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Yanesen Travel Guide: What to Do, What to See, How to Get to Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi

Yanesen is a huge part of Tokyo’s old downtown. In this travel guide, we will walk you through Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi, including how to get there, what to do, and what to see.

In downtown Tokyo, there’s this so-called “shitamachi,” a group of neighborhoods that avoided the World War II bombings as well as dozens of natural disasters, retaining their old atmosphere. One of the famous neighborhoods is called Yanesen composed of Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi.

If you want to experience what Tokyo was like 50 years ago, this charming neighborhood is a must-visit. From historical landmarks such as shrines and temples to narrow alleyways filled with small shops, bars, and restaurants, Yanesa is the perfect place to bring you back to the rich cultural past of Japan.

How to Get to Yanesen

Yanesen is located in Taito, near Ueno. These neighborhoods are served by metro subway lines and Japan Railways along with Hongo, which is also part of old Tokyo. To get to Yanesen, take the Metro Chiyoda Line to Nezu or Sendagi stations. Alternatively, you can take the JR Yamanote Line to Sendagi.

We highly recommend exploring Yanaka first where the famous Yanaka Cemetery and Yanaka Ginza (“ginza” means shopping in Japanese) can be found.

Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street
Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street

Must-Visit Tourist Attractions in Yanesen

Yanesen is mostly composed of historical landmarks

  • Yanaka

    • Yanaka Cemetery

    • Yanaka Ginza Street

    • Tennōji Temple

    • Yanaka Museum

    • SCAI The Bathhouse

    • Asakura Museum of Sculpture

    • Yanaka Beer Hall

    • Zenshoan Temple

    • Gallery Nekomachi

    • Zuirinji Temple

  • Nezu Shrine

    • Nezu Shrine

    • Nezu Shrine Azalea Garden

    • Senbontorii

    • Snake Street (Hebimichi)

  • Sendagi

    • Sudo Park

    • Fabre Insect Museum

    • Former Kusuo Yasuda Residence Garden

    • The Shimazono House

    • Fukunoyu Bathhouse

    • Yōgenji Temple

    • Mori Ōgai Memorial Museum

What to Do in Yanesen

  • Shopping around Yanaka Ginza

  • Celebrate Azalea Spring Festival in April

  • Buy Japanese retro goods

  • Hunt cat-related goods

  • Learn about Japanese culture at The Scholar’s Shrine Yushima Tenjin

What and Where to Eat in Yanesen

Like most neighborhoods in Tokyo, you can find so many streets lined with food stalls, restaurants, cafés, and bars, serving all types of Japanese food. Here are some recommendations you shouldn’t miss while in Yanesen:

  • Menchi katsu (ground meat cutlet) at Niku no Suzuki

  • Mame-daifuku (mochi rice rake) at Yanaka Okanoeisen

  • Omelets and sandwiches at Kayaba Coffee

  • Shaved ice desserts at Himitsudō

  • Cafe Nekoemon

  • Candies at Amezaiku Yoshihara

  • Taiyaki at Nezu no Taiyaki

  • Kushiage at Hantei

Yanesen remains under the radar of many tourists as they prefer the more crowded Shinjuku, Shibuya, Akihabara, and Harajuku, among others. Ultimately, Yanesen is perfect for people who want to discover Tokyo’s old charm and experience what it’s like to be in Japan 50 years ago or so.


Looking to explore Yanaka with a local? Join our Yanaka Walking Tour to discover one of Tokyo’s surviving old neighborhoods.

Sign up today! LIMITED SLOTS ONLY.

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