Travel: Tokyo Part 3 – Asakusa & Yanaka

I can’t believe I’m on Part 3 of my trip to Tokyo! I didn’t want to cram all these photos and different experiences into just one post, but I apologise. You can read Part 1 & Part 2 if you want to see what I got up to before this. In this blog I visit the traditional side of Tokyo: Asakusa and Yanaka.

A traditional Japanese home in Tokyo

My third day in Tokyo was one for taking in more traditional Tokyo. I started in Asakusa and the Sensoji Temple. This is one of the most touristy spots in the city and was swarming with people. It’s an incredibly impressive area – I particularly liked the Mitsumine shrines, which were more peaceful.

Sensoji Temple in TokyoSensoji Temple

My plan was to continue west up to Yanaka, one of Tokyo’s most traditional areas, and one of the few which had survived World War II. I walked towards Uneo, and found myself on Kappabashi Street. The tourists immediately dropped off and I felt like I had wandered into the real Tokyo, with locals out on their lunch hour. The street was lined with pink lanterns and full of small shops. Passing through Ueno Park, I took another side street into Yanaka. By then I truly felt in authentic Tokyo. This was where you could see traditional Japanese architecture and homes, with lots of shrines and and temples.

Bicycles in traditional Japanese street in TokyoTraditional Japanese streets in Yanaka

I absolutely loved slowly making my way through the traditional streets and finally reached Yanaka Cemetery. This is one of the cities most famous cemeteries. It was mostly empty so it was a very peaceful place for a stroll, although so huge I ended up feeling a bit morbid! 

Tourist guide to Yanaka in TokyoGraves and shrines at Yanaka Cemetery

My last stop in Yanaka was Yanaka Ginza – the main shopping street. It really felt like I was the only person who wasn’t a local! The shops were very traditional and you could pick up yakitori, groceries or clothes. The whole area felt a world away from the market of Asakusa. I found an absolutely beautiful souvenir shop with handmade ceramics so I treated myself to a tiny ceramic ‘God of Happiness’ and some matcha from their huge green tea selection. I could have bought the whole shop, the trinkets were so beautiful!

Day in Yanaka Tokyo

Shopping in traditional Yanaka in Tokyo

On a photography related note, this trip was all shot on my Fuji X-T2. It’s the biggest trip I’ve taken it on and tbh it didn’t totally win me over. As you can see from above, it doesn’t handle dark very well and got super noisy in the ceramics shop. 

8ablish vegan dinner in Tokyo

That evening I headed into Shibuya for dinner at 8ablish. This is a slightly upmarket, fully vegan restaurant, which I had googled before I flew and put on my ‘must eat here’ list. Wow it did not disappoint. I started with soybean croquettes, followed by a tofu steak for main. Honestly, it’s probably the tastiest vegan restaurant I’ve ever been to. This trip was also definitely the start of me loving dining alone. 

If you’re going to Tokyo head to my other blog posts for itinerary ideas or message me if you want anymore tips.


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