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Tokyo lifestyle in Ueno: culture, fashion, and natural vibes

Tokyo lifestyle in Ueno: culture, fashion, and natural vibes

Sarah Deschamps, Michel Lebon and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The Ueno district in Tokyo is extremely diverse because aspects of “Old Tokyo” still survive alongside modernity within this vibrant part of Tokyo. Ueno provides many cultural places to visit. Therefore, Tokyoites and tourists flock to this area because of the many attractions provided. However, within Ueno you get a real mish-mash which flows from cultural attractions to social deprivation; from fashion to the sex trade which is powerful; and other contradictory factors in this famous entertainment district.

Tokyo lifestyle in Ueno and the surrounding area provides a plethora of different angles but unlike most major parts of Tokyo, it is a district which is either loved strongly or disliked. It normally isn’t a district where people sit in the middle because of the very nature of the area. This applies to Tokyoites who are going to pick a new place to reside or to enjoy the natural vibes of this district.

However, from a tourist point of view then Ueno is a must place to visit because you have so many cultural attractions and places to enjoy. Also, the natural raw energy of Ueno can be felt because this part of Tokyo is very distinctive when compared with other major districts. Therefore, tourists can enjoy the usual cultural spots to visit and at night the entertainment aspect of Ueno is extremely vibrant.

Ueno is also a gateway for people who reside in Chiba prefecture and Ibaraki prefecture. In saying this, Ueno is still firmly entrenched within Tokyo because within a short distance by train you have thriving districts like Ikebukuro and Akihabara. In between you have sleepy but beautiful areas like Komagome which is blessed with stunning gardens. Also, Nippori is extremely fascinating because if you visit the old area, then you have many stunning temples to visit – and providing your knowledge of the area is really good, then individuals can walk from old Nippori to Ueno.

The most notable cultural attractions apply to the Tokyo National Museum, National Museum of Western Art, National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, National Museum of Eastern Art, Tokugawa Mausoleum, Shitamachi Museum, Sogakudo Concert Hall, University Art Museum (Tokyo University of the Arts), Tosho-gu-Shrine, Iwasaki Family House, Yushima Tenjin, the statue of Saigo Takamori, Ueno Park, Shinobazu Pond, and other attractions like Ueno Zoo. Therefore, from this extensive list, which could easily be added, it is clear that Tokyoites and tourists alike have much to enjoy in Ueno because the cultural factor is very important.

The diversity of Ueno can also be felt within the fashion angle because it is a real mixture of natural street fashion, top notch department stores, independent fashion, and other styles. Ueno isn’t like Aoyama, Ginza, Harajuku, Ikebukuro, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Omotesando when it comes to fashion; but this doesn’t take away from the buzzing fashion angle of Ueno. This means that the multi-dimensional factor behind Ueno is catering for different fashion vibes alongside the choice of major stores.

In Marui department store you will find many amazing boutiques and stores to visit. Marui is one of the most highly respected department stores for fashion lovers which can be found throughout Tokyo, and in other parts of Japan like Osaka. Marui focuses on lovely boutiques for ladies and caters for male fashion. At all times this company understands the trends of Japan and for this reason it’s pulling power remains strong year after year.

Stores that can be found in Marui in Ueno applies to Sly, Moussy, Vence, Peyton Place, Rew de Rew, Mercury Duo, Jill Stuart, Swingle, Samantha Thavasa, Xmiss, Gap, Muji, Tsumori Chisato, Anna Sui, Earth Music & Ecology, Laisse Passe, Will Selection, Mary Quant, and too many others to mention. The choice on offer by Marui sums up this company very well because you have so many elegant boutiques to visit and other companies in this adorable store. Therefore, Marui in Ueno is a magnet for fashion and the same applies to all Marui stores which enhance the lifestyle of so many Tokyoites.

Matsuzakaya is the most famous major shopping landmark in Ueno because this company was established in this part of Tokyo a very long time ago. Indeed, the company itself can trace itself back to the early seventeenth century. Matsuzakaya sells a vast array of products and given its rich history then individuals should pay a visit. Also, you can buy scrumptious food and enjoy the dining provided within this department store.

