Day 7 – Ueno Park and Zoo

Surprisingly we did not wake up too early, but we did wake up early enough for breakfast! So we threw on some sweats and made our way downstairs for the breakfast buffet. The buffet consisted of: an egg station; pancakes and waffles with a variety of toppings; breads (rolls, bread slices, pastries); cereals; salad; fruit; cold deli meat; assorted cheese; smoked salmon; sausage; bacon; ham; potatoes; steamed veggies; grilled tomatoes; baked beans; mushrooms; noodles or pilaf; soup; oatmeal; porridge and a variety of toppings; miso soup; fish; and dumplings. Also, there was a coffee/ espresso machine, variety of juices, sodas, and water.

After breakfast, we got ready and decided to head towards Ueno Park. Walking to the Ginza Station, they closed off Chuo Dori and several adjacent streets and put tables and chairs on the street for people to hangout.

Before heading into the train station, we went into Nissan Crossing to check out a couple of cars they had on display.

Then we were off to Ueno. When we got there, we went straight into the park and made our way to the zoo. We noticed that there was a peony garden and we were going to check it out, but to see a tiny garden for more than the zoo’s admission, we decided to skip it. The admission to the zoo was ¥600 per person. As soon as we got into the zoo we went to go see the pandas.

The zoo was like any other zoo. The enclosures weren’t as big as I wished it would’ve been.

The zoo itself was bigger than the San Francisco Zoo, but the Oakland Zoo is much nicer. My favorite part of the zoo was definitely the giraffes.

We spent a good 4 hours at the zoo. Finally, we were over it and decided to walk around the park. We found ourselves looking at the Shinobazuno Pond where people rented out paddle and row boats.

The line to rent a boat was pretty long so we decided to skip it. We then found ourselves amongst several different foodstalls. We decided to grab a crab on a stick and drizzled mayo over it, drinks, and shared an okonomiyaki (Japanese savory pancake).

We took the train back to Ginza and stopped by Ginza Akebono, which is a fresh mochi place that specializes in a fresh strawberry and red bean paste mochi.

I thought the mochi was very soft and not too thick. The red bean paste was a bit sweet which highlighted the sweetness of the fresh strawberry. The strawberry itself was firm and had the right amount of sweetness and tartness. T on the other hand did not enjoy the mochi. He’s a texture guy and the mochi was just not for him. We made our way back to the hotel to rest before dinner.

Before dinner, we decided to go to Tommy Bahamas which was around the corner from our hotel to grab some drinks.

It was an open air bar which was nice so we can still take in Tokyo from the street level. We both ordered some drinks, both were pretty strong. We met some other traveling Americans and conversed for about an hour before we decided to head out to dinner. We walked to Ippudo Ramen in Ginza. There was a bit of a wait, but nothing too long. We waited about 25 minutes? When we sat down we were given English menus. I opted for the Shiranomasen and T got the spicy ramen. We both shared a small order of the gyoza, and we both got beer. The ramen was definitely tastier than the one we had in Kyoto. The broth was delicious and the noodles were softer. Overall, delicious! After dinner, we walked back to the hotel and stopped by the bar at our hotel for some drinks.

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