Things to do in
Yanaka District

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Our most recommended things to do in Yanaka District

Yanaka District: Historical Walking Tour in Tokyo's Old Town

1. Yanaka District: Historical Walking Tour in Tokyo's Old Town

Discover the Yanaka Ginza area, an old small town in Tokyo. Meet your guide, a friendly and talkative Tokyo local who will be happy to answer any questions. Join a small group of 7 other participants so you will have the opportunity to ask your guide about anything you like.  Start the tour at Yanaka Cemetery, where you can admire the calm and beautiful natural scenery. Marvel at the huge cedar, which is almost 100 years old and very famous in the area. After that, heading to the Nezu Shrine, which is very famous for the consecutive red Torii gates reminiscent of Kyoto's Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, one of the most popular destinations in Japan. After you have learned about Japanese religions at the shrine, head into the Yanaka Ginza area, the highlight of the tour. Walk around this small, old town, and witness how locals truly live as this area doesn't attract many tourists. Also, because the Yanaka town wasn't damaged by the bombs during the world war, you can see the old buildings, markets, shops, which still remain as they were in the 1940's. Stop for a break at a restaurant which is very popular among the locals for it's traditional, authentic Japanese lunch. After eating lunch, walk along the Yanaka shopping streets to finish the tour, where you will try some Japanese street snacks for dessert recommended by the locals.

Tokyo: Off the Beaten Path Private Guided Tour

2. Tokyo: Off the Beaten Path Private Guided Tour

Explore Tokyo in your own way with a private licensed guide. Let the guide know what special requests you have for the day and they will tailor your itinerary accordingly. All guides hold the nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification. It is issued by the Japanese government and requires a good understanding of Japanese culture and history. If you want to experience authentic local life, the backstreets of Yanaka, Shibamata, Fukagawa, and Asakusa are recommended. This tour feature a morning pickup at your hotel in Tokyo, then a visit to any number of possible sites. You can customize your itinerary according to the specific places you want to visit. See a suggested itinerary below.  First stop is the Shibamata neighborhood, where many historical shops can be found. Some have even been there for over a hundred years. It’s a great place to sample some classic Japanese snacks and street food, such as senbei, soy sauce crackers, and chewy rice balls. Next, head to the Yanaka Ginza neighborhood. Even among locals, it’s a lesser-known area that retains its old-Japan charm. Edo-era shops and restaurants line a small shopping street. Though the shops include modern 100-yen stores, there are many handicrafts, ceramics, and street food stores too. If you’ve become a fan of Japanese food during your travels, Kappabashi Street is a place to bring home something to cook or serve your own Japanese food with. Kappabashi is a long street lined with kitchen shops, plus the occasional kitchen clothing or fake food store. Other popular places you could visit on this tour include the Nezu and Sendagi areas, the Fukagawa Edo Museum, and the Asakusa district.

Tokyo: Private Sightseeing Tour

3. Tokyo: Private Sightseeing Tour

Delve into the heart of Tokyo on a sightseeing tour, and get the most out of the city with a private guide. Customize your experience to cater to your tastes and preferences. Choose from different tour durations to suit your schedule. Visit one area or point of interest with the 2-hour tour, or select the 4-hour tour to discover 2 monuments or neighborhoods. With the full-day experience you'll enjoy the company of a private guide for a whole day of sightseeing.   On the full-day tour, following pickup from your hotel you'll head to the Tsukiji Fish Market. Stroll around the stalls at the world's biggest seafood market, which can be difficult to understand without a guide. Continue to the Asakusa area to visit the Senso-ji temple, the largest temple in Tokyo. Next, walk along Nakamise shopping street before enjoying lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, head to the Meiji shrine to marvel at the biggest shrine in Tokyo. Continue to the renowned Takeshita Street to explore local pop culture, before finishing your tour at approximately 4 PM.

Old Town Tokyo Food Tour

4. Old Town Tokyo Food Tour

Your tour will take you through the charming area of Yanaka – one of the few remaining districts in Tokyo with the shitamachi (downtown) atmosphere, a feeling of Tokyo from past decades that still survives. A feeling of nostalgia and a rustic charm. Your tour will offer you a sightseeing opportunity different from the “big city” feel of other parts of Tokyo. Yanaka was one of the few areas in that survived the Great Kanto Earthquake and Fire of 1923 and was spared fire bombings. The area has a history as an artisan town where many famous writers and visual artists lived and worked. Today it retains a similar spirit and an afternoon stroll down the tiny side streets that dissect the area south of Nippori Station will highlight the diversity of craft still being produced in the area: textiles, ink prints, wood carvings, traditional cuisines, stationery, pottery, jewelry and much more. You will have the chance to try local street snacks, stop by shops that are over 100 years old, see local shrines and temples and have a delicious teishoku (lunch set) before you end the tour with a traditional tea ceremony. 

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What people are saying about Yanaka District

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 73 reviews

Our guide Naoko was amazing. She was very knowledgeable and accommodated our requests for specific things and areas to see. She navigated the metro for us and moved fast so we saw a lot. She is very passionate about her job and it shows. She even looked after our two boys ages 10 & 7 when crossing a street and in crowded areas. We have a friend for life!

My private tour trough Tokio was just awesome. Together with my guide Yoshi we explored Tsujiki Fish Market, Meiji Shrine and also some local shops. She gave me so many insights about Japan, the culture and daily life that it felt like exploring the city with a friend. Great day. Great memories. Thanks for this experience!!!

Lovely tour!

I was running late as I couldn't find the coffee shop, but I am so grateful my guide still waited for me! The tour was wonderful, it was great to see a more peaceful and quiet side of tokyo that I otherwise wouldn't have seen. Our guide had amazing knowledge and was happy to answer any questions!

Sachimi was a wonderful guide. She took us around the popular spots and gave us a great flavor for Tokyo. She also took us to a veggie ramen place which we all enjoyed. Overall would do this again with Japan wonder.

I absolutely loved my lovely guide was helpful and knowledgable I would recommend her to anyone travelling to Tokyo