Yanaka is a must-visit after a walk in Ueno Park. This beautiful neighbourhood that carries the traces of old Edo with its numerous little temples and traditional houses has survived the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and damage from World War II. Its inhabitants have been fighting the disappearance of historic buildings ever since. Here, even the Yanaka Cemetery has got charm. The best way to discover the area is to explore randomly, but you’ll certainly need some breaks, here are 3 landmarks for eating and chilling.
Kayaba Cafe, Revamped Kissaten
Mirror ceiling and retro decor coupled with the traditional design of an old kissaten (tea room) give a unique atmosphere to this coffee shop. The place was recently transformed but first opened in 1938 and local people of all ages are regulars. You might wait a tiny bit for lunch but the homemade dishes (2 choices that change everyday) are worth the try.
ASK: For the White chocolate and green tea cake. Goes well with the (too?) strong coffee they make.
Kayaba Bakery, New Kid on the block
Masami Shiraishi wears two hats, owner of the renowned “SCAI the bathhouse” gallery, (he was one of the firsts to show Takashi Murakami’s work), he also fullfills his passion for food by owning Kayaba Cafe and Kayaba Bakery. Just opened in spring, this little gem shares premises (think wooden houses from early 20th century) with a yoga room, a craft beer bar and an olive oil shop. You’ll essentially find bread here, fougasse type. Nothing Japanese except the fact that they are made by a Japanese Baker.
ASK: For the little Olive and cheese bread.
Kokonn, Cafe hideway
On your way renting a bike at “Tokyo Bike Gallery”, you’ll find this lovely boutique selling little antiques, japanese crafts and ceramics. Yanesen neighbourhood doesn’t lack of cute little places but this one has the advantage of combining cafe and shop. Kokonn is located in the epicentre of the old temples area. A great place to chill and relax.
ASK: For the green tea matcha french toast or an ice cream from “France dessert”.