Ueno

Tourists have Ueno Park on their list because of the many museums set in the park, this is located in the northern part of Tokyo.

What I like about it is that it has a vibe, local families wander there, it is noisy and lively, the station has a shinkansen stop for trains to the north, there is a massive shopping gallery in the station with boutiques and not only big department stores, it does not feel as posh as Ginza but is so Japan

 

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By the station, is a hard rock cafe, nothing special, nothing fancy, but for some reason, Japanese people like to queue and stand there for ever,

At the back of Ueno, is a great part with a shrine and a cemetery, not sure how it is called but it is truly beautiful, follow towards the pagoda at the back and you will find it to your left

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Ueno also has a modern metro station, very bright and polished, one of those nice ones

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Happo-en Tokyo

On a Saturday lunch time, I went out to picnic in the Shirokanedai area, in the Tokyo University park. Across the road, I discovered the wonderful Happo-en.

This is a place that gives you serenity, calm, peace in the heart of the city, suddenly, you forget about the noise, the cars, and the daily life.

The park has a collection of bonsai, a banqueting space and a tea ceremony house that you may book although I have heard they dont always reply

 

Luxury Train

Japan has the Shinkansen but it also has the Mizukase Luxury Train and the seven stars cruise train in Kyushu.

While in Osaka, we saw it coming to the station and it was amazing, this train is heavily booked and the company currently takes reservations applications in May for travel as of October 2018!

Apply to the Twilight Express experience!

 

 

Kobe has a lot to explore

Check out Ikuta Shrine, worth a day out, close to the beach, walking and hiking area

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Walking distance from there, about 30mn away, is an old fashion amusement park, quite ruined, in bad shape, and with an amazingly low safety level, we had great fun but it was scary and not to recommend to kids definitely

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Before Cherry Blossom

In the weeks leading to sakura week, the plum trees start blooming, the weather changes, it is still chilly but the light is brighter and the sky blue, it is a wonderful and exciting couple of weeks and everyone is waiting for cherry blossom

 

 

This year, during that period, we also had the Tokyo Marathon, so well organised, spotless, lines of water bottles waiting, volunteers along the 43km, really impressive and a nice and friendly atmosphere. If you are in Tokyo at that time, have a look, it is very peaceful and friendly, I recommend it

Kobe delights

Kobe is known internationally for the beef but actually in Japan, people say that Kobe Beef is the 3rd best after Matsuzaka and Ohmi Beef, I tend to agree

Did you know that this industry is in danger. with the ageing population, less and less people want to take over the business and the average farmers’age is currently 66.

Kobe is also known to be the bread and cakes city as it is among the ports that first opened to foreigners (Dutch and Portuguese) together with Nagasaki and you find there delicious cakes