Day 2: A Morning in Ueno Tokyo
Today Linaka and I spent the morning in Ueno Tokyo. The forecast was rain all day and this limited the number of places we could visit, so we enjoyed most of the day indoors; however, we did spend some time visiting Ueno Park and some of the shrines and temples in the area.
Our tour guide, Michiko from Inside Japan Tours, was kind enough to show us around and explain some of the history of the area. The area we were in had shrines, a park and there was also a zoo. Unfortunately, it was raining too much for us to visit the zoo. It would have been nice to have seen a panda. We saw some cool torii gates and we even visited a shrine dedicated to Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Although it was raining, we still managed to stop and take some pictures of the area.
Ueno Tokyo Park and Museums
According to our guide, when the trees bloom in the local park there are cherry blossoms everywhere. It seems that there are local festivals in the park and performances on the weekend. Michiko also told us that the cherry blossoms only bloom for one week. This is one reason why samurai appreciated the cherry blossom.
In addition to the local park and festivities there are some museums. There was a science museum near by, but we went to the Tokyo National Museum. One thing that stood out in the park was a Starbucks. Seems like these coffee shops are everywhere.
At the Tokyo National Museum, we enjoyed the artwork and history displayed in the exhibitions. We had to be cautious in certain rooms and exhibits because photography was not allowed in certain areas. However, those areas we were allowed to take pictures in were some of the most enjoyable exhibits for myself. Linaka liked a lot of the artwork and the kimonos in the fashion sections. You can read about Linaka’s experience and view her photos on her blog post here (Linaka’s blog post).
It was a great morning and although it rained, we enjoyed a great time out at Ueno. After we ended our morning in the museum we then made plans to go to lunch and visit our next location on our day trip. In my next blog post I will describe how amazing Akihabara was. Stay tuned for the next update.