Walking Tours of Yanaka - Tour 3
Yanaka, an old town in Tokyo
The Yanaka area 谷中 is a historical part of Tokyo, developed as a temple town in the Edo period (1603-1867). Prominent temples like the Tenouji and the Kaneiji were founded and still exist in the area. In the past people living all over the Edo(the former name of Tokyo) used to visit Yanaka for worship and for sightseeing.
Yanaka Walking Tour 3 | Estimated time for the tour: 2 1/2 hours
Nippori Station 日暮里駅
Start from the JR Nippori Station and use the NorthWest exit
Tenouji Temple 天王寺
Climb a small set of stairs near the Station exit, and you will see the Tenouji Temple on the left. Tenouji is the oldest temple in Yanaka that has a beautiful statue of Buddha.
Yanaka Reien (Yanaka Cemetery Park) 谷中霊園
In front of the Tenouji Temple is the main Street of the Yanaka Reien area. Yanaka Reien and its environs used to belong to Tenoji and in the past, many people came to Yanaka to visit in the Edo period. The street is beautiful in the spring time with Sakura (cherry blossoms).
While walking through the main street of Yanaka Reien turn left and walk until you reach the intersection with Kototoi Dori (Ave.) At this intersection, there is an old, traditional house located at the corner. This old house is a Shitamachi museum. Its admission is free. It is a nice place to take a rest.
Jomyoin Temple 浄名院
Walk east along the Kototoi Dori (Ave.) and after about 5 minutes of walking you will see Jomyoin Temple on the left side.
After Jomyoin, go along back Kototoi Dori (Ave.) to the intersection where the old house is located. Cross Kototoi Dori (Ave) at the traffic lights. There is a very narrow but busy road with cars passing by as the road leads to Ueno Park (See Ueno Park and Zoo)and the Tokyo National Museum. If you want to go Tokyo National Museum, just keep walking straight for 5 minutes or so.
Gokokuin Temple 護国院
Walking along this narrow street, you see a small road in front of you, turn right and walk for 2 minutes or so. Gokokuin Temple is located on the left side. Gokokuin is the temple of one of the 7 lucky gods (Shichifukujin).
Izakaya Area (small Japanese pubs) 居酒屋エリア
When you get back to Kototoi Dori (Ave), start walking down this hilly street toward the Nezu Subway Station.
Walking down Kototoi Dori(Ave), you will see a large intersection, this is where the Nezu Station is located, right across the way from you, but, turn down a small alley just before the intersection, looking down the vista you will see many tiny Izakayas and old style homes.
Nezu Shrine 根津神社
If you keep walking along the small alley you will reach a medium sized road. Turn left and keep walking. When you walk past an intersection with traffic lights and you will see Nezu Shrine on the right.
Daienji and Zenshouan 大円寺
If you keep walking down the narrow road you will see the Sansaki-zaka(slope). Turn right and go down the Sansaki-zaka. Along the Sansaki-zaka, you will see several beautiful temples. Zenshouan and Daienji are especially well known among of these temples. You will see Zenshouan and Daienji on the right side of Sansaki-zaka.
Keep walking upward toward Sansaki-zaka street untill the slope ends. Around the end of the slope, you will see a traffic light, turn left at the corner there.
Asakura Sculpture Hall 朝倉彫塑館
Keep walking for about 5 minutes or so and you will see the Asakura Sculpture Hall on the
right side. To look around this hall, you will need 30 minutes or so.
After touring the Asakura Sculpture Hall, take the road to right and you will reach the street leading to North/West Exit of JR Nippori Station.
End of Tour 3