March 27, 2008

Ueno Koen

From Ameya-yokocho it's just a short walk to Ueno Koen, and at the lower end of the park is Shinobazu Pond. The green roof in the background is a temple called Bentendo.

Ueno Park is one of the most popular hanami spots in Tokyo, and today it was packed with people either having picnics or simply strolling under the cherry blossoms.
Around the pond, there were also bric-a-brac stalls selling everything from antiques to junk.

On a small shaded mound at the top of a flight of steps their is this image of the face of Buddha ~ a little unusual in that is simply a large mask-like image rather than the full body you usually see.

In the grounds of the park, very close to Ueno Zoo, is Toshogu ~ a shrine dedciated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate some 400 years or so ago.

In the grounds of the shrine, there are about 50 copper lanterns, which are never lit, but are more figurative.

I was pretty impressed with the main building of the shrine, which features lots of colourful carvings and opulent gold foil coverings on many of the walls and doors.
On the paths leading up to the shrine there are stalls selling everything from food ...

... to anime masks. Maybe I should have bought one just in case I feel like going to the Neo Shocker Bar.

Not sure what the singificance of this image is, but it was painted on a wooden sign somewhere between Toshogo and the art museums. Interesting though. It was warm enough for the local community centre art class to come out in force and paint some pictures in the park.

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