Tokyo: Ueno Zoo and Park

Hurray for clear skies and sunny weather!

In the previous post, in our first night at Tokyo, it rained really hard that our luggage got wet. We were relieved to wake up the next day with no sign of the storm at all. Thank God!

My family and I decided to spend our first morning at Ueno Zoo and Park since we’ve been city-dwellers in Manila all this time.

This was one of the places we passed by on the way there. It’s so clean. I love it here. Going uphill on foot wasn’t much of a problem to me and my family if it was this peaceful and on such a beautiful morning too.

Check out all the rails! It’s very impressive how the Japanese people have been able to operate such complicated and interconnected railways efficiently.

Some of the railway systems are operated by the government like the JR (Japan Railway) Lines, while the others are private-owned systems which compete with each other. Post-war Japan had encouraged corporations to develop their own mass transit railway systems to urbanize the country. By creating this competition, service needed to be constantly improving to continue being in the business.

And that’s how they came to be. You’ll see more of them in future posts. I have tons of photos showing different kinds.

We left summer in the Philippines and made it in time to catch the late spring blooms in Tokyo.

Beautiful, aren’t they?

A public bus. From the super, basic Nihonggo skills I acquired in childhood (I used to have books on the Japanese language and business etiquette), I surmised that on the side of the bus in bigger letters is “megurin“. The complete Japanese words written on top of it is “Taitoku Junkan Basu Megurin“. It’s a local bus that circulates the Taito ward.

Brochures everywhere at the entrance.

Cute manhole lid! One thing to definitely take notice of when coming to Tokyo are the many different designs of manhole lids and floor tiles all around the streets, delightful little surprises along the way, I must say.

Most of the designs feature the famous sakura or cherry blossom, Japan’s national flower, like the one above. There are many other designs including pandas, mountains, and more.

Listed in my bucket list coming to Tokyo was to get a taste of their Starbucks drinks. Why? I heard they have some pretty cool drinks to select from, including sakura-flavored ones. Surprisingly, Starbucks is big here with branches everywhere.


Featuring my kimono-inspired outfit! Designed it with a little modern touch by turning it to a knee-length dress. Thankfully, it only took three days to make it.

 The backdrop makes it look like I’m in Thailand.

 

Ueno Zoo


Cute toddlers everywhere! It so happened that schools were having field trips that day to Ueno Zoo.

I call them the army of cute Japanese toddlers — and imagine how adorable they sound when they go, “Ehhh.”


That army also wore identical hats to be easily recognized.

Lunch!

Itadakimasu!
(Thank you for the meal!)

For lunch, we had ramen. Presentation is essential.

Gotcha! This little toddler fed herself with a spoon and a fork. No need for maids here.

A lot of parents here are actually really hands-on with their children. Often, both parents are there to accompany their child in a stroller around the park.

Caught these two taking a selfie together a few moments before I snapped the photo.

A morning in the park for me and my family was refreshing and very calming. It’s peaceful even with tons of adorable children roaming around. At times, we couldn’t help but gaze at them as they tried chasing or feeding pigeons or when they compare bento lunches with their classmates.

My observations during my first morning in Tokyo:

  1. Queues  must be respected.
  2. Lunch is served to you on a tray, but you have to get your utensils, drinks, and clean your table yourself.
  3. Vending machines are available everywhere to provide you with a hot or a cold drink.
  4. And oh, Oolong tea here is “Oorong” because the Japanese language doesn’t have the sound of “l”.

And the sunny, chilly weather that morning was a huge relief from the stormy night the day before.

faith

Tokyo 2015

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