Category Archives: Taito-ku

Exploring Japan: Ueno Zoo’s Thai and Japanese architecture – March 21, 2010

Last year, I visited Ueno Zoo for the second time.  Most people know Ueno Zoo for its pandas, but how many people know about its Thai and historic Japanese architecture?  A relatively new addition to the zoo, the Thai Pavilion may seem out of place.

The Thai Pavilion in Ueno Zoo

But there’s a much more impressive structure nearby.  If you’ve visited the zoo, you may remember a 5 storey pagoda.  This pagoda is part of Kan’eiji Temple.  This temple was established in 1625, and at its height, occupied the entire area in the heights, as well as where Ueno Station is now.  It was huge.  There are several structures in Ueno Park that were part of the Kan’eiji complex, but most were destroyed.  In 1657, the Mereiki fire destroyed most of the complex, but then many new structures were built.  During the Battle of Ueno in 1868, most buildings were destroyed.  The temple’s main hall was actually transported from Kawagoe’s Kita-in Temple.  Some parts of the original temple that remain include the Toshogu Shrine and the 5 storey pagoda.  For more information, please read the Wikipedia page.

Kan'eiji's 5 storey pagoda is in Ueno Zoo. This is an original structure that survived the Battle of Ueno in 1868.

Here's a closer look at the pagoda. Most of Kan'eiji Temple was destroyed during the battle. Thankfully, the pagoda, which was built in the 17th century, still stands.

For a map of the area, please see below.  The pagoda is at the centre of the map.

Want to see more Japan?  See “Show Me Japan!”

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Filed under 23 Wards, Japan, Taito-ku, Tokyo

Rodin and more art

Today, I went to the National Museum of Western Art in Ueno and saw an exhibit about Pompeii’s artwork. But there was also a lot more other art, including Rodin, Monet and Picasso. I took some pictures of Rodin’s art outside the museum. Also, there were a lot of street performers, including a living museum. But I took a picture of another very funny man. Take a look.

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Filed under 23 Wards, Festivals & Events, Taito-ku, Tokyo

Exploring Japan: July 25th random Tokyo part 2 – Ueno-hirokoji, Taito Ward

Here’s part 2.  At Ueno-hirokoji, there’s a big Matsuzakaya that has another art gallery.  This is very close to Ueno Park.  The art exhibit itself was very good.  The artist paints sunset/sunrise views of the ocean, as well as forest pictures.  The paintings actually look like photographs, they’re so well done.  Anyway, here are the pictures from Matsuzakaya to Ueno Park.

This is Matsuzakaya in Ueno-hirokoji, near Ueno Park.

This is Matsuzakaya in Ueno-hirokoji, near Ueno Park.

The area around Ueno-hirokoji Station.

The area around Ueno-hirokoji Station.

Looking down the street towards Ueno Park.

Looking down the street towards Ueno Park.

Those trees are in Ueno Park.

Those trees are in Ueno Park.

That’s all for part 2.  Next up is Nippori!

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Filed under 23 Wards, Taito-ku, Tokyo

Flashback: Ueno Park at Golden Week 2005

Toward the end of Golden Week in 2005, I made my first visit to Tokyo.  I went to Ueno Park and Shinjuku.  For this post, I will show Ueno Park.

Ueno Park is a very large and popular park in Taito Ward.  It has large ponds, several shrines, many big museums, and a famous zoo.  During Golden Week, it is very crowded, and there are incredibly long lines to get into the museums.  When I was at Ueno Park in 2005, it was a beautiful day.  Very sunny and warm.  Enjoy the pictures!

Lake at Ueno Park with boats

Lake at Ueno Park with boats

Lake at Ueno Park, and an unusual building that's no longer there.

Lake at Ueno Park, and an unusual building that's no longer there.

A look into the water at Ueno Park.

A look into the water at Ueno Park.

A shrine at Ueno Park.

A shrine at Ueno Park.

A shrine at Ueno Park.

A shrine at Ueno Park.

A shrine at Ueno Park.

A shrine at Ueno Park.

Another shrine at Ueno Park.

Another shrine at Ueno Park.

Shrine at Ueno Park

Shrine at Ueno Park

Shrine at Ueno Park

Shrine at Ueno Park

People washing their hands at a shrine in Ueno Park.

People washing their hands at a shrine in Ueno Park.

A shrine at Ueno Park.

A shrine at Ueno Park.

The Golden Week crowd at Ueno Park.

The Golden Week crowd at Ueno Park.

The next flashback will be Shinjuku.

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Filed under 23 Wards, Taito-ku, Tokyo