Nezu and Yanaka is a good place for walking if you like old traditional Japanese houses and historical streetscape.
In early April at the time of cherry blossoms, I took a walk in Nezu district. I went to the area by bus but you can easily go there by taking Tokyo Metoro, getting off at Nezu Station.
I start with Hantei to see the traditional Japanese architecture. This is an old Japanese restaurant where they serve you fried foods on skewers or “kushiage“. This was originally merchant’s house built in 1917. The three-storied wooden building was typical during Meiji and Taisho era but it is impossible to build nowadays due to the current building standards law.
Address: 12-15 Nezu 2-chome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 11:30am-3pm, 5pm-11pm
Closed on Monday.
May close earlier on Sunday.
The facade of this house facing Shinobazu Dori Avenue had to be trimmed at the beginning of this century because of the street expansion.
I headed on to the next architecture by skipping kushiage in Hantei. The next destination is also a restaurant called Kamachiku. It used to be a house of Ibaraki Prefecture but the main building was dismantled and a nursing home was constructed by a famous architect, Kengo Kuma. The storehouse of the original building was transformed into a restaurant of “udon“, Japanese noodle also by Kengo Kuma.
The original building
Ceilings of Kamachiku – it used to be a storehouse.
Udon in this restaurant is worth trying. It’s simple noodle in soup and they serve you lots of relish to put into your soup bowl. Usually they give you only a small amount, but here, you can put relish without limit.
Address: 14-18 Nezu 2-chome, Bunkyo-ku
Opening Hours: Tue-Sat. 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-9pm
Closed on Mon.
Holidays 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-8pm
Gokokuin Temple, Uenokouen
After lunch, another walk in Ueno area. There still remain many old Japanese-style residences around here.
Gokokuin Temple was first built in 1624 and was relocated to several places nearby. It was finally settled down in the current location in 1709, meaning it has a history of almost 400 years. A god called Daikokuten is worshiped in this temple. Daikokuten is a god of fertility and is also regarded as a god of treasure. This temple has a painting of Daikokuten which is said that it was given by Shogun Iemitsu Tokugawa.
Address: 10-18 Uenokouen, Taitou-ku, Tokyo