Things at the science museum, and the Ameyoko market district in Ueno

museum admissions

We went to Ueno yesterday, to check out the National Museum of Nature and Science, and the Ameyoko market district.

National Museum of Nature and Science, Ueno

As much as museums are pretty much all the same, I like walking through at least one when in another country. Understanding the history of a place (or even seeing just how they write their history) gives some interesting context to the culture you’re visiting.

The science museum at Ueno had some interesting things to look at. I didn’t get what was going on most of the time, as the labels were all in Japanese. But they let you take photos in there as long as you don’t use flash, so here are some photos for you. :)

whale statue

Apparently the whale out the front is life size? It certainly was big!

decommissioned locomotive

collection of antique clocks

display of local fauna

Just as I was thinking we haven’t seen enough cats this trip, this guy shows up.

collection of more local fauna

deer fallen in hunter's pit trap

The early civilisation exhibit was interesting. It’s hard to picture hunting and trapping and village life here while surrounded by so many lights and technologies.

tiny model of early village life

life size models of Japanese family

The display that impressed me most was one on population. I didn’t get a photo, and kind of had to guess what it was about because the explanation was huge and in kanji. It featured 3D etched layers of Japan in glass, with each layer representing a point in time. The oldest layer at the bottom had about three tiny etched ‘people’ scattered across the islands. The topmost layer had people covering the whole damn country. I’m guessing that’s a projection of the future. The contrast was immense. This is the way our world is going.

I regret not being able to show you, so I hope you’re okay with this box of cocks instead.

display of rooster varieties

display of local flora

orange flower in bloom, preserved

life size plesiosaur skeleton

I didn’t think the Plesiosaur was that big, but I would still probably shit myself if I saw a live one come at me.

life size deer skeleton

minerals of Japan

sample of analcite

sample of gosu rock

slice of giant tree trunk

collection of butterflies, preserved

collection of marine life specimens

marine plant skeletons

time wheel mounted on wall

camel, stuffed

Japanese dogs

Japanese doge

As evening crept in, we walked through Ueno Park towards the market area. Coming from an afternoon in Akihabara Den Den Town, the space and peace at Ueno Park was surreal.

arriving at Ueno Park

looking up the map of the park

decorative lantern in garden bed

people walking on path

man on bike in front of trees

Japanese style buildings among trees

And of course, Japan being Japan, we stumbled on a shrine.

red gates leading to shrine

red gates at bottom of steps, leading to shrine

man walking on quiet street

It all changed in a flash once we arrived at Ameyoko. Back to dense, lit, noisy, busy.

Ameyoko market street

The markets were a big mish-mash of fresh seafood, cooked food, snacks, clothes, shoes, bags, hats, army gear, restaurants and bars.

market shops in Ameyoko

Dinner was pork miso ramen in an izakaya whose name I couldn’t read.

izakaya card and bowl of garlic

pork miso ramen with raw egg

izakaya bar

izakaya kitchen

outside the izayaka

market alley in Ameyoko

little garden setting

Ameyoko market shops

shrine at the top of some stairs

And we found another shrine. :)