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Whisker Wonderland: Exploring Yanaka's 'Purr-adise' on Cat Day

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2024.02.15 (Thu)

By Dan Lewis, inbound tourism adviser and consultant, long-term Japan resident & outdoor activity enthusiast.

February 22 marks an extraordinary occasion for feline enthusiasts around the globe: Cat Day. For those who revel in the company of our purring companions, there's no better way to celebrate than by indulging in the quaint charm of Yanaka, Tokyo's beloved "purr-adise" for cat lovers.

Nestled amidst the bustling Nippori and Ueno Stations, Yanaka emerges as a serene oasis where time appears to have stood still. Here, amidst the labyrinth of narrow streets and old wooden buildings resilient against the tides of modernization, lies Yanaka Ginza – a haven for cat aficionados.

At the heart of Yanaka Ginza, visitors encounter the whimsical Shichifuku Neko, seven wooden carved cats adorning rooftops and store entrances. These charming feline guardians beckon explorers to embark on a delightful scavenger hunt, promising auspicious fortunes to those who uncover them all. As visitors meander through the cobbled streets, they'll encounter a myriad of shops brimming with cat-themed treasures, delectable cat-shaped sweets, and cozy cafes where feline friends freely roam.

Yanaka's culinary landscape mirrors its affection for cats, offering an array of tantalizing treats crafted in homage to our beloved companions. Indulge in the whimsical delights of Yanaka Shippoya's cat tail-shaped doughnuts or savor the delectable offerings of Manekiya's Fuku-nyan-yaki, each bite brimming with luck and sweetness.

For those yearning to explore beyond the confines of Yanaka Ginza, nearby attractions beckon with promises of further feline delights. Himitsudo tantalizes taste buds with its exquisite Kakigori shaved ice desserts, while Cafe Nekoemon entices with its whimsical array of cat-shaped cookies and cakes, ensuring every moment in Yanaka is steeped in feline enchantment.

Yanaka, with its nostalgic charm and unwavering devotion to our four-legged companions, stands as a testament to the enduring "purr-sistence" of our love for cats. So, this Cat Day, immerse yourself in the enchanting allure of Yanaka, where every corner holds the promise of warmth, whimsy, and the gentle purr of a contented cat.

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