The Xmas rush behind, it’s time for the more relaxed phase of the trip. I leave the convenience of Ueno and will stay at a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) for the remaining few days.
Homeikan is across Ueno park and Tokyo University, and a good opportunity for me to have a leisurely walk through less touristy areas of Tokyo.
After check out. I first scope out the Keisei Ueno station, where I’ll catch the train and leave Tokyo on the last day.
Then into the adjacent Ueno park.
Ueno park is one of the prime spots for sakura viewing. Of course, the trees are all barren now.
One of the major sites in the park is the Tosho-gu whrine, where Tokugawa is enshrined. The grounds are filled with copper lanterns which were daimyos’ offering to the shogun.
There’s also a whole lot of museums in the park. It’ll take a whole day to visit them all. Me, I’m just passing through.
I drop off my luggage at the hundred year old ryokan, Homeikan.
Then I head off to lunch.. and unfortunately the noodle place I have planned is closed.. another meal at the FamilyMart for me.
In the afternoon I wander around the area between Homeikan and Ueno. It’s a place with some history, with plenty of small walkways that weaves between little clusters of houses. It’s easy to feel lost, as if in some anime scene.
I absolutely loved exploring the area, so many little streets, stairways, tucked away shrines. I can almost picture some scenes like from Toradora or other drama, boy and girl walking together to school, shyly glancing at each other though they’ve been friends since childhood.
Yushimatenjin is a shrine on the Kasuga-Dori, another sakura viewing place I think.
Time passed quickly, the sun is quickly falling toward the skyline. I check-in and head down to Tokyo Dome.
Dinner is udon near Tokyo-Dome. Cheap, and huge portions… too much perhaps. I couldn’t finish it for sure.
Tokyo Dome is a mix of amusement park and restaurant complex. There are various rides like water-slides, roller coasters and free-falls. I did not linger for too long though, have to say I was quite disappointed with their illumination… To be fair, I think everything would be a disappointment after Carretta.
The awesome thing about Homeikan is they have hot baths. One shared, and another family. Since I got back to the room fairly early the family bath is not in use, and I get the whole bath to myself.
It’s a great way to relax and catch a breath after so many tiring days.