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Ueno Park Tokyo Japan April 2014

Ueno Park Tokyo Japan April 2014

While in Ueno, we also went to the famous Ameyoko (アメ横) Shopping Street. This narrow shopping street stretching between Ueno and Okachimachi stations under the elevated JR railroad tracks is commonly called "Ameyoko." The name "Ameyoko" is a short form for "Ameya Yokocho" (candy store alley), as candies were traditionally sold there. Alternatively, "Ame" also stands for "America", because a lot of American products used to be available there when the street was the site of a black market in the years following World War Two. There are more than 400 cut-price shops selling seafood and dry goods, clothing, sundries, jewelry and cosmetics. Haggling for further "discounts" is possible at many of the stores. A variety of sporting goods and sneakers are for sale. Next, we went to the Ueno Park (上野公園). The park grounds were originally part of Kaneiji Temple, which used to be one of the city's largest and wealthiest temples and a family temple of the ruling Tokugawa clan during the Edo Period. Today, Ueno Park is famous for the many museums found on its grounds, especially the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum for Western Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Science Museum. It is also home to Ueno Zoo, Japan's first zoological garden. Additionally, Ueno Park is one of Tokyo's most popular and lively cherry blossom spots with more than 1000 cherry trees lining its central pathway. The cherry blossoms are usually in bloom during late March and early April and attract large numbers of hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties. We stopped by the Ueno Toshogu Shrine which was built in 1616 and is one of numerous shrines across the country that are dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Edo Shogunate. The Ueno Toshogu Shrine used to be incorporated into Kaneiji Temple until 1868. Major renovation works were completed in 2013. We visited the Botan (Peony) Festival which open from April 12 to May 11. It is located inside the compound of Ueno Toshogu Shrine, Ueno Park in Taito-ku. The botan flowers are in full bloom. The Botan flowers at the garden are mostly covered with umbrellas and shelters made of marsh-reeds. It is to protect the flowers from strong sunlights and rains according to the official. There are 200 kinds 3,000 plants in the garden and some of them are donated from China. Peony is the National flower of China.  
 
On the last day in this Japan trip, we went to the Tokyo Toy Museum opened in 2008. The museum makes use of the school building from the former Fourth Yotsuya Elementary School, which was constructed before World War II. The theme of this museum is “encountering toys that open the heart.” Over 10,000 toys are available that can be enjoyed by all ages from children to seniors, and visitors can actually touch soothing Japanese wooden toys and European toys with refined designs. A toy workshop that makes toys from recycled materials is open every day, and volunteer “toy curator” staff members and toy consultants teach visitors how to play with the toys. Truly, I felt renewed as our kids scampered around, eager and excited over the toys and the fun of figuring them all out. The kids saw a whole building to play in, while I noticed the fine craftsmanship, texture, and simple, beautiful engineering that went into the toys. The toy museum is three floors of greatness and a big playground to kick things off. If you do want to purchase toys, there is actually a gift shop (where you can score some smart gifts for as little as 200 yen).

Ueno Park Tokyo Japan April 2014

While in Ueno, we also went to the famous Ameyoko (アメ横) Shopping Street. This narrow shopping street stretching between Ueno and Okachimachi stations under the elevated JR railroad tracks is commonly called "Ameyoko." The name "Ameyoko" is a short form for "Ameya Yokocho" (candy store alley), as candies were traditionally sold there. Alternatively, "Ame" also stands for "America", because a lot of American products used to be available there when the street was the site of a black market in the years following World War Two. There are more than 400 cut-price shops selling seafood and dry goods, clothing, sundries, jewelry and cosmetics. Haggling for further "discounts" is possible at many of the stores. A variety of sporting goods and sneakers are for sale. Next, we went to the Ueno Park (上野公園). The park grounds were originally part of Kaneiji Temple, which used to be one of the city's largest and wealthiest temples and a family temple of the ruling Tokugawa clan during the Edo Period. Today, Ueno Park is famous for the many museums found on its grounds, especially the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum for Western Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Science Museum. It is also home to Ueno Zoo, Japan's first zoological garden. Additionally, Ueno Park is one of Tokyo's most popular and lively cherry blossom spots with more than 1000 cherry trees lining its central pathway. The cherry blossoms are usually in bloom during late March and early April and attract large numbers of hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties. We stopped by the Ueno Toshogu Shrine which was built in 1616 and is one of numerous shrines across the country that are dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Edo Shogunate. The Ueno Toshogu Shrine used to be incorporated into Kaneiji Temple until 1868. Major renovation works were completed in 2013. We visited the Botan (Peony) Festival which open from April 12 to May 11. It is located inside the compound of Ueno Toshogu Shrine, Ueno Park in Taito-ku. The botan flowers are in full bloom. The Botan flowers at the garden are mostly covered with umbrellas and shelters made of marsh-reeds. It is to protect the flowers from strong sunlights and rains according to the official. There are 200 kinds 3,000 plants in the garden and some of them are donated from China. Peony is the National flower of China.  
 
On the last day in this Japan trip, we went to the Tokyo Toy Museum opened in 2008. The museum makes use of the school building from the former Fourth Yotsuya Elementary School, which was constructed before World War II. The theme of this museum is “encountering toys that open the heart.” Over 10,000 toys are available that can be enjoyed by all ages from children to seniors, and visitors can actually touch soothing Japanese wooden toys and European toys with refined designs. A toy workshop that makes toys from recycled materials is open every day, and volunteer “toy curator” staff members and toy consultants teach visitors how to play with the toys. Truly, I felt renewed as our kids scampered around, eager and excited over the toys and the fun of figuring them all out. The kids saw a whole building to play in, while I noticed the fine craftsmanship, texture, and simple, beautiful engineering that went into the toys. The toy museum is three floors of greatness and a big playground to kick things off. If you do want to purchase toys, there is actually a gift shop (where you can score some smart gifts for as little as 200 yen).