Translated by EndoYasuko
Explore The Yanesen Area And Meet Hachiko At The Tokyo University
Written by Isao Nakagawa
YAnaka, NEzu, and SENdagi combined are the YANESEN area. It is a quiet area with a long history. You can stroll through the area to get to the University of Tokyo where you can eat a nice lunch as well as meet the famous dog Hachiko and his owner Professo
You probably have seen Yanaka area many times already on this site. But its a really nice area, so I'll introduce it again. I would like to introduce you to the Hongo-area which is next to Yanaka. It makes for a nice walking track.
We combine YAnaka, NEzu, and SENdagi, to get what we call the YANESEN area. Next to Yanesen is the Hongo area. Hongo is a famous for the Tokyo University, an elite school in eastern Japan. I Japan people call the Tokyo University Todai.
The campus of this school is quite a relaxing place, so let's just walk from Yanaka-Ginza to Todai.
Yanaka Ginza starts here. We went to the "Yanaka-Ginza" arcade where an elderly man taught us how to play bayblade.
Do you know how to play bay-blade? If not, you should learn it there. I used to play it quite often.
This arcade is especially attractive when you are hungry because it has many specialized food shops such as bento (lunch) boxes, delicacies, delicious meat and potato Korokke*, and fancy sweets. There are fresh fish stores and tea rooms, as well.
*Korokke: Potato cakes or meat cakes coated with bread crumbs and deep fried
I had some tea in the tea room "Kane Yoshien", which has many long-standing traditions. It was filled with the aroma of tea, and it was very relaxing.
If you want to enrich your tea time you should try "Chanoyu culture". Chanoyu means the “Way of Tea.” It's the ritualistic and highly cultivated practice of tea. It is also referred to as Sado or Chado. It has its roots in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
Now, let's go to Todai by walking through Sendagi and Nezu! This area is very calm. While you walk, you can enjoy the friendly atmosphere of Shitamachi. Shitamachi is often described as a low-lying area of the city spotted with small independent shops and factories.
I found a nice restaurant in an alleyway. It was surprising that there was such a long queue. I assumed that it must be a hidden well-known quality restaurant. It is great to know that I can get to know something new every time I visit here.
I recommend visiting the most famous café in this area, " Kayaba Coffee".
There is also a traditional Japanese sweets shop, " Torindo"
After a nice coffee break, let's go to Todai. You will see the buildings as you climb up the hill.
You can also find the well-known tearoom "Ruo" on your way. There are many tearooms, bookshops, restaurants, and bars in this area. Their popularity with students has not changed even after several decades.
It's a nostalgic feeling to think about so many students spending their youth here a long time ago.
We arrived! It's the icon of Todai, the " Akamon" (red gate). It is gorgeous, it might be mistaken for the gate of a temple or castle. No wonder it's a nationally designated important cultural property. It was originally built for the Maeda family's mansion in Tokyo. The Maeda family used to rule Ishikawa-prefecture for a long time.
It was past lunchtime, so I went to the student cafeteria to have a nice lunch.
This is the "Aka-mon combo" (400 yen)
After Lunch I walked around the schoolyard.
If you walk towards "No Seimon" (Main Gate), you can see the faithful dog Hachiko and his owner Professor Ueno happily reunited
I showed you my way to walk from Yanaka to Todai, but there are many different routes you can take.
Just enjoy your walk around Tokyo.
From Yanesen to Hongo (Tokyo University)
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Yanaka
Access: Nippori Station JR Yamanote Line, Keisei Narita Skyaccess Line, Toneri Liner