Sunday, September 6, 2015

To Japan and Back Part 2: Ueno Park

So we got brave and finally figured out the train we ventured on up to Tokyo on an impromptu adventure. We ended up staying the night at a crazy expensive Hyatt (but it was very luxurious. A hundred thousand times better than our place in Yokosuka! Plus we missed our anniversary so we considered it a post celebration)

Anyway, the first night we wandered around and discovered the Roppongi mall. (Roppongi itself was a bit sketchy. There were a bunch of Nigerian men selling girls and their services. They chased down my husband and said "Heyyyy leave your wife and we will show you a good time!"
Had I been drunk I would have punched that guy in the face.)

But the mall was pretty cool. Everything was very expensive and designer wear. My favorite store was a pet boutique in which everything was way over done. Little dog and cat outfits, jewelry, accessories, spa, etc. and there were those little cats with the bent ears and huge eyes in the window. Adorable.

 The view on top of the mall. Absolutely beautiful at night!

This little blue cat character (Doramon?) was all over the place and very popular. He had about a thousand little statues in the courtyard that people were taking pictures with.

And this was just awful. A huge spider sculpture. I got the creeps just walking by it.

The next day we ventured to Ueno Park, which is huge. There are ton of cool things to see. We had a long walk on the way there (and stopped at a Denny's. Which btw is way different over there because breakfast food doesn't exist.)

The shrine at Ueno Park was beautiful. We didn't have time to actually go inside but there were a lot of really neat things on the outside. This is Kaneji Temple which was founded in 1625 (unbelievable to be around something that old!)

 This is where you cleanse by rinsing one hand, then the other, then rinsing the mouth and spitting the water out. These are at each shrine they we visited.

 Prayers are all written on these. Very neat to see so many different languages come together <3

Our goal for the day was to get to Ueno Zoo, which is Japan's oldest zoo (built in 1882). I was of course most excited to see the giant Pandas. The breeding efforts for keeping them alive is not very progressive but people are working at it nonetheless! Ueno zoo, Hong Kong, and San Diego zoo are all participating in the efforts of preserving the Panda (which is pretty great because Tony and I visited the San Diego zoo on our way to Hawaii)

Of course the zoo was filled with typical zoo- like animals, but it was really interesting to see a much bigger variety of animals. For instance, the bear here is a Malayan Brown Bear. There were a lot of animals specific to Asia that you wouldn't be likely to see anywhere else!

A beautiful view of the park! This place was huge. We had a fantastic day at the zoo and only got to experience a little bit of Ueno Park. We made perfect timing back to the train station because the sky opened up and began to pour!