On my last trip to the Nippori area, I knew I wanted to explore both the fabric stores and a place called the ‘Yanaka Cat Town’. Unfortunately, my hands were so filled with fabrics, I ended up just lugging them back to the hotel gave the cats a miss all together. So, now that I’m back in Tokyo, I knew I couldn’t miss it again. The ‘town’ isn’t really a town at all, rather it’s a long street called the ‘Yanaka Ginza’. The area has been inspired by the cats that roam the local (and famous) Yanaka Cemetery. As you walk the streets of Yanaka you can see the cat inspirations everywhere!
After a quick walk through the cemetery, I realised I was very lost! So I pulled out Google maps and headed to Yanaka Ginza. On the way I managed to stumble upon this small cafe, ‘Nekoemon’. Now, usually, when I go eat in the first place I see it doesn’t quite work out, but oh boy was I thanking my lucky stars I found this place. The cafe was cat themed with cat eclairs, cakes and sponge rolls. You could even buy a special cat statue (you can see behind my drink in the picture), and paint it while you snack on a drink and biscuit. I ended up opting for the cake set (which was about 750 yen). After scoffing that down I ordered a Herb Chicken meal which was equally delicious. The cafe had a great ambience and really got me in the kitty cat sight seeing mood!
The walk to Yanaka Ginza from Nippori station is about 10 minutes, but as I said, I got ridiculously lost. The street is absolutely filled with feline souvenirs, from soft toys to plates and statues, whatever you need in cat form, you can get it here! There’s also some famous street food, I walked past a vendor that had a bunch of signatures from famous people, but I was too full from my lovely meal before to try it. The street takes about 15-20 minutes to walk through, and it’s fine trying to find all the cat statues that are hiding on rooftops and corners. Unfortunately I didn’t see any actual cats! It would have been lovely to see one or two, I miss my fur babies back home.
After that adventure I walked over to Nezu Shrine, which took about 20 minutes. The shrine is one of the oldest in Tokyo, and during April has the Bunkyo Azalea Festival. All the Azalea flowers in the shrine are in full bloom, there are vendors and food stalls that line the walkways of the shrine, it’s an incredible sight! I arrived at about 3pm and not many of the stalls had been set up, so I’m assuming it is a bit more of a night thing. The flowers are gorgeous, and you can pay 200 yen to walk higher up and get a better view. But I was very happy just wandering along the river.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post! Remember to follow to keep up to date with my Japan adventures. To read about my Otaku focused adventures check out my other blog over here~