February 16, 2009


It's a very short trip from Nishi Nippori to Nippori, the next stop on the Yamanote Line, so I had to be careful not to walk to far at the previous stop and go beyond the catchment area of the station. Not that I had to worry too much, because Nippori has plenty of attractions that make it a rather interesting area of Tokyo to visit.
Heading out of the north exit on the east side you see the new Toneri Liner overhead.
This office/apartment building seems to be fairly boastful of its own merits, though it looked pretty ordinary to me.
One of the main streets heading away from the station forms part of the Nippori Textile Town and there is shop after shop selling rolls of print fabric, buckles, buttons and so on.

Unlike some of the more urban areas of Tokyo, here there are some shops that go back a couple of generations.
I headed back to the station and walked through to the west side of the north exit, and you come out at a small hill that descends down into a street called Yanaka Ginza. At the top of the steps you have a shop called Live Dog.

This establishment offers coffee or something stronger to drink in either red or, er, whait.
Yanaka Ginza has a lot of shops selling traditional Japanese food and snacks. This shop specialises in handmade boiled sweets.

Yanaka Ginza runs as far as Yomise-Dori, part of which I visited on the Nishi Nippori leg.
Yomise-Dori then joins a main road that leads to Yanaka Cemetery, so there are a couple of temples on either side of the street.
On the other side of the main road from Yomise Dori, there is a narrow winding street called Hebi Michi, or Snake Street, which runs mainly through a residential area, though there are a few interesting looking shops along the way.

Walking a little from Hebi Michi, past Nezu Subway Station, you reach the imposing Nezu Shrine, tough with the main buildings under renovation at the moment and shrouded in scaffold and tarpaulin there is a little less to see than usual.

I like the shady sixties style cartoon character on this sign. Almost like something out of Pink Panther.
Heading back towards Nippori Station and the maze of streets in the area near the cemetery you can find literally dozens of temples, some of which are good 'for ailments of the stomach', others good for your feet, some very modern with cartoony statues and red-brick buildings (above), others in a more classical style (below).

Is this where it all began?
Yanaka has a number of small galleries and craft shops, and this one offers you the chance to try (and, of course, buy, a shakuhachi, or Japanese bamboo flute).
The area around Nippori offers plenty of interesting things to see that you wouldn't expect to find in modern urban Tokyo, and I know that I will be back again even after I've finished this Yamanote Line project.

1 comment:

  1. There are very interesting area!