After I left Yanaka Cemetery, I walked to Ueno Park. My favorite way to explore a city is on foot. I like to see what lies off the beaten path. In addition to seeing, I like to hear and smell what daily life is like in the places I travel (for better or worse). I found an alley to wander down that took me in the general direction of the park. Here are some things I saw:
I didn’t enter the park through a main entrance, and chanced upon something that I would have missed had I done so.
I had no idea this was in the park and only recently googled to find out why a replica of the Statue of Liberty is in a park in Tokyo. I was there on March 13th so I’m glad I got to see it! Here is an excerpt from an article I found:
A replica Statue of Liberty, left languishing in storage after being damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, has found a new home in Tokyo thanks to an eagle-eyed art student.
The statue, missing its lower half but intact from the waist up, is on display at Ueno Park until March 2018.
It originally occupied a spot in a park in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, which was ravaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
Manaka Murakami, 24, a student at Tokyo University of the Arts’ graduate school, noticed it had disappeared on a visit to the coastal city in 2015.
Inspired to prevent its memory from fading any further, the art student became the new owner of the symbolic statue in 2016.
“I want the statue to become a catalyst for the public to remember the disaster, making them think about why it is here and where it will be going,” said Murakami.
The statue is seeking its next destination where it can serve as a poignant reminder of the 3/11 disaster.
Further into the park, there were lots of people enjoying the spring weather.
I also got to see a life-size statue of a blue whale at the National Museum of Nature and Science, which was cool in a nerdy way, mainly because I heard Jim Gaffigan’s bit about how the name of the sperm whale came about. He’s one of my favorite comedians. Google it if you dare.
After wandering the park for awhile, I headed over to the Kaneiji Temple, which you’ll see in my next post.