On this slightly rainy Saturday, I boarded the Yamanote line train on a quest for a little adventure. Yanaka is an old, traditional area of Tokyo, and is quite unknown to tourists. As I wandered out of Nippori station, it took me a little while to find it (me and my excellent sense of direction, and too busy playing Scrabble on my phone), but eventually I stumbled upon a narrow street, full of (mostly elderly) people. I found myself in the midst of a busy Saturday afternoon, surrounded with vegetable markets, food stalls, outdoor pubs, coffee brewers, textile shops, secondhand clothing stores, and traditional wooden toys and Japanese paper fans.
I had such a delightful afternoon on my own, sitting down for the cheapest espresso I have ever found in Japan (¥190), trying out some famous Japanese fare, and stopping at all the shops in awe. Yanaka is also home to many beautiful shrines and temples, and for a few hours, I felt like a took a trip back in time, in the old Tokyo world.
I highly recommend stopping by Yanaka if you ever find yourself in Tokyo, for a much-needed breather out of Shibuya, and to sample some amazing (and cheap!) traditional dishes. My sightseeing adventure turned out to be a complete snack fest, and it was one of the best Saturday afternoons I have had in Japan.
|Nippori station: Even the outside is historical|
|One of the many temples in Yanaka|
|Hebi-Michi, "Snake street". It's safe.|
|Different types of rice|
|Yanaka Coffee and their beans|
|Espresso at Yanaka Coffee, cheap and delicious|
|Cheap bento boxes|
|Best croquette ever!!|