Ueno vibes can be felt in places like the Ameyoko bazaar (Ameya-yokocho bazaar) and Takeya where both places provide their own unique angle. Indeed, the Ameyoko bazaar stands out in Tokyo because you have a rare buzzing market to visit which caters for different goods. Likewise, Takeya caters for an array of products and the independent vibe is most welcoming. Therefore, both places are well worth a visit for bargains and to feel a different atmosphere which is rare for Tokyo.

Overall, Ueno is certainly very individualistic and the options available are enormous. This fact means that Tokyoites and tourists continue to flock to this part of Tokyo. Not surprisingly, the cultural angle is a huge pulling power. However, within Ueno you also have an interesting fashion scene and clearly it is a bustling place to reside. In saying that, the beauty of Ueno is that you also have many Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, and cultural places to visit. This means that Ueno caters for a broad array of individuals.

http://www.tokyoessentials.com/ueno.html  (about Ueno)

http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/tokyo/ueno.html   (info about Ueno)

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Japan

 

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Golden Week in Japan: holiday, fashion, and helping in tsunami hit areas

Golden Week in Japan: holiday, fashion, and helping in tsunami hit areas

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Shopping in Ginza

Golden Week is to begin in Japan but this year it will be different for many people.  The earthquake, tsunami, and radiation crisis continues because thousands of dead bodies have still not been found and radiation problems persist at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

It is worth pointing out that much of Japan remains unchanged and if you visit the trendy and vibrant Namba area in Osaka then it is hard to comprehend that you have a major crisis in northeastern Japan. 

The same could be said about other major cities and everything is ticking in Hiroshima, Kobe, Nagoya, and other major cities.  Tokyo is a little different because the aftershock was strong on March 11 and power shortages to scaremongering about the radiation crisis in Fukushima did hit many people.  This in turn led to many embassies running for cover and leaving Tokyo but now nearly all have returned and Tokyo is returning to normal.

Northeastern Japan was devastated by the earthquake which then unleashed the tsunami and the radiation crisis continues.  Therefore, things are very much different in northeastern Japan and the Kanto plains which felt the power of the 9.0-magnitude earthquake.

Therefore, regional variations will be very different and the city of Kobe will also be unique because the people of this city understand the tremendous loss of life from natural disasters. 

Usually Golden Week is about holidays, meeting the family, visiting friends, and enjoying luxury time by doing what people enjoy the most.  This year will be different for many people because tens of thousands will volunteer and help out in Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, and in other coastal areas which were hit by the earthquake and tsunami.

Many volunteers will be reluctant to visit Fukushima because of the ongoing radiation cloud and many areas are out of bound because of the exclusion zone.  However, Iwate and Miyagi will witness tens of thousands of people from northeast Japan, the Kanto plains, and from all over Japan; who will volunteer and spend their precious time by helping to rebuild areas which have been devastated.

Miyagi after the earthquake and tsunami

Of course, for other people it will be time for a long holiday in either stunning parts of Japan or visiting Europe or other distant places.  Also, for other individuals it will be a time to relax with family and friends or to venture alone by yourself and go shopping, hiking, putting your feet up at home or whatever the individual desires.

Individuals will reflect on recent events differently and for the government of Japan and the economy; then it is essential that shoppers and tourists spend their money otherwise the recovery is going to be too slow and more people will suffer in the long term.

Therefore, Golden Week will be a stark reminder to reflect on current events in Japan but for others it will be breathing space from the stress of life.

One thing for sure is that this Golden Week will be a mixed bag and this applies to regional differences and how people respond to current events.

For people who have lost family members, friends, and had their homes destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami; then clearly this Golden Week in 2011 will be about sadness, getting down to rebuilding, and trying to overcome the many difficult obstacles that so many individuals face.

However, for others it will be about drinking a beer and watching sport or buying exquisite clothes in trendy areas. 

People are complex and you have no true mechanism on how to respond to tragic events but in the back of the mind will remain the ongoing crisis in northeastern Japan.

http://moderntokyotimes.com (please visit)

 
 
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Posted by on April 28, 2011 in Japan

 

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