03 April 2015

Travel memories: Ueno Park

On my first trip to Japan I went on an escorted tour. I wouldn't have had the confidence to go there for the first time on my own, so I'm glad I did it that way, but it did mean that there wasn't much free time to explore places of your own choosing.
One of the bits of free time we did have was an afternoon in Tokyo. Some of the other members of the group decided they would like to visit Ueno Park, and I decided to join them. The tour manager showed us how to buy our train tickets, and off we went.
When we got there we decided to have something to eat first, and found ourselves in quite a posh restaurant where we had sandwiches and something to drink. After that we explored the park. This was where I had my first ever experience of using a traditional Japanese style toilet!
In the park there were lots of little shrines and temples, including an Inari shrine with a line of red torii gates, a lake with lotus plants, a zoo (although we didn't visit this), a museum (some of my friends went there), ginkgo trees, lanterns galore (of both stone and paper varieties), a big Buddha head, statues, young people dancing by a small pond, and much more.
I'm really glad I went there, as it was really interesting and had lots of different things to look at, and it resulted in some of my favourite photos of the trip, I think because I was less rushed and more relaxed.

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