Hanare is a delightful concept "Ryokan" nestled in Yanaka, a historical downtown district of Tokyo. The ethos is that the stay is all about the experience in the neighbourhood. Here it is best described in their own words: "Our reception is located on the upper level of HAGISO where you find cafe, gallery, a salon and etc. You find your lodgings in the town. You take baths in your favorite Sento in the town. You find our recommended restaurants in the town. You find souvenir shops in shopping streets or alley. You try cultural activities in temples and etc. You rent a bicycle in the shop. You have a breakfast at HAGI CAFE located on the lower level of HAGISO."
The lodgings, MARUKOSHISO, have 5 stylish and immaculate tatami rooms, serve as a great base for exploring the surrounding area. Ideal for travellers keen to check the "something different", "authentic", "immersive" boxes.
Downtown Tokyo as it was
Yanaka is part of the old downtown area of Tokyo known as Yanesen. Yanaka itself is a bustling shopping street populated by visitors during the day and locals towards dusk. It has become one of the best areas for regeneration with quaint temples, narrow streets, wooden houses, cafes, stalls, and restaurants galore. Other than the main shopping street, spots to visit include an old cemetary lined with cherry blossom, Tennoji temple, with a centuries old sitting Buddha and gorgeous little back streets with long time residents going about their daily lives.
What to do
Yanaka is the perfect place for an explorational walk along the myriad backstreets and cultural highlights of the broader Yanesen area. For those lucky enough to be based in Hanare, they are able to give you a map of the area with their own recommendations. They also offer a guided “Town Walking Tour” to give a real insider’s perspective.