BE A LOCAL  is a part of Hub Japan’s service to match local Japanese people and tourists from overseas. This is a report of the day Japanese local hosts took guests to Ueno, Meiji Shrine, and Harajuku.

We received a request to the plan from a family from Brazil, Renata, Carlos, Claudia, and Carlos. They wanted to visit Ueno Toshogu, Tokyo National Museum, and Meiji Shrine. We first took a subway from Ginza, where we met, to Ueno.

It was the first time for the family to get on a subway in Tokyo. We showed how to buy the PASMO IC card, and successfully got on the train.

Taking subway from Ginza to Ueno

Taking subway from Ginza to Ueno

Ueno Park, Ueno Toshogu

Ueno Park is enormous but figured out the way to Ueno Toshogu. We explained that few generations of Tokugawa Shogunate rest in Ueno Toshogu. Before visiting the main building, we purified our body using water from Chozuya. They said it was their first time to use Chozuya, so first I showed how to do it step by step.

Showing how to purify the body

Showing how to purify the body

It was my first time to visit Ueno Toshogu. The main building of Ueno Toshogu was all gold and was very gorgeous.

Ueno Toshogu

Ueno Toshogu

It was sunny and warm on the day, and there were many people outside enjoying the sun. The family was enjoying the park, saying that they can feel the ordinary people’s atmosphere in Ueno Park, comparing to Sensoji Temple, where they visited one day before.

A beautiful day at Ueno Park, lots of families were out for picnic

A beautiful day at Ueno Park, lots of families were out for picnic

Then, we visited Tokyo National Museum. There were many exhibitions to understand Japanese history briefly. It will need a whole day to look everything closely, so we limited to few important pieces that the family wanted to see. Art crafts and Samurai Warriors’ equipment were especially beautiful.

In front of Tokyo National Museum

In front of Tokyo National Museum

As we headed out the park, Carlos noticed the works of Auguste Rodin in front of The National Museum of Western Art, which was registered as the World Heritage Site in 2016.

The piece of Auguste Rodin in front of The National Museum of Western Art

The piece of Auguste Rodin in front of The National Museum of Western Art

Carlos told us about how important this piece is and how to look at this beautiful masterpiece.

Lunch at Ueno Yabu Soba

For lunch, we went to a famous long-establishing soba restaurant in Ueno, Ueno Yabu Soba. Ueno Yabusoba continues operating from 1892, more than 100 years! The family was surprised to discover that there is a restaurant operated for such a long time. It was a Sunday, so we had to wait about 30 minutes, but we could get in. 

Renata, Carlos, and Claudia had warm tempura soba. Carlos had regular warm soba. The family said that it was their first time trying soba, I hope they liked it. The soba here was actually one of my bests in Tokyo! Highly recommended. Claudia said she liked the atmosphere of the restaurant. It was an authentic Japanese soba restaurant, and we could see the soba chef making soba through the window.

Enjoying soba at Ueno Yabu Soba

Enjoying soba at Ueno Yabu Soba

Meiji Shrine and Harajuku Takeshita Street

Then we took JR Yamanote Line from Ueno to Harajuku and visited Meiji Shrine. They were surprised to find this much nature in the neighborhood of Harajuku, where is the center of kawaii culture.

Huge Torii and plenty of nature in Meiji Shrine

Huge Torii and plenty of nature in Meiji Shrine

After we visited Meiji Shrine, we walked to Takeshita Street. They were surprised to see such number of people in this narrow street!

At the entrance of Takeshita Street

At the entrance of Takeshita Street

As we walked the street, we found a crepe house. As Harajuku is famous for crepes, we tried one together.

Crepe at Harajuku

Crepe at Harajuku

After we had finished walking Takeshita Street, we said goodbye, and it was the end of the day.

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