To get here the fastest/cheapest way by train, enter your starting location into the
or download a free Japan Travel mobile app to your phone (I use Navitime Japan Travel)
How to get there:
•Get out at Nezu Station (Chiyoda Subway Line) and follow the signs to the exit for the Nezu Shrine.
•When you emerge onto the street, turn left. Cross one small street and turn left at the next corner, by the seaweed tea shop. Walk along this alleyway until you reach the giant red torii gate at the entrance to the Nezu Shrine.
A walking tour of the Sendagi neighborhood:
•Exit the shrine on the opposite side where you entered, through the big red torii gate behind the main shrine building.
•Turn right and return to the big street.
•Cross the big street and continue along the small street for one block. Turn left at the corner and you will be on Hebi-dori: Snake Street.
•As you stroll along this street, you’ll see why it’s called Snake Street – it winds and curves like a snake. Enjoy the many small shops and restaurants along the way.
•When you reach the next street, turn right.
•At the end of the block on the next corner (on the right) is Isetatsu, a wonderful chiyogami store. Choyogami is beautifully printed washi paper, some with old-fashioned patterns, some with scenes suitable for framing. I guarantee you won’t walk out of this store without a shopping bag. 🔎 Google map (The address is 2-18-9 Yanaka)
•Continue on to the next corner and cross the big street. On the next block (on the left) is Zenshoan Temple. Wander along the side to the graveyard in back to see the tall gold Kannon statue and (in the month of May) magnificent peonies. If you are lucky enough to be visiting in August, stop in at the temple’s Ghost Museum (¥500). Telling ghost stories is one of the traditional ways Japanese kept cool in summertime because they supposedly “send a chill up your spine.” 🔎 Google map
•Continue on up the big street, enjoying the small traditional shop and cafés, including:
•Paint stores selling brilliant powdered pigments for the artists who attend the venerable art school in the area.
•The street will curve around to the right and eventually you’ll arrive at the Nenneko Store (on the right), which sells only cat-themed merchandise. There is a lovely hand-drawn cat map posted outside showing which cats live at which neighborhood houses.
•Across the street from the cat store is Yanaka Cemetery, where one of the Tokugawa shōguns is buried. In late March-early April, this is a prime cherry blossom viewing spot. It’s always and interesting stroll, even without the crowds. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yanaka_Cemetery
•When you finish wandering through the cemetery, return to the cat store and continue along the big street to the next corner. Turn right and walk along that big street until you arrive back at Nezu Station.
There are many small streets to explore in the area you’ve just circled around. If you have time and a good sense of direction, I highly recommend strolling along them. At various times I’ve come across stores that sell:
•Puppets that are caricatures of famous people and politicians
•Jazz age kimonos and obis with pattrerns so modern and colors so surprising, you can’t believe they’re not this year’s avant garde designs.
•A fancy eel restaurant
•Brushes for calligraphy and painting
Read a novel set in Tokyo…
“A genuinely gripping crime thriller which wrong-foots and perplexes the reader throughout, drawing us in emotionally . . . Highly recommended.” –Raven Crime Reads