During our short walk here, we visit the site of the Boshin War that ushered in the Meiji period in 1868 and signaled the end to Japan’s feudal era.
We see a unique Buddhist temple and Shinto shrine, as well as a chiyogami (Japanese paper) shop (as featured in the lead photograph).
Yanaka was not only home to the shogun’s falcon stables, but was charged with protecting the city from evil under the Chinese geomancy which believed that evil came from the northeast.
Photo courtesy of FastJapan.com
We next visit Kagurazaka where we stop for a traditional Japanese soba lunch. Photo courtesy of kyushuandtokyo.org
Edo/Tokyo -- Low City of the Townsmen
This tour is devoted to the life of the towns people and their entertainments.
Little of Kyoto now remains to be seen in Tokyo of the life of the people from the Edo period through to the mid 20th Century.
However, Yanaka, a quiet quarter with winding streets and narrow alleyways, local shops and an intimate feel, provides perhaps the closest approximation to how life once was in downtown Edo through to the pre-war years of Tokyo.
Nezu Shrine and its unique Shinto architecture is first on the tour. Then we stroll through an old temple district to the charming neighborhood of Yanaka.
After lunch, we walk east over the Sumidagawa through a quaint Edo-period garden as we make our way to the Ireido (Tokyo Memorial Hall), where the victims of the 1923 Kanto Earthquake and the 1944-45 US Army air raids are remembered. Photo courtest of TripAdvisor.
Next, we visit the 17th Century Edo stroll garden, Kiyosumi Teien, and end the day in the Ginza, the showcase area of Japan from the 1870’s.