One of the surprises of the trip was definitely Yanesen. It’s a quiet residential area that’s bound by three different sectors: Yanaka (“ya”), Nezu (“ne”) and Sendagi (“sen”). There are no attractions, no malls, no big wheels to be seen. But it’s a quintessential slice of the Japanese life and supposedly a throwback to the olden days of Tokyo.
Of course, if you intend to check out Yanesen, do ensure that you are equipped with a proper map. We had a vague map that had no clear directions (entirely my fault) so we got lost and didn’t see what we had set out to see, namely the Tsukijibei Fence (which is said to resemble fences seen in ninja movies) and “the area with many temples”. Heck, even if we did get to the right places, we probably didn’t realise it.
But that said, we had a lovely morning touring the place because it was just so different from fast-paced Tokyo city and its tall buildings and bright lights. We got extremely lost (as in don’t-know-where-we-were-AT-ALL lost), explored some shrines (the pictures in the previous post were taken at Yanesen) and even stumbled upon a primary school having its sports day.
That was fun! Their idea of a sports day is to involve the parents and we saw families spreading picnic mats there, having a ball of a time cheering the kids on. Husband and I stood there for a long time, laughing and shouting and clapping along.
We also found a street full of hawkers peddling food, clothes and household wares. Unfortunately, husband got yelled at by an obasan for trying to take her photo. But it was quite a street, I must say, crowded and full of colours and noise.
If you have time to spare while in Tokyo and want to experience a quieter pace of life, I highly recommend Yanesen. To get there, take the train to Nippori station and through the North-west exit.
More photos of Tokyo here.
Photos of our Osaka-Kyoto leg are here.