Japan Memories #18: Sakura at Ueno Park & Last Day
Travel Date : 29th March (Thurs)
Ueno Park’s Cherry Blossoms
Ueno Park is just next to Ueno Station. Easiest access is provided by the station’s “Park Exit”.
This is the best place for Sakura (Cherry Blossom) watching since the whole park road was lined with them.
We entered the park entrance and found ourselves on higher ground. The long stretch of Sakura Trees were down below with lots of people.
Walking down a flight of stairs, we discovered this long stretch of road full of visitors. We moved slowly with them, taking time to admire the canopy of trees at the sides.
Halfway through, a flight of stairs led to this stretch lined with food stalls (like our “pasar malam” or night market stalls). We decided to proceed on to the “Hanami” Area and come back later.
Finally reached the designated area for Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing) where it was more spacious and many trees lined the two sides.
As we walked along the path, we noticed visitors sitting under the trees in organised areas for picnic. Many people helped to book the places for the night event. Some were booked by companies and had names and even small tables on a mat.
We felt blessed to be able to catch Sakura trees blooming on our last day in Tokyo, Japan! They were so pretty…like snow in Spring. I couldn’t stop staring at them as we walked down the pathway.
Finally, we turned back to the food stalls area and snacked on BBQ Squid and Hotdog.
Looking at my picture, you would think I enjoyed it. That was before I placed it into my mouth. The next moment, I was reduced to tears. T^T
A word of caution on eating Squid or Octopus in Japan: DO NOT swallow before thoroughly chewing every bit you put into your mouth! (best into mash)
I chewed a while like I usually do but when I swallow, I got choked. The squid meat couldn’t go down nor come up! I think it was so freshly cooked that the ‘unmashed’ tentacles’ suction cups remained much active and attached to my throat. I was panicking and tearing up and signalling to Vin. Fortunately, the effect managed to wear off after gulping lots of water and I could finally breathe.
I didn’t dare eat anymore and so passed the rest to Vin. The next moment, I watched in horror as HE got choked! He had also chewed for a while too but it still got stuck. Oh my… It was another round of panicking as he kept drinking water and smooth his throat with his hand, finally getting it down.
Enough of it. Didn’t dare try anymore. >_<”
A Westerner sitting opposite us was giving us odd looks. Two of us waving our hands frantically and drinking lots of water like mad… was like O___O. (It was not noticeable that we were choking on the food)
We left the park soon after, heading to Ueno Station for a train ride back to our hotel. The many stuff we bought from Asakusa was just too much to carry on further.
Palette Town Amusement
Palette Town was far as we need to travel to Shimbashi Station and transfer to the Yurikamone Line, which is like a LRT with automated driving.
Our first stop was at Mega Web for the Universal Design Showcase. There were all kinds of goods designed with beauty and ease to help us in our daily life. We browsed through and were more interested in the car design area where Toyota’s ‘universal design approach’ was showcased in the cars.
This is a nice place to walk through with interesting shops to look at. We were rushing for time though and couldn’t fully explore. It was decorated like a small European town with a nice fountain area.
We wanted to eat our dinner but decided to do so only after visiting Aqua City. The time was so tight that we gave up halfway and didn’t reach it.
We discussed and headed towards Akihabara instead to eat curry rice. It was like a nice finish to what we started. Tonight was the last night of our trip.
DAY 7 FINAL
Travel Date : 30th March (Fri)
Taking the train from Shin-Nihonbashi at peak hour was horrible as it was very crowded and we struggled with our luggage. (Avoid taking trains at peak hour if you can!)
A guy speeded out the moment the door opened., knocking my bag. I do not understand why there was a need to since I was also going out the same station. In fact, almost everyone need to get off at Tokyo Station. It was just a second to wait until I moved. He dashed up the staircase and disappeared fast.
We bought the Narita Express tickets at Tokyo Station then.
Checking in at the counter of JAL, we were pleased to find out we were upgraded to better seats! It was nice upper seats with three seats and one of them was empty. The area was more spacious and there were only 6 rows of seats. No one sat with us and we could drink all we wanted. The view was also great!
We arrived back in Singapore at 6pm, feeling strange to come back to sunny Singapore!
Our Planned Itinerary:
(Afternoon to Night)
- Walk to Asakusa Station to go to Ueno Station.
Take the Tokyo Subway Ginza line to Ueno Station (5mins)
- Visit Ueno Park (Cherry Blossoms)
- Walk to Ueno Station to go to Palette Town
Take the JR Yamanote Line to Shimbashi Station (11min). Transfer to Yurikamone Line (10min), to Aomi Station (20min) – Total 41mins
- Sight-seeing at Palette Town and Dinner (11.00 – 21:00, restaurants until 23:00)
(This entry is from our Travel Scrapbook of Japan in 2007)
This is the LAST Entry of the Japan Memories Series.