Ueno Park is Tokyo's
first public park and was opened in 1873. Ueno park has rental
boats, monuments, temples, and a zoo. You can see
why Ueno is one of the most popular areas for Japanese families to visit.
This statue of Takamori
Saigo, erected in 1898, is one of the best known monuments in Japan.
He is credited with restoring the emperor to power after the Tokugawa Shogunate's
downfall. After World War II, General
Douglas MacArthur demanded its removal due to its nationalistic association,
but the Japanese people refused.
The Tomb Site of the
Shogi-Tai Soldiers was erected in 1868 to honor the soldiers killed
in the Ueno War or "fight of the Shogi-Tai". The Shogi-Tai was an
army of the Edo-Shogunate that fought against the Emperor at the end of
the Edo period.
Strolling through the park,
we found a happy crowd watching this clown make shapes and animals with
balloons. Actually, she was not very good at it but she seemed to be really
Roger by the Kiyomizu Kannondo
The Kiyomizu Kannondo
Temple was built in 1631. Nearby is the Toshogu Shrine which was built
in 1651 and was dedicated to Ieyasu Tokugawa. He was responsible
for making Tokyo the capital and most important city in Japan. The
path to the shrine is lined with large stone lanterns donated by feudal
lords. It is Ueno Park's most famous religious structure.
We saw several people drink
water in a ritualistic manner from this water trough next to the temple.
Notice the white notes tied behind the fountain. We think they are wishes
Thanks to Gregg Tavares who
emailed us, we now know that the notes are actually fortunes in
the same sense as a 25 cent fortune you could get from a vending machine
(for example the machine in the Tom Hanks movie "Big"). After you
read your fortune, you tie it to the strings. If it is a bad fortune you
are suppose to tie it with just your left hand only although most Japanese
have forgotten this part of the custom.
Kiyomizu kannon-do was established
in 1631. The principal image of this temple is a seated figure of Senjo-Kannon.
As it is a secret image, it usually is housed in a miniature shrine but
is shown to the public on the Fiest Horse Day in February and attracts
A small building (temple?)
located next to the Kiyomizu Kannondo Temple.