Visiting Ueno Park and Asakusa

Visiting Ueno Park and Asakusa

we woke up late today because we had a long day yesterday and we’re going to take it easy.

Ueno Station

Our air BnB was close to Ueno station and it was walking distance to Ueno Park. The weather was sunny today. I wished we had gone to Hakone and Mt Fuji today instead.

Ueno Park

Ueno Park is at the heart of the Ueno area, which is part of Tokyo’s “shitamachi”—literally “downtown,” but more like “old heart of town.” Ueno Park’s history begins in 1873, at the beginning of the Meiji Era, when it was established as one of Japan’s first public parks. In 1924, Emperor Taisho officially passed the administration of the park to the city, giving the park its official name: Ueno Onshi Park (“onshi” means “imperial gift”). Its long history both as a seat of a culture and as a “people’s park” has created a very special mix of elegance and fun.

The list of things to do in Ueno Park is long, and includes Ueno Zoo and a host of incredible museums.
There is no admission fee to enter Ueno Park, but the various facilities have modest admissions fees (many are around 600 yen). Most museums and other facilities open at 9:00 or 9:30 and close between 16:00 and 17:30, and most are closed completely on Mondays. The hours of the park itself are 5:00 to 23:00.

How to get there:

Go to Ueno Station and take the Ueno Park Exit. Ueno Station is a stop on the JR Yamanote Line, which loops around central Tokyo, as well as the terminus for several train lines, including some Shinkansen bullet trains. The park will be just across the street. The park is also close Tokyo Metro Ginza Line and Hibiya Line Ueno Station, Uguisudani Station on the JR Yamanote Line, and Keisei Ueno Station on the Keisei Line.

we also visited the Science and Nature museum so Fabio can learn something.

While Fabio dan Adi toured around the museum, Alyssa and I sat in the cafetaria and fed her lunch. She started to wake up as inside was warm.

Ueno is also famous as the avenue of cherry blossom (sakura) trees along the main path. It’s long been a popular spot for blossom viewing, and was even celebrated in haiku by the acclaimed poet Matsuo Basho. Hundreds of thousands of visitors visit every day during cherry blossom season, usually late March to early April, for hanami (literally, “flower viewing” parties). Come and enjoy the extraordinary beauty of 800 Somei-yoshino cherry trees in full bloom, and discover events such as the Aozora Antique Market. During the park’s official sakura matsuri (cherry blossom festival), a thousand lanterns provide both a sense of security and a wonderful atmosphere for blossom viewing at night.

Ueno Park is also a lovely place to go for a long walk and take in the sights. Enter from JR Ueno Station, look north at the large rectangular fountain leading up to the Tokyo National Museum, then head south down the main cherry blossom boulevard. Near the end of the path take a detour to check out the statue of Saigo Takamori, a samurai who was a key figure in the establishment of the Meiji Era. Then double back to Shinobazu Pond. You can take in the lovely landscape from a distance, or rent a paddle boat and head right out into the water!

From Ueno we took the metro/subway to Asakusa Temple

Asakusa Temple

Sensoji Temple in Asakusa is the oldest and most famous temple in Tokyo with a history going back 1,400 years. This temple is dedicated to Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, and it is incredibly popular with millions of people visiting every year.

The district of Asakusa and Sensoji Temple are so deeply connected that their names are written using the same Chinese characters: 浅草, which means “shallow grass”. “Senso” is the Chinese pronunciation, and “Asakusa” is the Japanese pronunciation. When Sensoji was first founded, the Asakusa area was not a busy town like today, but a wild grassland where very few people lived. Thanks to Sensoji however, Asakusa became a lively center of pilgrimage and trade. The temple is the true heart of the town.

Tokyo Sky Tree

We walked from Asakusa to Tokyo Sky Tree.

The Tokyo Skytree is a television broadcasting tower and landmark of Tokyo. It is the centerpiece of the Tokyo Skytree Town in the Sumida City Ward, not far away from Asakusa. With a height of 634 meters (634 can be read as “Musashi”, a historic name of the Tokyo Region), it is the tallest structure in Japan and the second tallest in the world at the time of its completion. A large shopping complex with an aquarium is located at its base.

The highlight of the Tokyo Skytree is its two observation decks which offer spectacular views out over Tokyo. The two enclosed decks are located at heights of 350 and 450 meters respectively, making them the highest observation decks in Japan and some of the highest in the world.

Tembo Deck, the lower of the two decks is 350 meters high and spans three levels with great views from all of its floors. The top floor features tall, broad windows that offer some of the best 360 degree panoramic views of the city. The middle floor has a souvenir shop and the Musashi Sky Restaurant, which serves French-Japanese fusion cuisine, while the lowest floor features a cafe and some glass panels on the ground from where you can look all the way down to the base of the tower.

Finish with Tokyo Sky Tree we had dinner in Asakusa area. Despite being a touristy area we can still find restaurant populer with the local.

Here for the first time I ate the most delicious mackerel grill who doesn’t have fishy taste at all.

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