My 2016 Japan travelogue so far:
Osaka Day 1: Ana Crowne Plaza & Sennichimae Doguyasuji
Osaka Day 2: Osaka Station, Kuromon Market & Dotonbori
Nara Day 3: Todai-ji, Cheeky Deer & Fall Foliage
Osaka + Kyoto Day 4: Nishiki Market & Len Kyoto Kawaramachi
Kyoto Day 5: Kiyomizu-dera, Sannen-zaka & Ninen-zaka (Part 1)
Kyoto Day 5: Kōdai-ji (Part 2)
Kyoto Day 6: Autumn At Beautiful Arashiyama & Kyoto Station
Kyoto Day 7: Fushimi Inari Taisha & Yasaka Shrine
Kyoto & Mishima Day 8: Shinkansen & Beautiful Mishima (Part 1)
Fujikawaguchiko Day 8: Kagelow & Kawaguchiko (Part 2)
Fujikawaguchiko & Tokyo Day 9: Mount Fuji Views, Kawaguchiko Natural Living Center & Oishi Park
Tokyo & Urayasu Day 10: Tokyo DisneySea
Tokyo Day 11: Nui. Hostel, Ameyoko & Takeya
Since arriving in Tokyo on day 9, we haven’t had any koyo experience in this metropolis yet. Day 12 (today) and day 13 are going to be koyo-ful days.
We departed from our hostel around 9am+ and took the Oedo line to Hongosanchome Station. Then we walked to University of Tokyo 東京大学 (Tokyo Daigaku). In short form, it’s called Todai. Now, why would anyone visit Todai? Well, because this university is famous for its ginkgo trees. And yes, anyone can visit this university. No guard will stop you. Don’t worry.
Right inside the main gate is a place that I’ve been dreaming of visiting. This:
How can it be so stunning? Golden yellow leaves contrasted with dark brown branches and trunks. And because it was morning when we visited Todai, the ginkgo trees were glowing. It feels like seeing money-can’t-buy-gold on trees. Thank you nature!
Most of the buildings in Todai are very old. I love the architecture here and the vibes they bring out. It’s like strolling in ancient time!
This is the 2nd reason why I wanted to visit University of Tokyo. It’s to see this reunion statue of Dr Hidesaburo Ueno and Hachiko 上野英三郎博士とハチ公の像, located on the left of Nou-Seimon. I’m sure most of us have heard about the statue of Hachiko at Shibuya Station waiting for his master. This new statue of Dr Hidesaburo Ueno (his master) reuniting with Hachiko was erected in 2015 on the 80th death anniversary of Hachiko. And you must be wondering why here? Why in Todai? Why near this gate? Dr Hidesaburo Ueno was a professor of Tokyo Imperial University (the old name for University of Tokyo), specializing in the field of agricultural. In Todai, the area near Nou-Seimon is the faculty of agricultural. FYI, the faculty of agricultural was not located in Hongo campus during that time. It was at Komaba campus.
Looking for lunch nearby, we settled for Hotto Motto, a take out bento shop located opposite of Todai. Click the link to read more about our bentos. So where do we eat our takeaway lunch box? We decided to go back to Todai.
We had our lunch near that gigantic tree resembling the Party Tree near Yasuda Auditorium. It was one of the best lunch of 2016. Seriously, you gotta try an outdoor lunch in Todai! After lunch, we went searching for toilet in the university ground. Haha
Finally at 1.46pm, we bade goodbye to Todai. I know I will be back again.
We then visited Kappabashi Street かっぱ橋道具街 (Kappabashi Dōgugai). It’s a street lined with shops selling everything that has to do with restaurant, cooking and baking. Compared to Sennichimae Doguyasuji 道具屋筋商店街 at Osaka which I visited on day 1, Kappabashi is way way larger. So large that I gave up at less than half way point because most are selling repeated stuff. Plus I was kinda tired due to our visit at Todai earlier. I think we spent a good 2 hours at Kappabashi.
Then we walked to Senso-ji (a famous Buddhist temple in Asakusa). It was quite a long walk, more than 30 minutes if I’m correct. By then, the sky has turned dark.
For dinner, we ate BBQ pork burger at McDonald’s, also at Shin-Nakamise Shopping Street. The quality, well… let’s just say not up to what I thought it would be (Japan standard). À la carte cost 200 yen while the regular set is 500 yen.
Then we walked back to hostel with a quick stop at the nearby 7-11 to get our breakfast for tomorrow.
That’s all for day 12. Stay tuned for more koyo photos on day 13.