Nobuo Okuno, 82, has been selling traditional "karuta" playing cards at a store that has been operating in Tokyo's Kanda-Jimbocho district for more than 90 years.

"Playing karuta, you have to use your eyes, ears and brain, so you can enhance concentration," Okuno said. "It also helps you to make friends, as two or more people are needed to play."

In a basic karuta game, someone reads out the text on a "yomifuda" (reading card) and players identify and grab a "torifuda" (picture card) that usually has a corresponding image and kana character — the first syllable of the text read out — in one corner.