Yanaka Ginza is the place to be for all sorts of exciting shopping experiences. This shopping street is located in Tokyo, Japan, and holds one unique food adventure. The history it holds has forever shaped the future of selling.
Yanka Ginza is home to multiple cats who have made this little shopping street their home. Doing so has created hype about the cheap adorable cat-themed food that vendors sell. Most of the shops located on the strip are all cat-themed. According to Navitime Travel, Yanaka Ginza has everything from drinks to cookies and even meat dishes. Most of the dishes revolve around the theme of the famous herds living amongst the streets!
Eating in Meow Style
Not only is Yanaka Ginza known for its fun feline friends that live there, but it is also known for the edible cat-themed treats! One specific shop called Manekiya serves FukuNyanYaki shaped like their own cat design. FukuNyanYaki is a red bean paste-filled treat with many different flavors, such as beef stew and cream cheese pizza. Another shop, known as Cafe Nekoemon, has an activity where you can decorate what they call a "beckoning cat" doll over a cup of tea!
- Activity cost: 1,620 yen (14.83 US Dollars)
- Cost of cat-themed cake: 440 yen (4.03 US Dollars)
Prices For Cat Sweets
Many of the cat-themed treats found in Yanaka Ginza are pretty cheap and are guaranteed to be tasty! A few of the treats famous for not only the adorable cat-like features, but the prices as well are:
- Yanaka Shipoya: these are cat-themed donut sticks that cost around 130 Yen (1.19 US Dollars).
- Taiyaki: this is a bean paste cookie that comes in many different flavors, typically shaped like a fish; these have been shaped like the lucky cat! They cost 100-200 Yen (1-2 US Dollars).
- Cat Face Cakes: A small local shop sells cakes that have faces iced onto them to look like cats! These sell for about 440 yen (4.03 US Dollars).
These are just a few of many cat-themed goodies within the streets of Yanaka Ginza!
Shichifuku Neko, AKA '7 Lucky Cats'
Shichifuku Neko, also known as "7 lucky cats," live throughout Yanaka Ginza. These seven fake cats are very important to the locals and very interesting to the tourists. In 2009 students from Tokyo University of the Arts created seven wooden cats to place around the cat-themed shopping strip. These cats represent a symbol for Yanaka Ginza and help tourists understand the history of this beloved street. It would not be uncommon to bump into these cats when walking the street. Some are on roofs, while others are on the ground.
It Was Not Always All Cats
Before cats started to make Yanaka Ginza their home, it was more of a grocery street. Many of the shops did not have a specific theme. Multiple families would set out on the street to sell their homemade goods to make enough money to feed their children. It was more of a local market than a tourist attraction like it is now. It was always known to be beautiful and have the most picturesque sunsets.
Once cats started to repopulate in the streets, the locals embraced their presence instead of exterminating them. That is when Yanaka Ginza street market started to become a hot topic! Ideas to flourish sales within this small community took off, and the idea of the seven lucky cats soared. Word spread as people from all around started to come to shop the adorable cat-themed street. Tourists from different countries, locals from other towns, everyone loved the cats!
Although most items that sell on the street are cat-themed, not all of them are. Some shops decided to stick to their old roots and sell what they used to. Shops throughout the street seem to do good cat-themed or not. Some shops you will find serve squid, others sell fabrics. The list could go on for miles with what is available to locals and tourists. Yanaka Ginza is considered to be only one of two Cat Towns in Tokyo! There is not much that curious individuals can't find within this small shopping street. As of 2018, the Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street Promotion Association has estimated about 60 shops inhabiting the 170-meter long street.
How To Get There
Amidst the busy capital of Japan, you will find the street known for its cat-themed products. Yanaka Ginza, located in Tokyo, is one of the most famous streets for tourists and residents to shop on! It is simple to identify, and the directions take you straight to the cats! The Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street Promotion Association gives excellent directions to this famous place.
By train, it is only a 5-minute walk from areas such as JR Yamanote Line and Joban Line. Although there is no parking on the shop street, you can park your vehicle in the coin parking lot nearby! The address is 3-13-1 Yanaka, Taito-Ku, Tokyo 110-0001, and it is simple to find!