Wednesday, March 12, 2014

鶯谷ー上野 Uguisudani-Ueno

Everybody loves a steam train.

On Saturday we spent the afternoon between Uguisudani Station and Ueno Park. Our first stop was the station, where we waited for a steam train to pass through, a special event in commemoration of this week's 3/11 disaster. The crowds were thick at all the stations along the route, as well as on the streets along the tracks.

Waiting for the steam train, cameras in hand, security trying to keep everyone behind the yellow line.
It was pretty neat to see the old engine running through the very modern city, and I was surprised at how quiet the train itself was, yet how loud the steam whistle sounded.

After the train passed through we walked around Ueno Park, enjoying the sunny weather. We stopped by a food stall outside of the Benzaiten Temple and snacked on kasutera, a street snack similar to doughnut holes, shaped like Doraimon and Hello Kitty.

Benzaiten Temple.
Kasutera stall. This guy was quite the performer when it came to cooking up the little snacks.
Kitty kasutera.
 Along our route we saw an early blooming sakura tree, and watched a man place two cats in the tree. Then came the cameras... too much cute.

Our ultimate destination was the Shitamachi Museum at the far end of the park. There we were able to explore what the merchant houses of old Tokyo were like in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Little dude exploring history.
Shitamachi of 100 years ago recreated. Or, as little dude put it, we explored ooooooold Tokyo.
The recreated narrow streets of Shitamachi.
The museum had many interactives, including a big table of old fashioned games such as the pinball that we spent a good deal of time with.

Recreated Shitamachi from the postwar period.
After a long day we stopped at the Hard Rock in Ueno Station for dinner. It was fun for me to eat a veggie burger, my mom to have a burger, and little dude to have mac and cheese, foods that are not so easy to come by in our part of the city.

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