Japan 2010: Day 4; Ueno-koen

For our second (full) day in Japan, our third since arriving, we headed to the local large city of Ueno. Ueno has a long history, the park itself was first opened in 1876, so it has been open for over 140 years! Sadly, a lot of Ueno was damaged or destroyed due to the bombings of WWII, but the park was not lost. A group of people got together and planted over 1,000 cherry blossom trees to rejuvinate the area. Today, many museum and galleries are situated in Ueno park, so there is a lot to see and do here.

As June tends to be it was a hot and humid day, luckily there is a lot of cover under those 1,000 cherry blossoms, and obviously vending machines with cold cold drinks around every corner. One of the great things about Ueno park is that there is always something going on. That day we were lucky enough to find this shamisen player who had quite the… interesting take on a traditional instrument (yes he did actually play a song with the doll!)4

The park has multiple different areas, if you wander away from the main streets (which head towards the zoo) you will find a huge pond/lake that in the summer months is absolutely consumed my lotus plants. Sadly we were too early for lotus blossoms.

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Just down the stairs, before you get to the pond, there are often stalls offering a whole variety of things. That day we found these amazing twirly potatoes on sticks. They’re a bit more common these days but in 2010 I was astounded!7

Back in Asakusa for the evening we went in search of a games arcade, and obviously found one! We had a great evening playing Resident evil, drumming and generally being silly!

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