I would have avoided Ueno Park after experiencing Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens but for a scene in a Japanese movie where two characters met. That scene made me want to venture into Tokyo’s famous park. Conveniently, it was right next to Ueno Station.
I strolled along tree-lined walkways, where there appeared to be as many monuments as trees. I veered away from the crowds around the eateries and came across an Edo period pagoda. Constructed in 1639, this five storey pagoda not only survived the ravishes of a religious sect, it later survived the 1932 earthquake and WW11.
For me, the best sight within this huge park was Ueno Toshogu (featured photo). When Todo Takatora constructed a shrine on Ueno Hill back in the 1500s, it was believed to be the beginning of Ueno Toshogu. The current building was rebuilt in 1651 where fifty copper lanterns used for purification and sacred fires lined the route towards the main building. Impressive.