My Tokyo Guide
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Updated: April 2, 2018
Close to Ueno Park and Tokyo University of the Arts, the adjoining towns of Yanaka and Nezu were built around several major temples, which imbue the area with traditional charm. Famous artists and writers like Natsume Soseki and Banana Yoshimoto have lived here; you might find yourself inspired, too.
A convenient stop on the Yamanote Line, Nippori is also a stop on the Skyliner express train from Narita Airport. Take the North West Exit and head left along the main street that skirts the edge of Yanaka Cemetery, heading towards the YanakaGinza shopping district.
This lively little shopping street is the heart of Yanaka, with the kind of neighborhood stores that are fast disappearing. You could buy a fantastic picnic lunch here, picking up fresh fruits and traditional snacks along the street. Finish off with a fresh coffee at the Yanaka Coffee roastery.
The spacious grounds of Nezu-jinja are beautiful in all seasons, but especially in late spring, when the shrine holds its azalea festival and the hills around the shrine are ablaze in pinks and reds. Admire the ornate carving in the main temple, then follow the red lacquer torii gates to a small fox shrine.