Ueno Zoo

Ueno Zoo is located inside Ueno Park. It is the oldest zoo in Japan and has about 500 species, including elephants, giraffes, polar bears and penguins. Its star animal is the giant panda.

Above, a dhole. It was a very hot summer day when I visited and a lot of animals were sleeping.

Above, entrance to the monorail, linking the eastern side to the western side of the zoo.

Above, naked mole rats.

Above, Tokyo Skytree.

Below, I came back for Tokyo Citizens’ Day (October 1st), when the entrance is free.

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Tokyo walk: Yanaka & Nippori

The Yanaka (谷中) neighbourhood is located between Sendagi and Nippori stations. It is known for its large number of buddhist temples and cemeteries, the biggest of which is the Yanaka cemetery.

Above, golden statue in Zenshoan Temple.

Above, Saikoji Temple.

Above, Zuirinji Temple.

Above, statue of Nichiren.

Above, Daigyoji Temple.

Above, the former Yoshidaya sake shop (annex of the Taito Shitamachi Museum).

Above, central alley of Yanaka cemetery.

Above, the alley in spring. It is lined with cherry trees and is a popular sightseeing place during sakura season (I was a bit too late for that though).

Above, the cemetery in spring, when most of the sakura flowers have fallen down.

Above, Buddha statue in Tennoji Temple, next to Yanaka cemetery and Nippori station.

Above, Tennoji temple in spring.

Above, Nippori JR station.

Above, “Tomato” shop. It actually is a fabric store: The surrounding area is officially known as Fabric Town.

Above, statue in front of Nippori station.

Above, train tracks at Nippori station.

Gojoten Shrine Festival

Gojoten Jinja (五条天神社) is a shinto shrine located inside Ueno Park. It holds its annual festival in May. In 2014, it was at the same time as the Yushima Tenmangu shrine festival: I was walking away from that festival when I saw another mikoshi parade just across Chuo Dori.

Above, priestess on a horse.

Above, taiko drum band.

Below, some pictures of the shrine taken another time.

Above, entrance of Hanazono Inari Shrine and Gojoten Shrine from Ueno Park.

Above, the main building of the shrine.

Above, Gojoten Shrine during sakura season.

Tokyo Walk: Kameido, Arakawa River, Funabori Tower Hall, Kyu-Nakagawa River, Tokyo Skytree & Asakusa

In May, starting at Kameido station, I walked east towards Edogawa City, until I reached the Arakawa River. I then crossed it in order to visit Funabori Tower Hall and its observatory. I went back to the other side of the Arakawa and walked along the Kyu-Nakagawa River (旧中川) then turned west at the Kitajukken River (北十間川), which goes all the way to the Sumida River, passing in front of the Tokyo Skytree. I ended the day with the Sanja Matsuri in Asakusa.

Above, mini-Mount Fuji at Kameido Asama Shrine.

Above, Komatsugawa Shrine.

Above, Ojima Komatsugawa Park.

Above, Arakawa River.

Above, crossing the Arakawa River.

Above, Edogawa Boat Race stadium.

Above, Funabori Tower Hall.

Above, view from the observatory of Funabori Tower Hall.

Above, looking towards Tokyo Bay and Chiba.

Above, golf swing practice course.

Above, back on the other side of the Arakawa River.

Above, training for synchronized festival dancing.

Above, flood gate. There is a viewing platform on top of it (see below).

Above, view from the top of the flood gate.

Above, Kyu-Nakagawa River.

Above, south entrance to Ojima Komatsugawa Park.

Above, old floodgate.

Above, kayaking on Kyu-Nakagawa River.

Above, Kitajukkengawa River and Tokyo Skytree.

Above, mikoshi parade for Sanja Matsuri.

Above, people crossing in front of Kaminarimon gate leading to Senso-ji.

Tokyo Walk: Temples & shrines of Asakusa (Part 1)

Asakusa has a large number of shrines and temples in easy walking distance from each other. There is even a pilgrimage of the 7 Lucky Gods, where you can go through a few of those shrines and collect stamps along the way. For myself, I did my own pilgrimage last April. Starting in Uguisudani, the least used station of the JR Yamanote line and finishing at Senso-ji, I visited:

  • Onoterusaki Shrine
  • Otori Shrine
  • Benten Pond
  • Yoshiwara Shrine
  • Tobi Fudoson Temple
  • Ishihama Shrine
  • Hashiba Fudoson Temple

In part 2, I will visit the following:

  • Imado Shrine
  • Matsuchiyama Temple
  • Asakusa Shrine
  • Senso-ji
  • Yasaki Shrine
  • Kappa Temple (Sougen-ji)

Above, train tracks near Uguisudani station.

Above, Onoterusaki Shrine.

Above, Fujizuka. Apparently, it is only open for walking on the 1st of July.

Above, Otori Shrine.

Above, Benten Pond.

Above, Yoshiwara Shrine.

Above, soaplands of Yoshiwara.

Above, kids park near the soaplands.

Above, Tobi Fudoson Temple. It is a reputed to offer protection to travelers.

Above, Ishihama Shrine.

Above, walking next to the Sumida River.

Above, Hashiba Fudoson.

Above, Tokyo Skytree.