This is part 2 of a post about Yanaka in Tokyo. I recommend reading part 1 first if you haven't done so, so you can get the full experience.
I walked back out to the road I had been on before because I had seen something that needed further exploring. A little (very little) side street. Those of you who read often, know that I love these side streets!
I thought I had seen some older houses down here earlier, so I walked all the way through to the other side where I found myself at the edge of the cemetery again. There definitely were some nice older houses here.
I walked back up the street again and as I did, I noticed a black cat sitting on a window ledge. Remembering that the last time I had an encounter with a black cat, I ended up in hospital with amnesia and stitches in my head after falling off my bicycle, I looked around to make sure nothing was going to crash into me or fall on me. It all looked safe so I called out to the cat and it jumped down from the ledge and wandered over to me meowing happily away.
I stayed and patted the cat for a few minutes as it purred happily before I told it that I had to leave as I needed to look around some more.
I continued along the street back in the direction of where I though the train station would be and found another of Yanaka's stunning temples (last one, I promise....)
I found my way back to the station and checked the time. I was due to meet a couple of friends, Masa and Naz at 6pm before heading to Yanaka Ginza (the famous old shopping street in the area, but I was early so i wandered over to the other side of the station and was stunned by the completely and totally different atmosphere there. Look at this!
Unbelievable to think that these two wildly different places are so close to each other! I spied a bar and thought after a few hours wandering around on a hot day, a beer was in order.
Masa and Naz both showed up so we headed off toward Yanaka Ginza. It was getting dark at this point.
What that meant was that most of the shops were closed already and there were less people around than usual so we had a quick walk along the street
before walking off to find some dinner. We found a kushiage (or kushikatsu, depending on which part of Japan you are from) restaurant that we decided would be dinner. Kushiage is basically different food covered in breadcrumbs and then deep fried. The food used can be vegetables, fish, meat, cheese......basically anything that the chef can find in the fridge!!
There were also some pizza on the menu including an interesting curry pizza so we decided that we had to try them.
Soon enough, the night was over, but I had decided that I would go back to Yanaka Ginza the following weekend to check out the shopping street during the day.
So the following weekend came and I went back to Yanaka, this time at about 4pm. It was a Sunday, but, even so, it wasn't too busy.
The Yanaka area is famous for it's many cats, pets, stray and also, statues. There are cats on buildings all along Yanaka Ginza.
Well, all except this one......
Yanaka Ginza is home to shops of many different kinds from bags, baskets and things,
But I had come back for one food shop in particular. Yanaka Ginza is home to one very famous menchi katsu shop.
Menchi katsu is basically a hamburger pattie covered in breadcrumbs and then deep fried. Pure unhealthy deliciousness!!
Nearby the menchi katsu shop is a liquor store that sells cups of beer and has a few seats outside for people to sit and enjoy a cold beer.
So I bought myself a cup of beer,
and sat down with my menchi katsu and watched the world go by.
My visit to Yanaka now finally complete, I walked back to the station to return to "present day" Tokyo.
I hope you enjoyed reading about Yanaka, it is very laid back, and has a great rustic charm that sets it apart from other places.
Thanks, and see you again soon.