On wednesday we decided to head up to northern Tokyo to wander around the old district called Yanaka. It was a beautifully sunny day and perfect for strolling and soaking up the atmosphere.
We went to Nippori first, so that I could show mum the wonders of the fabric shops there. We passed the famous noodle restaurant en route, where we watched the chef making the noodles. After purchasing some fabrics, we headed through the cemetery at Yanaka and on to the small lanes where we came across shrines and temples on nearly every street corner, as well as small shops and restaurants selling interesting items.
We found a sweet little cafe where we had warming ramen and curry for lunch.
After a quick stop at the beautiful paper shop called Isetatsu, we wandered on to the Teramachi Art museum, a tiny gallery housing a wonderful selection of privately owned woodblock prints. The man who ran it was the grandson of the original collector and very friendly - he even gave us each a cup of green tea and a caramel, which we consumed siting on little stools in the gallery whist talking to him.
We then headed on to Ueno park where the blossom had started to appear. There were many people out and about, soaking up the atmosphere and capturing the blossom on film. We dipped into the Tokyo National Museum, where we saw Japanese swords, screens, clothing and statues. We also sampled the beautiful garden behind the museum, which looked stunning in the afternoon light, with the blossom trees reflected in the pond. It was then time to drag our weary feet home for a well-deserved glass of cold sake.