Tokyobling's Blog

Traces Of Old Edo – Yanaka Buildings

Posted in Places by tokyobling on April 24, 2015

The one area of present day Taito Ward that largely survived the fire bombings of World War II was the old Yanaka district, which is just north of present day Ueno station. Today the old town of Yanaka is quite the hit with local tourism: people from all over Tokyo is flocking to the area to sample a bit of the old time town charm that has survived. On a visit a few months ago I took these photos of old Edo period buildings, shops and temples.

Yanaka is famous outside of Tokyo as well, for its role in the a good tongue twister:

「なかなか鳴かない谷中のかなかな」Nakanaka Nakanai Yanaka No KanaKana

How fast can you say it? The sentence translates as:

The Kanakana (a type of cicada whose singing sounds like “kanakana”) of Yanaka that doesn’t really sing a lot.

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Ueno Photos

Posted in Animals, People, Places by tokyobling on April 10, 2015

Just a few photos I took in Ueno when passing through a couple of months ago. The weather in Tokyo recently has been quite bad, so posting these winter photos is not a crazy as it seems. It sure feels like winter right now! Hopefully the spring will come for real next week. Have a great weekend everyone!

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The Mejiro and the Sakura

Posted in Nature, Places by tokyobling on April 2, 2015

While taking a walk in Ueno park the other day I spotted a small flock of Mejiro (Zosterops japonicas) scouring a flowering sakura tree. This the kind of photo opportunity I dream of every spring so to get the chance to see it in person was a great happy coincidence for me. The little bird is my second most favorite bird in Japan, and obviosly the pink sakura is my favorite flowering tree. The name of this bird, Mejiro, literally translates as White Eye, due to the white circle around the eye of the bird. It has also given its name for one of the train stations on the Yamanote circle line, Mejiro Station (目白駅). Right now is pretty much the peak of the sakura season here in Tokyo, but if you fear you might miss it I hear that is only just starting in nearby Odawara City.

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Shinobazunoike – Shinobazu Pond in Winter

Posted in Nature, Places by tokyobling on February 23, 2015

The great pond in Ueno, the Shinobazunoike is famous its many lotus flowers, which have been a feature of the pond since at least the Edo period. I summer it is covered in a green carpet of lotuses, but in winter the dried husks and shells of the flowers form an equally interesting and photogenic space. The pond is also the home of many birds, some of whom are more than happy to serve as models for the passing photographers!

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