Things to Do in Yanesen, Tokyo: Visit Nezu Shrine, Food in Shopping Street, Ceramic Painting Experience



Yanesen, derived from the neighborhoods Yanaka, Nezu, and Sendagi, is a charming and historic area in Tokyo. Known for its preserved traditional atmosphere, ancient shrines like Nezu Shrine, a cat-friendly ambiance, and nostalgic shopping streets like Yanaka Ginza.

Yanesen offers a delightful escape into Tokyo’s rich past, providing a unique and peaceful experience for visitors.
This time, we went to Hatsumode, a traditional Japanese New Year’s custom of visiting a shrine or temple to make the first prayers of the year.
We also tried ceramic painting experience, and ate lots of delicious food.

It was a wonderful trip so hope this plan will help your planning!

*Please note that information and prices listed are subject to change.

Travel Itinerary

11:50am Nezu Station

Take a stroll in Yanesen and enjoy the retro atmosphere!
The trip starts at Nezu Station.

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Nezu Station is located in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo. This station is located in an area known as Yanesen, where visitors can enjoy a retro atmosphere. Nezu Station is on the Chiyoda Line and is used as the starting point for the Yanesen stroll.

12:00pm Nezu kamachiku

The Yanesen area is famous for its soba noodle restaurants, but there are also many good udon restaurants! Eventually, we went to the shop originated from Osaka in 1985;

With its historic and chic exterior, the building was designed by Mr. Kengo Kuma, a famous Japanese architect, and relocated a stone statue from the Meiji era and repurposed it. Looks amazing!
We are so excited for the food😋
Some customers were waiting for the restaurant even before it opened, a testament to its popularity!

Inside the restaurant, there was a large one-panel table with a view of the courtyard and a tatami room at the top of a small flight of stairs!
The ceiling is high, with a great view! Inside the building is also beautiful✨


There are two types of dishes on the menu: Kama-age Udon or Zaru Udon! Kama-age Udon is especially popular.

Plenty of drinks and snacks are also available.

You can enjoy drinking sake with snacks and finish off with udon noodles.

Kama-age Udon

Kama-age Udon is the one which features thick and chewy noodles served in a bowl with hot cooking water, accompanied by a side bowl of hot dipping sauce (tsuyu). It was so good!

There are four kinds of condiments!

As we added green onions, tenkasu (deep fried dough), shichimi (seven-flavor chili pepper), and ginger in that order, the flavors changed from gentle to increasingly mouthwatering.

We also ordered sake

There is a variety of Japanese sake on the menu, and we couldn’t resist ordering some! We had warmed sake as an aperitif and then enjoyed it with udon. What an amazing lunch! 🍶


Having udon in the tatami room is also quite appealing! It is a relaxing space where you are sure to enjoy a leisurely stay.

Seating at large single-board tables with views of the courtyard


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Located in Nezu, Nezu kamachiku specializes in Japanese sake and Kama-age Udon. The interior of the renovated Meiji-era Ishigura building has a luxurious and chic atmosphere. You can enjoy the outstanding quality of udon noodles, which have been selected as a Michelin Bib Gourmand. The restaurant offers large single-board table seats with a courtyard view and tatami room seating. Known for its popularity, customers often wait eagerly before the restaurant opens.

1:30pm Nezu Shrine

After enjoying udon, we came to Nezu Shrine for Hatsumode!
There are torii gates on the Nezu Shrine ground.
We were pleasantly surprised to find torii gates in Tokyo! The sight of the red torii gates lined up in a row was truly amazing.

In spring, azaleas bloom, and the area is famous for its flowers 💐

The grounds of the shrine are larger than we expected!

First pray of the year

We both made a wish for a good year ahead 🙏

After visiting the shrine, let’s see the luck for this year!

We were a bit nervous to look at what the omikuji (fortune paper) says 😂

Torii gate next to the main shrine

We’ve been through the torii gate ⛩

Romon (Important Cultural Property)

Spot Outline

Nezu Shrine is located in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo. It is famous for its azalea blossoms in spring, and the azalea festival is also held there. The shrine pavilions are beautiful, and the omikuji (fortune) is also popular. In addition, the shrine has been introduced in magazines and on television, making it a favorite spot for many people.

2:20pm Yanaka Ginza

If you come to Yanesen, you must visit Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street!
A nostalgic shopping street
It is a historic shopping street that was established around 1945 and has about 60 stores, including restaurants and general stores.

There were so many restaurants good for take-away and walking around, it was hard to decide what to eat…! There were not only old-fashioned restaurants, but also stylish restaurants that seem to have been established recently!

There is a cat object in the shopping street!

Take a quick snap📸
The shopping district is renowned for its abundance of cats, and there are even some cat-themed foods available🐱

Atmosphere of the Town

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Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street in Taito-ku, Tokyo, is a historic shopping street created around 1945, with about 60 stores, including restaurants and general stores. The street has a charming atmosphere and is a recommended spot for those who want to eat and walk around. Yuyake Dandan, which leads to Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street, is also famous as a sunset spot. The area is crowded with both Japanese and foreigners, with not only traditional stores but also stylish stores that have recently been established.

