A Rainy Tuesday in Ueno Park and Yanaka, Tokyo

img_3916Last week a friend invited me to join her and some others on a hike to Mt. Takao. The outing would last the whole day, so I booked doggy day care for Miss Ruby. This morning I awoke to steady rain and a soggy forecast for the rest of the day, which postponed the hike to a drier day. I almost canceled Ruby care when I decided to keep her occupied and take a day to myself, despite the many ways I could have filled my time with tasks in and around home.

So after getting the kids to school I set out for the train, Tokyo-bound. I decided to visit Ueno Park, home to many, many museums. I settled on Tokyo National Museum as my first stop. I headed for the second floor to see the Highlights collection, basically the museum’s Greatest Hits.

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After an hour of wandering I headed next for Yanaka, a nearby district with an unusually large number of homes and structures that survived both the Great Kanto Earthquake (1923) and the Allied bombings of WWII. A National Geographic walking tour spoke glowingly of the quiet charm of the streets, and the huge cemetery. I enjoyed both very much, but I soon realized that Yokohama has many similar streets, not to mention the giant cemetery that I visited last year. That’s right–a year in Japan and I’m already too jaded to enjoy the Nat Geo walking tours! Though Yanaka cemetery definitely wins with this giant, way-larger-than-life gold Buddha. It was behind a locked gate, so I only got this awkward angle.

I intended to visit Kappabashi Kitchen Town next, but time ran short and I headed home. Another time!

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