A temple town since the Edo Era
Yanaka is a temple town. For various reasons such as protecting Edo Castle, escaping from fire and quakes, alleviating the overpopulation of people and stores in the central area, this area was naturally established. While walking or dining in Yanaka, get that feeling of the good old days of Japan. In Yanaka Ginza which is the center of the area, there are about 70 private stores, and since it is a matter of course to eat and walk while in the neighborhood, it’s fun to try out reasonable and delicious food at places like Yakiya for grilled squid, Tamaru for chonmage potatoes, Niku-no-Sato for menchikatsu, Shippoya for fried donuts and Hatsuneya for tempura. There is also a cemetery in this town of temples known as Yanaka Cemetery which covers an area of 100,000 ㎡ with about 7000 graves. It has a tranquility that cannot be imagined in a place like Tokyo, and it has a very familiar presence as a short cut for the locals, a play area for kids and a course to walk the dog. The last shogun of the Tokugawa clan, Yoshinobu Tokugawa, along with numerous painters and politicians rest in the cemetery. The main road of Sakura-dori is famous for its cherry blossoms.
The tour of the Seven Deities of Good Fortune
The tour of the Seven Deities of Good Fortune is the oldest of its kind in Tokyo which entails visits to pray at the temples and shrines that have enshrined each of the seven deities. The tour is annually held from January 1st to 10th from 9a.m. to 5p.m. It is only during this time that visitors can enter the Hon-do hall of the temples. It’s the perfect event to start the year fresh. In Yanaka, there is also a hotel by the name of Sawanoya Ryokan which is run by Isao Sawa who is called the Charisma of Tourism. 90% of the guests are from other countries, and it’s an ideal place after a whole day of walking around.