4th of July is the USA’s Independence Day, and Gackt’s brithday and Akanishi Jin’s birthday and Massu’s birthday, so I renamed it multitasking day.
The day started with getting on the public transport and into the Yamanote Line towards Ueno Kōen [上野公園], Ueno Park, obviously in the Ueno [上野] area. In case anyone has missed this, I am a big CLAMP fan, and the Tokyo Babylon / X arch has a very important plot device in Ueno Park – it is the place where the Sakurazukamori can be found.
The Sakurazukamori is a cursed sakura (cherry) tree which grows on the human blood the Sakurazuka mystic assassin clan feeds them, the blood of their victims. Unfortunately, I was unable to locate the Sakurazukamori, but I was creepily amused to notice how many crows there were in the area. However with that many people around, I think Seishirou would have trouble hiding his kills in there XD I was wandering around for about an hour and a half.
Thus started my torii obsesion, looking at the entrance of Hanazono Inari Jinja [花園稲荷神社]. Torii [鳥居] are symbolic gates that separate holy grounds in Shinto – they are made out of stone or wood, in this case they tend to be painted bright orange or vermillion. They usually have two columns and two horizontal boards on top, the upper one is a bit curved upwards, and there is a plaque showing the name of the shrine. They sometimes have some writing on the back of the columns.
There are a lot of Museums in Ueno Park, and I chose the Tōkyō Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan [東京国立博物館], Tokyo National Museum, for a visit when the heat became too much. Yesterday it was supposed to thunderstorm, so I decided to go walk the park first and go to the Museum if / when it rained. In the end I went into the Museum when it did not rain XD. It was a tadbit too hot to wander around…
The Tokyo National Museum of Art is focused on Japanese culture and art (there’s a Western Museum of Art not that far away, also in Ueno) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art in the next corner.
I am not going to bluff and tell you how I appreciated the sliding doors art of the china art. I did, but let me be honest. The katana collections are the ones that made me flail:
After I was done with the Museum I needed to hunt down some food. I had two options, stay in Ueno and give a try to the Metropolitan or go somewhere else. In the end I decided to head off to the station, get food there and get into the Yamanote line [山手線] again until Hamamatsuchō [浜松町] where I sat on a park to eat my onigiri and get some rest. After that, I visited the San’en-zan Zōjō-ji [三縁山増上寺] Chief Temple of Jodo-Buddhist, which kind of was in my way.
Very, very pretty. But the actual reason I was in the area was the metallic structure you can guess to the right in the first picture. This is the area where Tokyo Tower [東京タワー]. Insert a huge fangirl squeal here. Aloud. just after coming out the station, when the tower was barely visible against the sky. Of course, however, I could not stay away XD.
As I mentioned before, there was supposed to be bad weather, so originally I did not have plans to climb it up yesterday but… I did anyway because there was good weather. I had decided to only go up to the main observatory (150 m high), but in the end I found myself asking for the special observatory combo ticket, which lets you go to the special observatory 250 m high (total height of tower is 333 m).
Lots of CLAMP manga have important stuff happening in Tokyo Tower: in Tokyo Babylon, Subaru banishes a restless spirit, in X Kamui and Fuuma fight there as it is one of the Tokyo kekkai, in Clamp Gakuen Noboru wants to celebrate his birthday party there and in Magic Knight Rayearth, the three main characters meet there. Though let me tell you, I don’t know how three classrooms fit in here so they see each other when Emmeraude calls upon them:
Yes, I took pictures inside the observatory, I took pictures from the view too, of course. Note Tokyo Bay and Rainbow Bridge, another of the kekkai.
I even looked down
The day ended with a quick visit to Ebisu [ヱビス] Place (where MatsuJun gets stood up in Hana Yori Dango), a quick once-over Shibuya, katsukare for dinner and then falling kinda dead.
I made friends with a Shiba Inu who wanted petting and totally pwned jet lag. I also was misled into trying a horribly ocha (tea) drink that Tackey promoted on TV, which was… horrid. Lesson learnt. We don’t trust Tackey on drinks…