Tokyo’s Ueno Park
We really only saw one corner of Ueno Park, which is one of Japan’s first Western-style recreation areas. It’s a big place, over 100 acres, and it contains a zoo, shrines and temples, and several major museums.
The park adjoins the Ueno railway station.
One way to get to the park is via a spacious elevated walking path, featuring containers full of sunflowers and other annuals.
The park was built on what was once the grounds of a major temple complex. Most of the temple buildings were destroyed during a battle between Japan’s traditional feudal overlord and modernizers who rallied behind the emperor. Five years later, in 1873, the grounds were dedicated as a public park.
And here we are.
This corner of the park was full of large shade trees, but other areas are much more open.
Several shrines still exist in Ueno Park. This is the entrance to one of them, called Kiyomizu Kannon. It dates back to the early 1600s.
Here’s something I learned: in Japanese culture, the color red is considered useful for protection against malevolent spirits.
The temple is dedicated to the goddess of conception.
Women hoping for a child come here to pray. Here’s a view inside.
Another thing I learned. Foxes are considered messengers and servants of an important Shinto deity. You will find lots of fox statues around temples and shrines. The red bib is for protection.
There is a small lake at this end of Ueno Park, full of lotus leaves in summer.
A path leads to a small island in the lake. Food stalls, varying greatly in appeal, line the walkway.
On the island you will find Bentendo Temple.
It is dedicated to Benten, goddess of wealth and various other things.
At this point the heat was really getting to us, and we headed to the hotel for a nap in air conditioned splendor.
Ueno Park is worth visiting, but I would not put it at the top of my list. I’m told it is extremely popular in cherry blossom season.
Much more to come on our trip to Japan.
It is quite an oasis in the centre of the city, but with little relief from the heat and humidity of August! Love that shot of the lotus leaves and the skyscrapers in the background.
It is sort of like Tokyo’s Central Park, only with Shinto shrines and without the hot dog carts.
Those lotus leaves look a lot more ruffled than the lotus that is around here. Interesting. I also found it interesting that the Ueno Station was in English as well as Japanese.
I didn’t notice that about the Lotus leaves. A lot of the signs were in English as well as in Japanese. Perhaps a legacy of the American occupation.
Thanks for sharing Tokyo with Northwestern Minnesota!! I loved the pics!
Glad you enjoyed them. Are you anywhere near Grand Forks?
We live about 55 miles straight East of Grand Forks!
By the way, tried to comment on one of your posts. May have ended up in the spam folder.
I will check it out. thanks!
I love all the spots of color in/around the buildings. In other words, everything isn’t a drab gray or tan. The history of the area is also interesting. Red is one of my favorite colors so it’s nice to know I might be warding off evil spirits when I use it.
It is nice to know that red has some uses beyond looking good. I wonder if orange serves any supernatural purposes?
How interesting, I did enjoy the temples. Good to know about the foxes and the colour red too.xxx
I always thought there was more to foxes than they let on.
I was going to say that it looked hot there. I’m guessing the shade trees are very popular.
They were providential.
There seemed to be a lot of concrete in the first few photos … It was a relief to see the trees and greenery. I realise now how often I have seen red around Japanese gardens & houses … Now I know why. I think a nice red pot might be a welcome addition to our garden..
Can’t hurt to play it safe!
Beautiful greenery and temples! It is so interesting to see the juxtaposition of the traditional next to modern. What a wonderful place to explore!
Traditional is very often cheek by jowl with the very modern in Japan, or os it seems to be.
I always find the simplicity/complexity characteristic of Japanese architecture and gardens fascinating. Somehow calming and yet exciting at the same time.
I love the Kiyomizu Kannon entrance. Magnificent. And I would like to have that fox in my garden–fully outfitted in red.
Yes, I’d like one of those foxes, too. Too bad they aren’t sold at garden centers.
Lovely. We should have a flock of those foxes in DC to protect the country from Trump.
I think we need more than foxes. By the way, did you notice my comment on your blog? I can see it, but it still says awaiting moderation.
Oh! Which post? I’ll look. I did go into my dashboard and figure out how to mark you as not spam. It said that you can do it on your end as well.
Really? Can you send a link on that?
I think they call it Askmet or something like that. Often, and today is no exception, I can’t seem to find anything on WordPress.