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Ueno, Asakusa and Akihabara


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large_5550_14319864115630.jpgArriving at Ueno Park to the disappointment of cherry blossoms having largely disappeared.
I started the day with a buffet breakfast in the hotel. It was a sumptuous Japanese and Western spread. EVA Airways crew were there and they didn’t hold back. Gotta have the energy to work I guess.

I left the hotel for the metro station a few minutes away by foot at 1000. First up, I had to buy a reloadable PASMO card. Putting my money into the machine, the note got stuck. An alarm went off. A hatch opened in the wall. The uniformed man held up a JPY5000 note and I nodded. He came out and gave me my money back and reset the machine. How efficient is that?

With one transfer at an intermediate station, I was at my new hotel, the Tsukiji [Tsukiji-travel-guide-1321092] Business BAN hotel before 1100. It was too early to check in, so I left my luggage and went exploring.large_5550_14319864174408.jpgGreeted by a carpet of fallen pink petals at Ueno Park.

Keen to see if I had missed the sakura bloom, I took the metro to Ueno [Ueno-travel-guide-285965] Park. Yep, my fears had been confirmed. Most of the cherry blossoms were gone. They were off the trees but parts of the ground were covered in a carpet of pink petals. Just my bad luck, I guess. A friend who visited last year (to the exact same day) saw the sakura in their fullest glory.

It was a cloudy day. After exploring parts of the gardens, I made my way back to Ueno station area to explore Ameyayokocho, an alley full of eateries and shops of various kinds (food, fruit, clothing, housewares).

I metroed to Sumida Park to disappoint myself further with the lack of sakura before walking to Asakusa Temple. It was a busy area bursting with tourists. Some mainland Chinese were dressed up in kimonos - that’s treason, isn’t it? The area leading to the temple was lined with many stall selling rice crackers and other snacks.large_5550_14319864236929.jpgToken shot of last remaining cherry blossom.

It was around 3pm, so I made my way back to Tsukiji to have a lie down in my new hotel. The room was called a small double but for me, it felt like a very generous single bed. There was enough room to swing a cat and had all the mod cons like fridge, kettle and internet. Considering the price and the proximity to the fish market (which requires an early wake-up) it was perfect for 5 nights stay!

I regained my energy to head back north to Akihabara [Akihabara-travel-guide-1311243] to explore the stores specialising in electronics gadgets and electrical appliance. The weather turned foul, so I limited my explorations to largely one megastore.

After a dinner at Suki, a franchise diner across the road from the hotel, I retired early for the 0245 wake-up tomorrow.

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Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Japan

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