Sunday, April 6, 2008


Today (Sunday) I cracked the surface of Ueno, a district in Tokyo. Ueno is one of Tokyo's beating hearts, probably one of it's cultural centers. I could spend a month in and around Ueno and still only experience a small fraction of the cultural riches it offers, - it teems with what seems like millions of people.

Ueno contains what I consider the Smithsonian of Tokyo.

Arriving at Ueno train station, I was struck by the sheer enormity of the station - it was as large as, and as busy as LAX airport. Radiating out from the station is Ueno park, surrounded by museums and art galleries that rival the Smithsonian. Additionally, Ueno Park has the Tokyo zoo.

I visited the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum where, among other things, I saw a special exhibition on loan from the Louvre. This exhibition was pretty special. Nearby the Met was my next stop, the Tokyo zoo, current residence of Ling Ling the panda bear.

My lasting memory of the day however was of the contagious joy and excitement of the Japanese. Wherever I went there was an ever present excitement and high energy atmosphere effusing from the Japanese people, smiling, laughing, crowding in around exhibits and on streets like a mass of humanity pressed together and loving it, as was I.

Oh, and the outdoor, impromptu performing Elvis' concert was unexpected as a dozen Elvis impersonators twisted to some early sixties Elvis tunes.

Anyway, no pictures here, just impressions of another Sunday in Japan.


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