If you have come in search of the true shitamachi ambience, then Yanaka is a must. Located 4–5 km north of Tokyo Imperial Palace, Yanaka escaped the devastation that other parts of the city suffered during the bombing raids of World War II, leaving behind the wooden structures and narrow streets that today give the area its charm. It is also home to about 60 temples, many of them sub-temples of larger ones built in Kanda and Ueno. While places like Shibamata and Kawagoe give better examples of Edo architecture, there’s a lull to the streets of Yanaka that let visitors take a glimpse into the everyday life of people for whom Tokyo is both the capital and their home.
Also check out Taito City’s Yanaka Map (PDF download)