Continuing the narration of my trip to Tokyo I’ll show you Ueno park and some other places worth visiting. Ueno is a whole area where you can go for just a walk at the park, see street artist performing, visit some of the most characteristic museums and visit the zoo! I did all of them and I was lucky enough to see some cherry blossoms at their beginning. It’s said that there are around 1200 cherry trees in the park! Imagine the view when they’ll be in their full bloom…Such a beautiful sight! There is the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, the National Science Museum, the Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo’s university of the Arts among others. It took me 2 days to see the park and after that my feet were useless!
Below you can see Ueno Toshogu Shrine that’s located in the park and all the characteristic spots before reaching the temple. The corridor towards the temple with old Kan’ei-ji Pagoda, the fountain to wash your hands, the wishing point, fortune papers etc.
As I told you I was greatly unlucky with the museums in general because they were all closed when I went! Especially for some of them I was very impatient of seeing them from my last visit and it was quite disappointing. Such us the Gallery of Horyuji Treasures of National Museum, mostly for the building itself (I didn’t know what these treasures were..) which 10years before had just opened and we’d just taken a glance. The water element in front of the building was very imposing, it made you look at the building from a distance and worked also like a mirror..
I was mostly disappointed that the National Museum of Western Art was closed for renovations, it was my favorite! Designed by Le Corbusier and having some of the world’s best known pieces of modern art (which I love) it’s a true art’s experience. Thankfully they had some famous sculptures on the courtyard and we didn’t live artless! I think it’s amazing that these masterpieces are out in the open and anyone walking by the park can see them and experience art, don’t you think?
And then there were the zoo! Where -to tell you the truth- I wasn’t very thrilled as I thought because most of the animals felt to be in disperse, it was quite sad for me to see them like that. Although at the same time it was very very interesting I must admit. I didn’t took many photos but when I saw the flamingos I was more than happy and didn’t stop clicking!! You can imagine my enthusiasm I guess!! They were moving their heads right and left as they do and were super cute and bright!! They were almost fluorescent I don’t know what they’re eating!!
Another place of Tokyo worth visiting is Roppongi. It’s a new area with skyscrapers and a lot of business’s offices, shopping malls and restaurants. Ropongi Hills is a big complex with all that. I remembered it from the last time because we were posing with the big spider sculpture of Louise Bourgeois and when G. told me he was working on that building it felt like karma! Unfortunately, I couldn’t visit the offices there because of high security but imagine Google was there, damn it!
Between all these buildings and suited Japanese people a lot of sculptures and pieces of art are here and there, making it much more interesting. Also, the arena plaza was inspired me so much the last time that I was continuously trying to redraw it on my works after that. It was nice to see it complete (last time the half of it was closed due to reparations) after all these years and my evolution as an architect.
Additional to public art around Roppongi Hills there were some street furniture by great designers. I’d taken the map, my camera and walked the whole complex to find them, so I collected my favorite and present it to you:
Near Roppongi Hills there is Midtown garden, another park with skyscrapers around it full in design interest. Look what a playground, sitting points with lightnings and public art pieces and of course a Tadao Ando’s building being so discrete and distinctive! I’m thinking now that maybe it was a good thing that was closed because I’d probably leave all my money there.
A bunch of other posts about my trip in Japan will follow, stay tuned!