Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Day 2: A Trip to Ueno Park

On our second day in Tokyo we traveled to Ueno park to visit the Tokyo National Museum.  This museum actually has several buildings and we went through two of them, containing priceless anitiquities mostly from Asia and the Middle East.

On the way to the museum we picked up a 'Grutto Pass' which provides discounts or free admission to galleries, museums and other attractions in and around Tokyo.  It costs 2000 yen but since we have visited six locations so far, it has been worth it (we still have one day left in Tokyo so will probably visit a few more).

We had lunch at Katsukura which provides unlimited side refills (the main dish is Tonkatsu).  I've eaten there before but forgot about making your own sauce. 

After lunch we headed to the Shitamachi Museum.  Now, this is a very small museum, and it has very little English didactic material.  What it *does* have, however, is a volunteer English-speaking guide who will give you a private tour with detailed explanations of everything.  The museum shows how people lived at the end of the Meiji period and really gives visitors a good understanding of daily life then.  I really recommend a visit if you are in Tokyo! 

Finally we headed over to the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum where we saw an exhibit of art produced by people with Downs' Syndrome.  It was interesting to see the efforts being made to support and encourage the artists.

After a fruitless search for the Ueno Ume no Hana branch, we headed to Ginza to get a free wifi pass from the Mitsukoshi Department store.  This has not proved terribly useful and I haven't even found a place to activate it yet.  Instead we find the JR Yamanote line stations have free wifi and have been making use of that.  Next to the Mitsukoshi is the Bruges Belgian beer bar, though, so we enjoyed some beer and moules frites there. 

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