We like to stay in UENO, where there are a lot of small but inexpensive, clean, quiet, and friendly family-run “Japanese-style motels” (tatami mats, futon bedding etc.).  Most are also located in Ueno’s neighborhoods, which offers a nice way to get a feel for what a neighborhood is like in Tokyo.

Just across the street from Ueno Station’s Shinobazu Exit is one of Tokyo’s largest parks, Ueno Park -- home to Tokyo National Museum, National Science Museum and an art museum, Ueno Zoo, the large Shinobazu Pond, and of course, temples.  It’s also one of the most popular cherry blossom-viewing parks in Tokyo (and where we saw our very first cherry blossoms on our first trip to Japan last spring.)

Sapporo Beer Co. was sponsoring a tour to promote travel and foods from Hokkadio; they were set up in Ueno Park on this gorgeous sunny day.

There are a lot of cats living outdoors in Japan.  At first we felt sorry for them, thinking they were homeless; however, it soon become obvious that they area quite happy, well-fed and cared for by everyone!

Ueno Park