2:30pm Niku No Suzuki

The first stop to grab some food and enjoy a stroll around;
Menchi Katsu (Ground Meat Cutlet) lookes so good~! This store was established in 1933, selling fried food such as croqutte and menchi katsu.
Perfect for eat and walk around♪

For take-away, “torotoro yaki buta” is also a recommended.
They use 3 different secret sauce and take 4 hours to produce!

Genki Menchi katsu: 250 yen and Miso Buta Katsu

The most popular one is “Genki Menchi katsu”.
It is said to be made from minced pieces of high quality meat!
The batter is crispy and the inside has the umami of the meat! The sweetness of the onions also goes perfect.

“Miso Buta Katsu” makes you crave rice 🍚—never getting tired of that miso taste!

The shop be like:

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Niku no Suzuki is a butcher shop established in 1933 in Nishinippori, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo, selling fried foods such as korokke (Japanese croquette) and menchi katsu, which are perfect for eat and walk around.”Torotoro char siu” is made with three secret sauces that take four hours to produce.

3:30pm Tamaru Tamaru

The second stop is a rest spot specializing in sweet potato snacks!
It was cold, so we decided to have a rest inside for a while.

Inside the shop is small, with three tables. It is a perfect place to take a break during the shopping!
We were warmly welcomed❣️

Chonmage Imo Set: 800 yen

Yanaka’s famous “Chonmage Imo” is available 🤤
It is a sweet potato with sesame seeds on.

The sweetness of the sweet potato was amazing✨

Wide variety of beverages available

⚠️ Note that you must order for one drink per adult for having inside the shop

A single item of Chonmage Imo is priced at 350 yen.


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Tamaru Tamaru is a sweets shop located on Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street. The most famous specialty is “Chonmage Imo,” a sweet potato coated with sesame seeds. The interior of the shop has the atmosphere of a rest area, and you will be warmly welcomed.

4:00pm Cafe Nekoemon

After a 10-minute on foot, we arrived to…
The cafe where visitors can try Maneki-neko painting experience in a renovated 90+ year old Japanese style house!
It is going to be an unforgettable memory for sure🐈

The painting experience takes 30-60 minutes, and you can participate at any time if seats are available. However, online reservations are recommended.

Original Maneki-neko

Let’s start painting Maneki-neko and make your original one🐱🎨

While having cat-themed sweets

You can have a painting experience while having coffee or tea and cat-themed cute sweets☕️

Maneki-neko Painting Experience

The use of only the cafe is also okay.


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Cafe Nekoemon, located in Yanaka, Taito-ku, Tokyo, is a cafe where you can experience painting Maneki-neko in a renovated 90+ year Japanese old-style house. You can enjoy making your own Maneki-neko while having a cup of tea. Open from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm and closed on Mondays.

5:30pm Ueno Sakuragi Atari

After enjoying the painting experience for about an hour, the last stop on the trip was a complex of three renovated old-style houses built in 1938!

The sight of the historic building tucked away at the end of the street is beautiful.
The unique atmosphere of old town was really nice!


There are beer hall, bakery, olive shop, and common areas.

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Ueno Sakuragi Atari is a complex facility located in Taito-ku, Tokyo, in a renovated 1938 Japanese-style house that houses a beer hall, bakery, and general merchandise stores. The atmosphere of the old house is appealing, and events are held on weekends. The shop is a fashionable space that attracts customers from Europe and the U.S. with its wide selection of goods.

5:30pm Yanaka Beer Hall

Cheers at the beer hall inside Ueno Sakuragi Atari!
You can enjoy “Yanaka Beer”, unique craft beers, and stylish drinks that you can find only here🍻


Stylish atmosphere with the warmth of an old house.
The old posters, newspapers and other decorations are also beautiful.
The moment we walked into the shop, we felt like we had stepped back in time!

2nd floor

The second floor has tatami seating!
Cozy like a grandma’s house 👵🏻✨

Stylish beer server

It’s tubed directly from the chilled keg, so it’s still ice-cold even in the summer!

The best beer🍺

Yanaka Beer: 750 yen

The taste is amazing!

Yanaka Beer has four kinds!

There is also a set of drinks to try, allowing you to taste each one and compare them.

Yanaka Beer’s Gyusuji Nikomi (Stewed Beef Tendons): 660 yen

Gyusuji Nikomi is highly recommended!
Gyusuji (beef tendons) is so tender and delicious that it melts in your mouth.

Atari set B: 825 yen

Edamame fried in butter and Frankfurter sausages roasted in an earthenware pot with smoked cheese! Edamame is a savory favorite.

A wide variety of drinks and snacks!


There are also set meal menu for lunch.

Spot Outline

Yanaka Beer Hall, located in Uenosakuragi, Taito-ku, Tokyo, is a beer hall where you can enjoy Yanaka Beer and other original craft beers. The interior has a stylish atmosphere with the warmth of an old style house. It is open from 11:00 am to 8:00pm and closed on Mondays.

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