I'm feeling a touch of regret that I didn't visit the Tokyo National Museum. It's not that I abhor history or consider art to be mind-numbingly tedious it's just that in a foreign country where I'm not fluent in the language, I doubt I would be able to grasp it's depth. Thus, I'd be that shallow tourist merely taking superficial pictures of its beauty (not that I wasn't already, ahem). But I will be back! When my level of Japanese exceeds that of a kindergartner. I arrived to Ueno with the sole purpose of seeing Yanaka, so that I could glean a rare sightseeing opportunity not offered from the more typical locations in Tokyo. But of course, I got lost.
And I'm very much regretting not coming here as well! Next time.
50 copper lanterns exist at Toshogushaden Karamonmae (in front of Karamon gate of Toshigu shring main building) and Sando (the approach to the shrine). Not for illumination but for purification and sacred fires required in religious ceremonies. These copper lanterns were the offerings of the Daimyos (feudal lords) from all over Japan to Toshogu shrine. Names of donors are written along the supports of the lanterns. These lanterns, together with Tohogu shrine's main building are designated as National Treasures of Japan.
|Manhole cover for Ueno|
Oden! As imperative as it is to consume ice cream on an icy morning, the desire for warmth eventually supersedes any desire to continue the day's escapades. The dango looked amazing! Unfortunately, I simply didn't have the stomach capacity for it.
After getting colossally lost on my way to Yanaka, and growing ever more frustrated at the dipping sun, I decided to high tail it to Akihibara.
And took a deep breath in relief at being a place not exactly familiar but in a place where many others have wandered through, full of the reassurance of many. I may have outgrown my fixation on idols, animes and games but that didn't mean I wasn't petty enough to visit the popular cafe of a friend back in Sydney and send a picture of it to him haha.
Display upon display, One Piece startlingly dominated many of them! I was hoping to be hit with tinges of nostalgia to no avail. Thus reaffirming that whatever love I held for anime was destined to remain locked, and hidden in the past. I had the hardest time looking for Kingdom Hearts figurines as well! Why? I would've thought a very powerful revival would've occurred with Kingdom Hearts 3 swinging its way into existence soon. I only managed to find a teensy display, as Zoro stared tauntingly from his numerous prisons. And there were Disney! And Marvel! Mostly Iron Man of course, but I couldn't entirely repress my fangirl glee
Seeing this solely amused me and admittedly, something I wasn't against purchasing. A tiny metropolis demonised by my favourite characters from very contrasting genres? Yes please. Kirby, Saber, Phoenix Wright. Misaka Mikoto.. all with very differing finishing combos of choice.
Trucks blaring idol music, why am I not surprised? They do provide split second entertainment at crossings though.
Akhabara, the Electric Town appears to be the stereotyped notion of Japan. An advanced city overrun by its games, and otaku enablers. It's a bit amusing to see a lot of familiar characters, but that dries up real quick as soon as a loved character is placed in a compromising position with little clothes. So enjoy it for what it is, buy a few to keep as a reminder of such a strange town.
How I ended my day, to ease disappoint. I still can not believe you can purchase single serve Haagen Dazs ice cream here for around 200yen.. Madness. I had brownie and cookies& cream swirled with raspberry. And the Japanese cheesecake I love so much? 150yen, when in Sydney I willingly pay $5 for it. Lunacy. You bet I had this for dessert everyday until my flight to Korea. Japanese supermarkets are amazing.