April 29, 2008 - Around The World, Day 4 - Tokyo

We head to Ueno Park, a large urban park with a lake, zoo, shrine, etc.

Funky heron hanging out in the water.

In the middle of the lake is an island with a shrine.
Most shrines have a place to ceremonially cleanse your hands (left) and an incence urn in front (center).

Inside the shrine.

(The back of the same shrine.)

Cool paddle boats!
Some look like a swan swalled a Volkswagen.

Part of this park is a large zoo.
I love okapi. They're some of my favorites, but they live in Kenya and Tanzania, so we won't see them in the wild on this trip.

Hippos, on the other hand, we may see...

White pelicans!
Dad loves watchcing these in the finger lake behind his house every February. I'd never been there to see them in Ft. Myers, but at least I finally got to see them somewhere...

So, on the streets, many signs are in English. In some areas, this is as good as it gets - a picture and some gibberish.

Comorants dry their wings as a different heron goes fishing.

Jill shows off her Gatorade. We loved finally finding an American sports drink so we could have something other than water - but this turned out to be pineapple or pear flavored or something odd...

They love their flowers in Japan... No idea what this is...

...but there are lots of 'em!

Scarlet ibises. Never seen them in the wild, either, but I love them!

Hawk Hogan and sidekick.

Hopefully we'll see more of these in Africa!

All we showed you, plus more hippos, nocturne house, reptile house, and more were on this side of the park. You have to take a suspended monorail to the other side of the park, across the river.

Sun bears!

They just have architecture like this all over.

This is a little more rare - a five story pagoda.

The kites are out because this is a holiday week. In a few days is Children's Day, which is a slight misnomer. It is really boy's day. Girls have a different day. Carp wind socks are flown outside households that have boys.
(I call them 'wind socks.' They argue with them if you call them 'kites,' but they don't really know what to call them in English.)

Original itinerary:
4/29/2008 - Tokyo