Markets in Tokyo - Yanaka (Little Ginza)
It is unclear how the Yanaka/Nippori Market acquired the nick name ‘Little Ginza’ as it bears no resemblance to downtown Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district. For the sake of clarity we will refer to it as Yanaka Market.
The market is located in Nippori, Tokyo’s oldest and most traditional district. With many pre-war buildings still standing, the air and atmosphere is even more traditional than that of Sugamo as just a short walk from the Market will take you to some of Tokyo’s oldest temples. Narrow winding streets beset you on every turn, as well as dilapidated buildings, unfortunately.
The market itself rolls down a steep hill, which at the top gives you a birds-eye view of the scene below.
You’ll find the Yanaka Market more contemporary than Sugamo, with stores catering to younger audiences. Such as younger fashions, toy stores etc.
Yanaka Market is a perfect opportunity for sampling some of Tokyo’s traditional cuisine. You will find a great variety, including: grilled squid (2-400 yen), skewered meat-kebabs (700-900 yen), fried shrimp, chicken, pork, croquettes (1-200 yen)
Must-try items include crispy croquettes and Yakimo (baked sweet potatoes).
While you won’t find any electronics in the market you will find a host of traditional Japanese paraphernalia, including umbrellas, trinkets, chop sticks, Japanese stuffed animals, hand-carved wooden goods (toys, utensils and more) and not so trendy fashions. However, among the not-so-trendy fashions you will find some tradition Japanese wear, including Yukatas, wooden sandles (geta), kimonos and much more.
A ten minute walk away from JR Nippori Station will bring you to the ‘top’ of the market. The streets are a bit confusing so we recommend consulting with our map on Google & MSN Maps.