Spot in Central Tokyo

Yanaka, Nezu, Sendagi [谷中, 根津, 千駄木]

A small temple in Yanaka
A small temple in Yanaka

A small shrine in Yanaka
A small shrine in Yanaka

Map of Yanesen
1) Yanaka Cemetery 2) Tsuijibei wall of Kan-nonji
3) Asakura Chousokan 4) Yuuyake-Dandan
5) Yanaka-Ginza 6) Nezu shrine

Yanaka, Nezu, Sendagi are the areas located to the northwest of Ueno area.

Sometimes this three areas are collectively called Yanesen from those initials.

The areas spread at the western side of the section between Ueno and Nishi-Nippori stations of JR Yamanote Line.
The central station is Nippori.

The area has a diameter in the range of about 1.5 km.

Around the middle of the 17th century, Edo government moved many Buddhist temples to this area by following its policy.

Additionally, a great fire occured in central Edo city in 1657, so burned temples also moved here.

Since that, this area had been known as the town with many temples.
In Yanaka district, there are nearly 70 Buddhist temples today.

This area were relatively damaged a little, when the Great Kanto Earthquake occured in 1923 and the Great Tokyo Air Raids were made in 1945.

So this area holds the old houses and cityscapes of the common people.

An old sweets shop in Yanaka
An old sweets shop in Yanaka

A cat in Yanaka
A cat in Yanaka

This area has no famed tourist spot.
But when you walk around this area, you can discover the ordinary Japanese people's life.

And it is known because many cats are living in this town.

Yanaka district is the east part of this area, and spreads to the southeast of Nippori station.

Many temples had been built in this area.

Nezu district is located to the southwest of Yanaka, and Sendagi district is located to the west.

Yanaka district is on a hill, and Nezu and Sendagi districts are at the foot of the hill.
Therefore, the western part of Yanaka district has many slope roads.

Yanaka Cemetery (谷中霊園)

Tomb of Tokugawa Family in Yanaka Cemetery
Tomb of Tokugawa Family in Yanaka Cemetery

Sakura street in Yanaka Cemetery
Sakura street in Yanaka Cemetery
Yanaka sakura, Photo by DozoDomo

Yanaka Cemetery is located just south of Nippori station.
The area is about 300 meters from east to west and 600 meters from north to south.

There are about 7,000 tombs in the area, and Tokugawa Yoshinobu (1837-1913) who was the last Shogun of Edo government, many politicians, many intellectuals and many artists are buried here.

Here is a cemetery, but it is one of the major cherry blossom-viewing spots in Tokyo for tourist.

Along the main street through the cemetery, there are many cherry blossoms.
And, there are also some cherry trees in the cemetery.

Of course, because here is a cemetery, we can't have "hanami" party under the trees.

Tsuijibei wall of Kan-nonji temple (観音寺築地塀)

Tsuijibei wall of Kan-nonji
Tsuijibei wall of Kan-nonji

Tsuijibei wall
Tsuijibei wall

Kan-nonji is a Buddhist temple located to the west of Yanaka Cemetery.
The temple was established in 1611, and was rebuilt in the early 19th century after the temple was destroyed by the Great fire in 1772.

Tsuijibei is the unique wall of the temple along the street and the length is about 37.6 meters.

It was built in the late 19th century.
The wall had been built with alternating layers of roof tiles and clay.

Asakura Chousokan museum (朝倉彫塑館)

Entrance of Asakura Chousokan
Asakura Chousokan

Asakura Chousokan
Asakura Chousokan
Yanaka - Asakura Museum of Sculpture,
Photo by inky

Asakura Chousokan is a museum of Asakura Fumio (1883-1964), a sculptor called "Rodin of the East".
The English name of the museum is Asakura Museum of Sculpture.

The building is originally the residence with his studio.
It was constructed in 1935 after his design, and has also a Japanese garden.

In the studio, some his works are exhibited.

Asakura Chousokan

Yanaka-Ginza shopping street (谷中銀座)


A food shop in Yanaka-Ginza
A food shop in Yanaka-Ginza

Yanaka-Ginza is a typical local shopping street in Japan.
There are 70 shops along the street about 180 meters.

There are many food shops, and you will find various snack foods there.

It is popular that many cats are living around here.

Yuuyake-Dandan (夕焼けだんだん)


Yanaka-Ginza from Yuuyake-Dandan
Yanaka-Ginza from Yuuyake-Dandan

Yuuyake-Dandan is the stairs at the east end of Yanaka-Ginza street.

The height is only 4 meters, but the view from the head of the stairs is popular.
We can see Yanaka-Ginza street and beautiful sunset.

"Yuuyake" means "the colors of the sunset" and "dandan" is a toddler word of "stairs".

Nezu shrine (根津神社)

Nezu shrine
Nezu shrine

Azalea garden in Nezu Shrine
Azalea garden in Nezu Shrine

Nezu shrine is a Shinto shrine.
It is located about 1.2 km southwest of Nippori station.
And there is Tokyo University to the south of this shrine.

It is said that the shrine was founded in the 2th century in a mythology.

The current shrine was built in 1705 by Tsunayoshi Tokugawa, the 5th Shogun.

Several buildings in this shrine are designated as a nationally important cultural properties.

This shrine is known for the garden of azalea.
In the late April, a lot of azaleas are in bloom in this garden.

How to get here

  • Get off at Nippori station of JR Yamanote or Keihin-Tohoku Line.
  • Nearest stations of subway.
    Nezu (C14 Chiyoda Line)
    Sendagi (C15 Chiyoda Line)

Other Tourist Attractions in Tokyo Metropolis (Special Wards)

Akihabara Kanda & Ochanomizu Nikorai-do Yushima Seido Kanda Myojin Ameya Yokocho Ueno Former Iwasaki Mansion & Garden Yushima Tenjin

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