Yanaka is a quiet neighborhood in the northeast corner of urban Tokyo, partly because it is the last of the truly shitamachi neighborhoods of old Tokyo and partly because several thousands of its inhabitants are no longer part of the living. Yanaka Cemetery takes a large part of the neighborhood and is the permanent “home” to 7,000 graves, including some family members of the Tokugawa shogunate. Beyond the cemetery, you will find evidence of Tokyo nearly forgotten: century old businesses, impossibly narrow residential walkways and signboards that haven’t changed in 60 years or more. Yanaka Ginza, a shopping street frozen in time, is also worth a visit.

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