Before I begin, this one will be the longest post for this travel special. Hahaha! As the title implies, I went to quite a lot of places for this special day XD Mei has outdone herself! YAY!
My fifth day in Japan was mostly spend strolling around. Since I have to leave the next day, I tried to squeeze what I wasn’t able to visit the previous day and see which areas I won’t be able to go to. To my amusement, I even stumbled upon some treasure throves I didn’t see in my research so, lets check them out one by one!
First up is in Ueno Park! This statue right here is the statue of Saigo Takamori, one of Japan’s influential samurais in the time of the Edo and Meiji periods. Many do not know how he died in the Satsuma Rebellion, but his death have been integral to the Rebellion’s end. He was also the basis of Katsumoto from The Last Samurai, played by the super cool Ken Watanabe
This is the Monument to the Shogitai or the members of an elite corps of the Shogunate. They fought for the Boshin war, Battle of Toba-Fushimi and the Battle of Ueno. The names of these wars remind me of Rurouni Kenshin. The flowers offered in it are fresh and you can pray there if you want to pay your respects.
Some of the cool stuff you will see in Ueno Park
The time I went to Ueno Park, the Tokyo 2020 Committee had a live viewing of the Rio 2016 Paralympics and you can even try out some games here. i got offered to try but I had a schedule to keep
Road to Tokyo 2020 looks bright for Japan! They are really enthusiastic about promoting this!
At the end there is the Tokyo National Museum!
I didn’t linger in the museum due to time constrains, but I did explore in the inner dwellings of Ueno and found this gate
Here’s the story of the Black Gate :) It was apparently a part of the palace, but it was relocated to this place not long ago.
This is the former Imperial Library but later on, it was transformed to the International Library of Children’s Literature.
Welcome to the main shrine of the Kan’ei-ji. It is considered also the temple dedicated to the Tokugawa shogunate and one of the few buildings which survived the Battle of Ueno.
Inside the Kan’ei-ji Temple Grounds
This is a small monument. You can’t really read the engraved things in here
Ah this one is a monument for insects. I have no idea why they called it as such but the plaque says something about it.
Entrance to Kan’ei-ji. I didn’t enter coz i was completely out of my depth here. Its surreal to see this part of Ueno unvisited to be honest.
Beside Kan’ei-ji is this preschool. I never thought I’d see one!
Ueno Zoo. Yeah, this is a big zoo but it was under construction when I went so it was crazy looking for this one.
This one is beside Ueno Zoo. A mini theme park for kids. When I was there, it was not open and was also being repaired.
Ah, this one is not part of my actual itinerary in Ueno Park, but I was interested nonetheless. Welcome to the entrance gate to Ueno Tosho-gu Shrine
Sorry if the photo was dark but it was rainy-ish when I saw this. This is the remaining pagoda of Kan’ei-ji which was untouched from the Battle of Ueno. When I visited, they were restoring this pagoda.
History lesson of the Ueno Tosho-gu
Welcome to the Ueno Tosho-gu Shrine. There’s actually several other Tosho-gu Shrines in Japan and they are in Nikko and Mito. What makes this Tosho-gu epic is that it enshrines the first Tokugawa shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu.
The entrance fee to this place is 500 yen for adults. They also have an array of omamoris for sale for 500 yen and even the ones for your birth month. I forgot to buy one for myself T_T
Yup, you can pray in this part of the Tosho-gu if you do not want to go inside the Shrine itself.
Inside the compound of Ueno Tosho-gu
When you see this, you’d really say this is the perfect structure to represent a man such as Tokugawa Ieyasu
its well-maintained this place
Yup, its all shiny when you see this. Gold plated
Little history again of the main shrine. You can’t see the interior of this place as cited here
Its really a beautiful shrine
This is another site I was surprised to see and this is in the middle of Shinobazu Pond. This is the Bentendo Shrine or the shrine to the goddess Benzaiten. It was a small shrine but definitely some people pass by here
When I was in Bentendo, there were small booths for street food. I tried out this one. Karaage. Super cool and delicious. It was my break-lunch
After Ueno… Akihabara.
Fans of this top idol group can go here
If you are a Gundam fan such as myself and you can’t go see the big Gundam in Odaiba, make your pilgrimage here. I was told to go visit the one in Odaiba but from my location to there? Difficult
See, this is the mini version of the one in Odaiba XDD
This is Yodobashi Camera. The biggest electronics store in the area. They apparently have tons of branches but I went to this one because I was looking for a specific camera lens. If you are a foreigner, best bring your passport so you can get the duty-free prices. There’s also a Travelex branch below it so if you need extra cash to change, get it exchanged there.
