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Asakusa, Ueno, and Central Tokyo

Tokyo Travel Blog

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Kaminarimon – “Gate of Thunder”

Today was my first full day in Japan.  I took advantage of my jetlag (and my Steve Smith genes) and hit the road early.  I started the morning wandering around Asakusa, a quieter part of the city where my hostel is.  I walked through the “Gate of Thunder,” Kaminarimon, along the Nakamise-dori, a pedestrian street that is jam-packed with shops (bustling even at 8am, before anything has opened), and finally to the Senso-ji, which is Tokyo’s biggest, oldest, and most popular Buddhist temple.

From Asakusa I took the subway to Ueno.  In Ueno I wandered around Ueno-koen, a massive park that houses more than a half dozen museums, a big pond, and even the Zoo (home of Ling Ling, the giant panda).

Kaminarimon – “Gate of Thunder”
  I spent more than two hours wandering through the park, visiting the Tokyo National Museum and several more temples and shrines.  I then walked through the “arcade,” a big shopping district with everything from department stores to streets lined with merchants of every variety imaginable.  In a small restaurant tucked in off a busy market street I had a late lunch of chirashi (fresh sushi over a bowl of rice), fresh soft tofu with ginger, miso soup and pickled vegetables.  Needless to say I inhaled everything in sight.

From Ueno, I took the train down to Central Tokyo and walked around the central business district (which houses most of the financial institutions) and the Imperial Palace.  You can’t actually enter the Imperial Palace, but you can walk through the East Gardens and get a feel for the place.  And let me tell you, that emperor lives well.

By the time I was done with the gardens it was nearly 4 o’clock.  I hobbled back to my hostel and was out cold (for the night) by 7pm.  Talk about a full day.

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Kaminarimon – “Gate of Thunder…
Kaminarimon – “Gate of Thunde…
Kaminarimon – “Gate of Thunder…
Kaminarimon – “Gate of Thunde…
Nakamise-dori. Pedestrian street m…
Nakamise-dori. Pedestrian street …
Nakamise-dori
Nakamise-dori
Another gate just before Senso-ji
Another gate just before Senso-ji
Senso-ji. Cloaked because under co…
Senso-ji. Cloaked because under c…
Senso-ji
Senso-ji
Senso-ji
Senso-ji
Senso-ji
Senso-ji
Senso-ji
Senso-ji
Senso-ji
Senso-ji
Senso-ji
Senso-ji
Senso-ji
Senso-ji
vending machines
vending machines
bicycle parking
bicycle parking
Neighborhood shrine literally at t…
Neighborhood shrine literally at …
Live advertisements outside a rest…
Live advertisements outside a res…
Leave it to the Japanese to have a…
Leave it to the Japanese to have …
Saigo Takamori Statue – samuri w…
Saigo Takamori Statue – samuri …
Ueno Toshogu-jinja
Ueno Toshogu-jinja
Little League!
Little League!
Antique train outside the National…
Antique train outside the Nationa…
Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum – samuri c…
Tokyo National Museum – samuri …
Tokyo National Museum – kimono
Tokyo National Museum – kimono
Tokyo National Museum – kimono
Tokyo National Museum – kimono
Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo National Museum
Ueno-koen
Ueno-koen
Absolutely no idea what all these …
Absolutely no idea what all these…
Ueno-koen
Ueno-koen
Ueno-koen
Ueno-koen
Prayer cards outside unmarked shri…
Prayer cards outside unmarked shr…
Ueno-koen
Ueno-koen
Ueno-koen
Ueno-koen
Gojo-tenjinsha in Ueno-koen
Gojo-tenjinsha in Ueno-koen
Gojo-tenjinsha in Ueno-koen
Gojo-tenjinsha in Ueno-koen
Gojo-tenjinsha in Ueno-koen
Gojo-tenjinsha in Ueno-koen
Gojo-tenjinsha in Ueno-koen
Gojo-tenjinsha in Ueno-koen
Ueno Toshogu-jinja
Ueno Toshogu-jinja
Ueno Toshogu-jinja
Ueno Toshogu-jinja
Ueno Toshogu-jinja
Ueno Toshogu-jinja
Ueno Toshogu-jinja
Ueno Toshogu-jinja
Ueno Toshogu-jinja
Ueno Toshogu-jinja
Seaweed anyone?
Seaweed anyone?
Fresh produce stall in the arcade
Fresh produce stall in the arcade
Imperial Palace – guard house an…
Imperial Palace – guard house a…
Imperial Palace – guard house an…
Imperial Palace – guard house a…
Imperial Palace East Gardens entra…
Imperial Palace East Gardens entr…
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Hello sir!
Hello sir!
Imperial Palace East Gardens Conce…
Imperial Palace East Gardens Conc…
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
To be clear - the emperor doesnt …
To be clear - the emperor doesn't…
Tokyo
photo by: maka77