I’m been putting off blogging recently due to a heavy and busy schedule on both the work and social fronts. I guess blogging comes in bouts for me =)
Anyways, back to where I left off. One of the days in Japan was spent at Ueno 上野. At Ueno station 上野駅 is one of my favorite stalls called ” Afternoon Tea”. The girls had a gorgeous time shopping there.
After spending quite a bit of time (and money) over the sweetest stuff, koji went to the Hard Rock Cafe to pick up some gifts while I figured out how to walk to Ueno Park 上野公園.
We came across this flower shop on our way to pick up brunch at Atre. The blooms were amazing! I was so tempted to take the whole store home with me! Why can we have such pretty flowers back in Singapore!
I know I’m flooding my page with countless of flower pictures but I can’t get over how perfect and vibrant they look. They actually look fake! And I love admiring flowers even though I would prefer it in the garden then in a vase.
Ueno Park 上野公園 was our chosen destination for a Japanese bento picnic. I look extremely tired in these photos because I really was tired. The night before was spent chit-chatting and debating if we should head out to the famous Tokyo fish market since it was already 5am by the time we decided to hit the sack. Definitely not one of my choice days to be captured on film… lol.
Here is a look at our picnic kit! I love how cute Japanese bento sets are!
If you have time on your hands, Ueno Park 上野公園 is worth exploring. Ueno 上野 is a cultural hub rich with history and stories. Uneo Park 上野公園 used to be the grounds of a temple built by the shoguns because it was a very unlucky area and they wanted to suppress the evil spirits. But it was destroyed in the Battle of Ueno.
There are 3 museums in the park, Tokyo National Museum, The National Science Museum and The Museum of Western Art. The Gojo Shrine and Benzaiten shrine found in the middle of the Shinobazu Pond which is covered by lotus leaves during the summer can also be found in Ueno Park 上野公園. Another major attraction in the area is the Ueno Zoo 恩賜上野動物園, Japan’s oldest and most famous zoo.
We had our picnic in the area of the famous statue of Saigō Takamori 西郷 隆盛 walking his dog. Saigō Takamori 西郷 隆盛 is a very influential samurai during the late Edo and early Meji period of the Japanese history. He’s also widely known as the last true samurai. If you remember the 2003 movie, The Last Samurai which had Tom Cruise as the lead actor, then you’ll remember Katsumoto played by Ken Watanabe. Katsumoto role in that movie was modeled after Saigō.
Ueno 上野 in general is the less glitzy side of Tokyo. Rich in culture and also a more real side to the ugly side of urban life. Ueno 上野 has the largest population of homeless people, gathering and sleeping near the many ponds.
Clara was in need of a new luggage and we all wanted to buy some dried foodstuffs and cheap souvenirs so we headed down to Ameyayokocho Street at Ueno. It’s sorta like a flea market and the place where the locals shop for good deals.
This place started after WWII as a black market for all sorts of goods especially American products. But these days, you can find everything and anything here! From bags and clothes to dried foods, from yummy snack stalls to fresh life sea urchins. It’s kinda like a huge Bugis Street with more variety and a bargainer’s paradise.
Those strawberries were delicious! I even bought some home to Singapore! We manage to score some hats, hello kitty merchandise, dried food stuffs and Japanese goodies among other things. I wanted to get this huge traditional umbrella but it was impossible to carry back to Singapore but I did manage to score myself an extremely pretty cabin luggage.
Cutest candies right!
Despite my half-dead-not-enough-sleep state, we all managed to shop from day to night! How we did that I never know but I attribute it to the adrenaline that comes when you are in a place of constant amusement and the high that surprises from finding little hidden treasures .
I regret not taking more pictures of the place but when shopping, the camera is always forgotten. Here’s a video for you.