The darker side of Akiba. Hahaha, if it was another visit, id probably stay a day in that place alone XD
Love Live fever is strong in this part
Taito Game Station. You get tons of anime-related prizes here.
I did go to this place. Hahaha XD
See you next time Akiba
Next stop is Marunouchi and this is the old Tokyo Station building. It is currently being restored in light of the Olympics
After a very long walk, time to check out the Imperial Palace Gardens :)
This scene reminds me of Rizal Park on a usual uncrowded day
Me in the Imperial Gardens. I was wearing my hood here because it was a small drizzle and I didn’t fancy getting sick on my way home
Yeah, its a VERY wide garden. I actually had to stop several times to rest
The main gates to the Imperial Palace
other view XD
A very cool statue of another known samurai. I forgot to take a photo of the plaque where the name of this samurai was written
It took me a while to find this place after taking the Hibiya line. Haha, I couldn’t leave Japan without seeing this place
As I was looking for a way to go to Tokyo Tower, I found this pathway. Apparently it was a hill of some sort. Hahaha
On top of the hill is this mini shrine
After retracing my steps, hello Tokyo Tower!
Me and Tokyo Tower. I really need to get myself a selfie stick on my next trip
Floor map of Tokyo Tower!
Price guide everyone of the admissions. The first floor is actually free to enter since they got souvenir shops and restaurants for visitors
Eventually hunger called me to take a break and I had this XD
My ramen XDD first one I had in Japan XDD
Had to rush out because I had to get back to Asakusa before nightfall and the trek to this place was preeettty far! Next time
This structure truly is Japan’s most notable monument. Even up close its extraordinary to look at
On my way home, I stumbled upon this big shrine compound… I really have a knack of finding things even if i wasn’t really intending to go here
And the shrine in question is the Zojo-ji. Apparently its one of the notable shrines for Jodo-shu Buddhism and Amida Buddha. It is also a Tokugawa family temple, but the original structure was destroyed in the Second World War. Several Tokugawa shoguns still are buried here
View from the main shrine to the red gate
Better view of Zojo-ji with the Tokyo Tower. Entrance here is free though I am not so sure when you go in the main shrine. I didn’t go in
One of the coolest Buddha statues I have seen so far.
The famous Red Daimon or the Great Gate of Zojo-ji. Sad it got destroyed in the second world war. The new version is made from concrete but it remains to be very very detailed.
Even the temple entrances are now being retrofitted for the incoming Tokyo Olympics.
Bye Tokyo Tower. I’ll see you soon!
Touchdown Tokyo Sky Tree!!
Tokyo Sky Tree at night! It looks like a painting in this photo
Entrance to Tokyo Solamachi! I entered through their outdoor area since I was trying to get closer to the Sky Tree
Studio Ghibli store… I wanted to buy but I have no yen X_X
I never thought I’d leave Japan without seeing one of these but I did. Score!!
First floor of Tokyo Solamachi. Its all shops and duty-free! Heading home
Free magazines featuring Ryunosuke Kamiki. If this was Takeru Satoh I might have gotten loads of it
A sign that teased and annoyed me later that night… sigh
Ichiran in Asakusa! I have to share this bit to you. When I was ordering for my ramen using the order machine they have so you don’t have to say anything to the staff, I accidentally placed my 500 yen coin in a wrong slot. I asked for some help with the Japanese staff there and told them the problem. I thought at first they would take a while to get my coin back but minutes later, they opened the order machine and got my coin back. That’s Japanese honesty for you guys!
My Ichiran ramen. If memory serves me, I didn’t include the onions and the spices (I didn’t want to risk a tummy ache the night before I leave Japan), extra hard noodles and egg. Cost me 1080 yen
When you finish your bowl, you get this message from Ichiran. Can someone read this for me?!
This is Asakusa Ekimise. Its a specialized shopping center. I didn’t go in because for one, tons of places in the area were closed plus I was hoping to go home early to fix my still cluttered luggage bag hahahaha
I admittedly did not see this each time i passed by this area until that night! I got so annoyed when I saw it on my way home from Ichiran. I would have loved to try out if they were different there and with the ones in Manila. Tsk!
On my way home, saw these salarymen heading to the nearest Izakaya
Ahhhhh, I don’t want to leave yet but i have to! The final installment to Mei-ed in Nippon won’t be up for a while to give you guys a small breather from this long post. I need to plan my next vacation.