- An English couple from London
- A French and Trinbagonian couple
- A couple from Switzerland (Miriam & Steven)
- Three lovely Grandmothers on an educational tour, eating soft serve
- An after word
Tadaima Japan editorial team went to Yanaka Ginza (a shopping district has Nostalgia in Tokyo). We met some tourists and talked to them about Yanaka and TOKYO.
An English couple from London
TJ: Hi! Could you tell us why you chose to come Yanaka?
A: It was in our guide book.
TJ: Is there anything in particular that you like about this area?
A: We love the atmosphere and the difference between the modern Japanese cities compared to the older, more quiet landscapes of Japan.
TJ: Please tell us about the places you’ve been to so far in Tokyo.
A: We’re staying in Shibuya and went to Shinjuku, Akihabara, Roppongi and Harajuku.
We went to Super Potato Retro* and had some tasty gyoza at Harajuku Ginza-Ro, and visited Golden Gai (a tiny alleyway with a variety of tiny drinking shops). The beer’s been great too!
TJ: Anything else you’re planning on doing during this trip?
A: We’re actually looking for some good Tonkatsu ramen. Any suggestions?
TJ: Hmm.., probably Ichiran.
A: Oh, we already have that in check! Thanks.
* Super Potato (Japanese text only) Retro is a large gaming chain store in Akihabara. Retro gaming devices like FamiCoy, Gameboy, Dreamcast, and their gaming cartridges, lined every inch of the store. Rertro arcade games (Japanese text only) are also available inside!
A French and Trinbagonian couple
TJ: Why are you visiting Yanaka?
A: We found this place in a guidebook. This (nostalgic) atmosphere is nice.
TJ: What did you eat for lunch?
A: We ate skewers while exploring.
TJ: Oh, Yakitori? How was that?
A: Umm…It was bit cold.
TJ: That’s not good…
A: But we had cream puffs at the café just before the steps. (They showed TJ the picture) It was very good. I have never tried the sweet ones’ before.
The Tadaima Japan staff visited the cream puff and Japanese tea café, “ Chayutei-cafe (Japanese text only)”, located at the mouth of Yanaka Ginza street.
This café is operated by a Japanese tea retailer. A Variety of different green teas (Macha, Sencha, and Gyokuro) are available The cream puffs have a thick matcha cream inside, and the actual green tea that comes with the puff was a lovely treat for this chilly, March day.
★ Chayutei-cafe (Japanese text only) Address: 3-10-6 Nishi-Nippori, Arakawa, TOKYO
Closed: Mondays (If a Monday is a National holiday, closed on the following Tuesday.)
A couple from Switzerland (Miriam & Steven)
TJ: Hello! Do you mind if we ask some questions?
A: Of course not.
TJ: Could you tell us where you’ve been around the area?
A: We went to Tsukiji market, Nezu Shrine, and Ueno.
TJ: Did you visit Ueno zoo?
A: Yes, we saw the pandas! We don’t have any pandas in Switzerland, so it was exciting!
The habitats were small cages and it seemed like some animals were uncomfortable.
The panda exhibit was lovely. It’s my husband’s fourth time in Japan and my first, but he goes to see the pandas every single time. He had to show me the pandas!
TJ: That sounds like a great experience. Tell us about Tsukiji .
A: We had sushi for breakfast, and the tuna was delicious! We can no longer eat sushi in Switzerland.
Three lovely Grandmothers on an educational tour, eating soft serve
TJ: Would you mind answering some questions?
A: Fire away!
TJ: Alright, tell us about your trip in Japan!
A: We are on an educational tour called Road Scholar for US citizens over 55, and we’ll be staying here for 15 days, travelling between Tokyo and Nagasaki.
TJ: Where have you been to so far?
A: Let’s see… We went to the Edo museum, The Palace’s garden, Tsukiji, and a department store. We also had some tempura for lunch.
TJ: Wow! Seems like you’ve walked around a lot.
A: Yes, and tomorrow we’ll be walking around the Nakasendo, and around Magome and Tsumago.
TJ: Oh dear, what a plan! Anything that impressed you or anything you’d like to share?
A: When we walked into the department store, the workers there all greeted us with a bow.
TJ: Ah, I’m assuming that was when the store opened. Well, thank you very much for sharing your precious time with us, and have a safe trip!
An after word
Thank you to everyone who helped us with our questionnaire! Overall, it seemed like many of our visitors were enjoying the gap between the older Japanese landscape and the modern liveliness of younger cities. It was surprising that even the smallest Japanese guide books included Yanaka and Nezu in their go-to areas; not many Japanese locals visit Yanaka that often.
Hoping to hear a “Tadaima!” from those who might visit Japan again. Both the loud, young cityscapes and the quiet, old neighborhoods are always waiting to be explored.