Monday, October 13, 2008

Tokyo - Ueno

On 10/2/08 I dropped by the Ueno district in Tokyo.

Ueno Park was the first stop. I used my excellent guide book: The Rough Guide to Japan

as well as a free walking tour at

Ueno Park

Frog Fountain

Statue of Takamori Saigo - he helped the Emperor take back control of Japan from the Shogun during the Meji Restoration. He eventually did not like how the warrior class was being treated and lead a failed revolt against the Emperor. He committed Seppuku, ritual suicide.

Ironically behind his statue is a shrine dedicated to samurai loyal to the Shogun in the fight against Takamori Saigo. Family of these warriors preserve the shrine and bring flowers. There is a picture of a painting depicting the battle.

Kiyomizu-Kannon-do - women that want to get pregnant come to this shrine. It was completed in 1631.

Flame of Hiroshima - a flame from the atomic bomb in Hiroshima was brought to this park. I'll blog more about the flame when I get to the Hiroshima entry.

Toshogu Shrine
This is a shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the man that created the Edo Period and closed Japan off from the world for 250 years. It was completed in 1651 by Ieyasu's grandson. Inside you can see actual amor worn by tokugawa but you are not allowed to take pictures of it. drat.
Garden in Toshogu Shrine

Fountains in front of the Tokyo National Palace Musuem

Tokyo National Palace Musuem

Inside the museum you can see things like these Buddhist statues.

And this sword from the 12th century.

And this suit of samurai armor. There's also a lot of pots and pans which I skipped through.

Kaneiji Temple - Tokugawa family temple. Originally it was the Kanto base of Tendai School of Buddhism and built to defend Edo (Edo is what Tokyo used to be called) Castle.

Yushima Tenmangu Shrine - established in 458 and houses the God of Learning, Sugawara Michizane. It is made of only Japanese cypress.

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