October 25, 2008 - Tokyo
I walked on my own this day, purchased food at Matsuzakaya Department store,
rested and worked on photos and added another page to the Japan web pages.
Euno Park was the destination, but I wandered a bit further and saw part of a neighborhood
on the north side of the park. The quiet photo of a gateway between buildings is in this
area. I wandered some more through the park, and exited near Ueno Station.
The hill at the station drops away to streets, city buildings, and lanes between the tall
buildings that are jammed with shops of all sorts. Basements and upper floors are all
very actively used to provide wares and services to the people who shop in the
city areas around and between the train stations.
On different occasions I walked from the Ueno station to Okakimachi station, though
I could have taken the JR (Japan Rail) from one to the other. This experience is
not simple or easy to portray with mere words and photographs.
There is such a din in the lanes or streets between the buildings, which in this area
are in a kind of Tic-Tac-Toe grid, with perhaps nine main building areas divided by lanes
and streets. The major traffic is on the outer border of the nine block area, and the lanes
and small streets, most are one way traffic, with barely any walking room when cars
are present, are the cross-hatch marks of the game grid that I mentioned.
The shops are densely filled with the wares, foods, and shopping people. Along these
lanes are also Pachinko parlors with ear-splitting music at the open doorways, men with
outstretched arms staring glazed-eyed at what ever the game is they are involved with.
Restaurants, sushi bars, noodle shops have a quieter presensce, but watch out for the
fish sellers! You will suddenly be holding something that was not your intention to be
The sounds and smells, the vibration of the music at the gaming places, the courteous
crowds that make way for occasional cars and bicycles surround one with a kind of
energy that does not exist where I have lived my life. As evening approaches the
lights brighten the lanes remarkably.
I have put a large number of photos on this page, and could have added even more.
What a country! What a city! This is still Tokyo...
One of the many spiders I photographed.
Near a temple on Ueno Pond
A temple up the hill from the one above.
A prize find!
Umbrella locker. One example of many. At temples, and at the fronts of shops, there are umbrella pots
for the temporary storage of the shopper's umbrellas. Japan seems to be ready for rainy weather. By wrong
choices, I arrived with one umbrella, and trusting the weather reporter, ended up needing to purchase two
more before returning home! This locker is at the Western Art Museum at Ueno Park.
I have just passed Ueno Station, a JR train line, and am heading downhill to a busy shopping district.
This photo remains a favorite of mine. At the museum just up the hill from here was an exhibition of Vermeer paintings,
and the banners were hung everywhere. My intention with this photo was to show the elevation, the nearness to the hill
and to the train station, and the beginning of the shopping district below. One curious student turned just after I committed
the camera to the photo. Her choice was my lucky chance for a remarkable addition to this photograph.
No noise polution controls here! Across the street where I purchased a handbag for train travel, all were priced
at 1050¥, a young woman was doing her best to out-shout him selling the wares from her store.
At about this date, the above amount in Yen was about $10.50 to $11.00 US Dollars. The dollar dropped
significantly just after that, and the cost of my trip went up about 10%. I had to purhcase more Yen, and had no
choice but to do it then.
This much!! You take it !
The variety of foods available to the Japanese people is stunning!
Squid and cuttlefish
Beauty in an uncared for space
Matsuzakaya Department Store, going down to where the food is.
Yes, even football is in Japan!
After returning to the room, I ate my lunch and began to work on earlier photos for one of the earlier web pages. Maybe
it was the day I began the pages... now I am home, and hoping to continue posting some of the many photos from this
time in Japan.