Japan Adventures – Shibuya Crossing and Ueno Park

Hi guys! So this is how it will go, I will be featuring the places we went to in Japan two at a time in chronological order.

SHIBUYA

We arrived kind of late so I figured it would be best to go somewhere we can relax and just go people watching after a long flight.

Shibuya is famous for its scramble crossing. I think this is the busiest junction ever! It was so fun crossing the street together with hundreds of people from every direction. I can’t remember how many times we did it. LOL!

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View from Starbucks

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Also in Shibuya, just outside the train station, is Hachiko’s statue. I can still remember how I cried my eyes out because of that movie. Oh Hachi.

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We then had dinner at this yakitori place called Toritake. The food was delicious and easy on the pocket. Just get ready to smell like grilled meat afterwards. Well, it’s okay because it is worth it!

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The one in the center is chicken liver. You gotta try it! I didn’t know it could melt in your mouth like that. Yummy!

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UENO PARK

The following day, we went to Ueno Park. It is a large public park just next to Ueno station. It is one of the best spots for cherry blossoms viewing in Tokyo but unfortunately, we were a couple of weeks late for hanami. I think there were less than 5 trees still with cherry blossoms, with petals already falling. It didn’t help that it was very windy that day. I bet it looked magical during full bloom!

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Temples

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Toshogu Shrine

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Kiyomizu Kannon Temple

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It is a practice before entering shrines in Japan to do the purification ritual. At the purification fountain near the shrine’s entrance, take one of the ladles provided, fill it with fresh water and rinse both hands. Then transfer some water into your cupped hand, rinse your mouth and spit the water beside the fountain.

I will let you in an embarrassing secret. I thought you were supposed to drink the water in the fountain so I did. I only realized that people were spitting it out while watching the videos when we got back to the house. LOL! For the record, the water tasted fresh and I didn’t get stomach upset. Haha!

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We then had lunch at Ichiran in Atre Ueno. This is one of my favorites as you can tweak your ramen however you want it: flavor, fat content, garlic, green onions, pork fillet, tenderness of noodles. I really liked this idea. OMG, I’m seriously craving for this right now!

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The long line a few minutes past 12nn

Most Japanese are not very fluent in English but it’s not a big problem because restaurants have a ticket vending machine with English translations. Just press your choice, pay, give the ticket to the waitress or chef and wait for your order. There’s almost no verbal interaction needed.

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Going here alone? No problem. Only single seating is available. Just you and your delicious ramen against the world. LOL

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To be continued…

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