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If you want to get a feel for old Tokyo, Ueno in the Taito district is a good place to start. Ueno Park is a r …

If you want to get a feel for old Tokyo, Ueno in the Taito district is a good place to start.

Ueno Park is a really huge park which contains several museums and a zoo, a large pond, a number of restaurants, and several cafes.

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The park was originally a part of Keneiji Temple,which used to be a family temple of Tokugawa Family in the Edo Period. Kaneiji Temple was almost completely destroyed in a battle. In 1873, it was founded as one of the first public parks in Japan, followed the western style.

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Ueno Park is especially well known as one of the most famous Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) spots, lining more than 1000 trees along the street leading towards the National Museum and Sinobazu Pond, so in spring, Ueno Park is packed with both Japanese people and foreigners for Hanami. The cherry blossoms are normally in bloom during late March and early April. An estimated 2 million people visit to experience “Hanami”- cherry blossom viewing, they picnic directly beneath a tree, eating, drinking, singing songs and chatting. The cherry blossoms are only in bloom for about two weeks. When 80 percent of the trees flowers have opened, it will be officially announced as in “full bloom” by the Japan Weather Association.

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Nowadays the Japanese word “Hanami” seems to be commonly used by non-Japanese as well. Walking around Ueno Park, you will see Shinobazu Pond, Ueno Toshogu shrine, and the statue of Saigo Takamori. Please check it out!

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Ueno