After spending our first day in Tokyo in Shinjuku Gyoen, it was only apt that we spent our last evening in Ueno Park. We had visited Shinjuku Gyoen in the last week of March but unfortunately there were but a few sakura (cherry blossom) trees that blossomed by then. However, between our first day and our last day everything had suddenly changed. When we returned from Hakone, the first thing we noticed in Tokyo was that all the sakura trees were in full bloom.
Sakura In Full Bloom In Ueno Park
Our last few days in Japan were spent without any sun. But when we entered Ueno Park, the sakura in full bloom made up for cold, wet day. The park was in full bloom, and locals and tourists had congregated in the park in the thousands! With free entry to Ueno Park, and cherry blossom in full bloom, there was literally no place to walk.
Contributing to the crowds were also the numerous food and drink stalls in the park right before the Tokyo National Museum (Note: Ueno Park is known for the many museums found on its grounds. These include the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum for Western Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Science Museum. It is also home to Ueno Zoo, Japan’s first zoological garden). Well, anyway the food stalls really helped that this point because I was starving. So, I grabbed myself a healthy serving of crab sticks, fried potato, and beef skewers with a pint of Asahi!
The vibe in Ueno Park, with the cherry blossom, food and drinks, that evening was very European. It did not feel like we were in Asia. But then again Japan didn’t feel like Asia. It felt like no other country in the world.