slippers called geta, they might be a good souviner.
There are so many more restaurants and shops at the Yanaka Ginza Shopping District. If you are looking for locally owned and retro shops be sure to check out this area.
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Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street
Address: 3-13-1 Yanaka, Taito Ward, Tokyo
Access: 5 minute walk from Nippori Station
Website: Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street (Japanese)