After spending some time watching the morning sumo tournament matches I left the sumo arena to do a little sightseeing before returning for the afternoon matches. I didn’t want to go too far from the arena, so I took the subway to Ueno Park.
Ueno Park used to be part of the temple grounds of Kaneiji Temple but the temple was mostly destroyed when it became the site of a battle of the Boshin Civil War in which the army of Japan’s new Meiji government defeated soldiers loyal to the old shogunate. Today in Ueno Park you can find a monument to the shogunate army at the spot where they made their last stand. Scattered around Ueno Park are also a few small temples and shrines. My personal favorite is Kiromizu Kannodo, which has a balcony looking out on the western part of the park.
Near the center of Ueno Park I came across some sort of pet expo. Lots of people were with their dogs and checking out the various booths that were being set up. As some of you may know, owning a dog in Tokyo is something of a status symbol, since most people can’t afford a house or apartment big enough for a pet like that.
Right by where the expo was being held was the Tokyo National Museum. While I didn’t visit the museum on this trip, I did check it out in 2017 and if you enjoy visiting history museums this is one of the best in Japan. I’ve included three photos in today’s post from that 2017 visit.
I did, however, do a quick tour of the National Museum of Western Art. Obviously it’s not as good as visiting the major art museums in Europe or America, but the day I was there was one of the museum’s free entry days and I was curious to take a look. Before heading back to the sumo arena I also went over to Shinobazunoike Bentendo Temple in the middle of Ueno Park’s big pond. At around 1:30pm I started heading towards Ueno Station to make my exit. The upper-tier sumo matches were about to begin and I wanted to get back to the arena to see most of them.