Sunday, 24 October 2010

Ueno and Ameyoko

This weekend a few of my friends and I took a trip to Ueno. This was my second time visiting Ueno, I'd been there as part of my Ramune class but that time it was raining and I didnt take an umbrella so I didn't enjoy it to much. This time it was nice and sunny and we were going shopping ^.^ yay!

We started off at Ameyoko. Ameyoko is a busy market street in Ueno, just behind the station. It sells a lot of fresh Japanese food, a lot of shoes and a lot of bags. I heard that it also has a lot of spices which are hard to find in Japan but I didn't find them while I was here. I'm fine with my cumin, thanks.
Ameyoko's entrance.

Busy shoppers checking out what Ameyoko has to offer.

I took this photo for my flatmate. She loves Rilakuma and I love Mameshiba. Also...CHRISTMAS MAMESHIBA!!

Will you buy....will you buy...will you buy my FRESH FISH!!

You can see how close we are to the train tracks right there.

A shop assistant trying to lure people in.
Something you don't see everyday, this is 酢だこ (pickled octopus)

Train tracks again.

 There are two stories about how it got its name; one suggests that it is short for 'Ameya Yokocho' (candy store alley) and the other claims that the 'Ame' comes from アメリカ(America), because a lot of american goods were once available here on the black market. Nowadays, you can still find American goods. I actually managed to find some zoo books and some rattlesnake heads but there were also guns, cowboy attire and even a t-shirt featuring Tweety Pie dressed as some sort of gangster. 
American goods at Ameyoko
Afterward we headed into Ueno park. Ueno park was founded in the Meiji period by a Dutch Doctor. When asked his opinion on whether he thought the area should be a Hospital or not, he suggested that a park would be a better idea as they already had everything that was needed for an excellent park. Thanks to him, Ueno park became one of the very first public parks in Japan. 

We were lucky enough to catch a few events going on, I think there must have been some sort of festival or celebration.
We watched this girl, skip whilst on a unicycle.

And we saw some 'british' people.
I think they were a comedy act, they were actually very funny. Water came from the top of their umbrellas and they shouted ridiculous things in English. 'Tenki wa very very very warui!! Oh they don't even understand Japanese!' was one of my favourites. Tenki means weather and warui means bad lol.

We also saw some acrobats. One of them made a tower out of 6 chairs then did some crazy handstand on top and the other had a pile of bowls on her head while some guy spun her round. I didn't get any photos of these unfortunately.

We also checked out the National Science Museum while we were here. It was pretty cool, I would recommend anyone who has the chance to go. They had dinosaurs and of course this made me happy. Also its free if you have an ICU student card so that's always a plus :).

Oh, and I'll leave you with this photo, taken outside my local KFC. The colonel is getting ready for Christmas already.

Thanks for reading :)

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