Keiko Tanabe

13th December, 2022

Uenosakuragi ATARI
In a residential area, at the end of a quiet alley, is a corner that has stood the test of time: three Japanese houses built in 1938 have been transformed into a café, brewery and shop complex. The authentic charm has been preserved, so it has been used as a film location for TV series.
I really enjoyed the cardamom buns at "VANER", which sells sourdough bread, but unfortunately it closed at the end of November. I am sure that soon a nice new shop will open.

The Kashiwa-yu, a two hundred year old bathhouse, has been transformed into a contemporary art gallery.
The exterior facade has been preserved and has contributed to the success of the art gallery in attracting visitors. It is an opportunity for everyone to discover a wide variety of wonderful exhibitions. Thus, SCAI THE BATHHOUSE has been a popular place to visit in Yanaka for about 20 years, also for art lovers.

Kayaba Café 
This café was opened in 1938 and has always been popular with the locals. It closed for a while after the death of its founder, but the regulars, who were not prepared to see it disappear, took the necessary actions to resurrect it. Today, the façade is still authentic, creating a retro effect to this café that has become very popular beyond its neighbourhood.
Once inside, you hear jazz music and enjoy creative pastries and omelette sandwiches. During the week, I like to relax over a meal in the upstairs lounge.
Very busy at weekends and on public holidays, reservations are recommended.

Mimizuku Antiquarian Bookshop 
You can recognize this antique bookshop by its characteristic front. It dates back to the time when there was a marble factory here. It blends in well with the many temples that surround it.  
The owner's welcome is very warm.

Allan West Art Sanctuary
The magnificent 260-year-old solid wood panel front has been given a new lease of life by American artist Alan West. It once housed a temple that was located nearby. Today, when you cross the threshold, you find yourself in his studio-gallery.
Here too, the atmosphere of the neighbourhood is respected.

The Taiwanese Aiyu jelly gave its name to this tea house established in 1934. 
It is famous for having appeared in the manga "Kochikame" and for having counted great writers like Shotaro Ikenami as regulars.
I've never been inside but its presence is essential to the typical atmosphere of the Yanaka district, so be sure to include it in your walking itinerary.

Keiko Tanabe