We started the day with some melon bread (メロンパン = meron pan) we bought in Maruetsu the evening before. I'm not sure if I already mentioned it, but even bread and cakes go on half-price sale in the evening, so we often have cheap sweet breakfasts, as I think huge sweet bread/piece of cake for 75 Yen (15 CZK/0.7 E) is a very good deal. Normally, the melon bread has a grid-like deisgn on top, but this one looks a bit like a small volcano.
Instead of talking about the time spent at the university day by day, I decided to eventually create one big post about my lab, lectures and Hongo campus of Todai. Therefore, I'll go directly to our afternoon trip.
I suppose one has to be fairly dense to take 3 weeks to notice the Hongo campus is basically the neighbor of the Ueno park. But once we realized it was just a couple of steps away, we went there for a stroll in the late afternoon/evening. First, we saw a big pond with funny seagulls, turtles and carps. Part of the pond was covered by blooming plants too.
We were very lucky - when we stepped on the bridge, we noticed an elderly man feeding the carps and turtles in the pond, so it was very easy to observe them. The carps made incredibly loud slurping noises while eating the bread and they attacked the poor turtles all the time. So even if a turtle managed to get on the piece of concrete to fetch a piece of bread that didn't fall into the water, the carps would steal it. My friend got really into it, and she kept cheering the turtles on to fight for their food.
Ueno park is full of temples and shrines. This one was in the more tourist-y spot and therefore fairly crowded.
But then we wandered into an area where there were no people at all, just crying cicadas and screaming ravens. The giant black birds kept observing us with hostile eyes, cawing and occasionally flying above our heads. Even on the campus, there is a warning that ravens near the lake can attack people, so we tried to walk past them as quickly as possible without aggravating them. The scenery made me think of Higurashi no naku koro ni, especially with the deserted temples that followed.
If the raven kingdom was almost people-free, this temple complex seemed to be completely forgotten for a long time. We haven't seen a single soul while exploring it, which felt both thrilling and scary, with dim light casting strange shadows through the leaves, lush greenery separating the temples from the park, distant screams of ravens and pulsating wail of cicadas.
I felt like a potential fox-demon dinner while watching this statue - if we were there a couple of hours later, when Tokyo would be covered by darkness, I would probably die from fear.
Shop with traditional sweets - we didn't go in, but I really want to go to a traditional teahouse one day. I was really looking forward to the one in Hamarikyu, but there are many in other gardens as well, so I think I'll be able to try it.
We passed by the Ueno Zoo, it's also on my to-do list, because I really want to see the pandas.
Ueno is also the home to art - there are museums and statues. I'm not really planning to go and see the French art exhibition, but I want to go to the national museum.
Funny panda dishes - I do have to say they don't really make me want to order any of them.
Ueno station - the less romantic part of this district.
And I bought some Hello Kitty cotton candy on the way back. ^^
Yours truly scared of ravens