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This article is about the place in Japan. For the place in People's Republic of China, see Sanya.

San'ya (山谷 San'ya?) is an area in the Taitō district of Tokyo, located south of the Namidabashi intersection, around the Yoshino-dori. A neighborhood named "San'ya" existed until 1966, but the area was renamed and split between several neighborhoods.

It is a region with a distinct culture, an area of crowded, cheap rooming houses where day laborers live.[1]

San'ya dates to the Edo period. Lower caste workers, butchers, tanners, leatherworkers, and the like, were forced to live in this undesirable region by the predominantly Buddhist authorities. It has retained its association with both lower class workers and with craftsmen. Within the past few years gentrification has begun to encroach on the area.

In recent years, some of the rooming houses have converted to provide cheap accommodation for foreign backpackers.


  1. ^ Halper 1991, pg. 96


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35°43′44″N 139°47′58″E / 35.728986°N 139.799417°E / 35.728986; 139.799417Coordinates: 35°43′44″N 139°47′58″E / 35.728986°N 139.799417°E / 35.728986; 139.799417 (Namidabashi Intersection)