Easter? How about cherry blossoms instead

Bunkyo-ku Ward Travel Blog

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no walking cigarettes

Today was Easter, but it didn’t feel like it.  It took us all awhile to get ready since 5 of us had to share the bathroom and shower.  I love their toilets here!  When you walk in, the toilet lid automatically opens and the seat is warm.  When you are finished, there are 3 rinse settings for your backside, plus a fan to dry it.  There are also separate toilet slippers, so make sure not to use your house slippers in the toilet room.

 

After a nice, hot shower and clean clothes, we set out to explore Tokyo.  It was almost lunchtime before we left.

cherry blossoms by a house
  Miwako and I walked from their home in to the nearby district of Sugamo (or was it Sengoku?), which is considered the Harajuku of old people.  We passed a bunch of cherry blossoms on the way.  And then I saw what she meant – I towered over everyone, and I’m not a tall person.  The sidewalks were filled with people, many of them old and short. 

 

We stopped to eat at Ajisen, which is a pancake house (Okonomiyaki) - but not what you might think of as pancakes.  Each table has a griddle in the middle and you cook what you order.  We got okonomiyaki with shrimp, calamari, pork and cabbage and cooked it into a round, thick pancake.  Then we topped it with Worchester sauce, Bonito (fish flakes) and mayo.

picnickers at Ueno Park
  It was actually really good!  We also got monjayaki, which was cabbage and broth.  I had a Chu-hi, which is sho-chu mixed with juice.  It was a really nice lunch and not one I would have found on my own, or been able to order had I found it.  After lunch we took the train to Ueno Station, along with a million other people.

                                               

I knew Tokyo has a lot of people, but I really wasn’t prepared for this sea of humanity.  We went to Ueno Park, which is a very popular place to see cherry blossoms in Tokyo.

walking back under the sakura canopy
  And about a million people were doing just that while we were there.  A popular activity is to have a picnic under the cherry blossoms.  By picnic, I mean, you put down a blue tarp early in the day to save your place, then spend hours with a bunch of your friends, family or co-workers eating and drinking.  It was a cool, cloudy day, yet hundreds of people were out picnicking.  A wide street was lined with cherry trees with the pink and white blossoms stretching overhead to form a flowery canopy.  Picnickers were lined up under the trees and thousands of people were in the street walking up and down looking at the blossoms.  We got into the crowd and just walked, looking up and around.  You couldn’t stop to take a picture because you would get pushed from behind.  We must have been 20 people across (10 moving in each direction) and the road must have stretched for half a mile.  The road was packed, the tarps under the cherry trees were packed, it was just crazy!  But it was orderly.  We walked up one side, then turned around and came back down the other.  Whew!  There were a LOT of people there.  I was ready to leave, but we still had to fight the crowds at the train station.

 

binky says:
The blue tarps! Ueno was crazy and there were drunks everywhere at 10AM! Seriously,it was crazy! I had to laugh at the height reference. I am 5'3 and for the first time, I felt like I fit in! My friend is 6'2 so he kind of stood out...
Posted on: May 19, 2010
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no walking cigarettes
no walking cigarettes
cherry blossoms by a house
cherry blossoms by a house
picnickers at Ueno Park
picnickers at Ueno Park
walking back under the sakura cano…
walking back under the sakura can…
empty streets
empty streets
sakura lined sidewalk/train tracks
sakura lined sidewalk/train tracks
Miwako and me
Miwako and me
lanterns and cherry blossoms
lanterns and cherry blossoms
close up of cherry blossoms
close up of cherry blossoms
everyone uses their phones as came…
everyone uses their phones as cam…
few blossoms
few blossoms
branch of blossoms
branch of blossoms
blossoms and buds
blossoms and buds
Sugamo - the Harajuku for old peop…
Sugamo - the Harajuku for old peo…
100 Yen menu at McDonalds
100 Yen menu at McDonalds
family of musicians
family of musicians
little girl entertaining old ladies
little girl entertaining old ladies
griddle table at okonomiyaki place
griddle table at okonomiyaki place
this is what we ordered
this is what we ordered
this is how it came
this is how it came
this is how it looked after cooking
this is how it looked after cooking
me eating something after the okon…
me eating something after the oko…
swim team came in
swim team came in
pregnant women with noisy bellies
pregnant women with noisy bellies
crowded train
crowded train
cherry blossoms...
cherry blossoms...
...and so many people!
...and so many people!
nice place to talk on phone
nice place to talk on phone
blossoms above
blossoms above
tourists :)
tourists :)
so many people crowding the road
so many people crowding the road
lots of picnickers, too
lots of picnickers, too
cross-dressers
cross-dressers
white blossoms
white blossoms
lots of close up blossoms
lots of close up blossoms
sakura manhole cover
sakura manhole cover
lots of people to/from Ueno station
lots of people to/from Ueno station
Bunkyo-ku Ward
photo by: alyssa_ob