I have not yet concluded my last walking – started from Nezu and arrived at Ueno Park. The last stretch of the walk is around Ueno Park area. There are some interesting architecture. Due to its long history and culture of the area, there are many traditional houses. And after Edo Government of Shogun finished and the modern Meiji Government started, Ueno area became one of the hot spots where western culture was introduced. Thus, you can find once-modern buildings.
Ueda Residence (Former Shinobu Ryokan (Japanese Inn))
This retro-looking building was once regarded as ultra modern for most of the Japanese people. It was built in 1929 as a Japanese inn. Since the western-style architecture was still rare at that time, it was said that they received lots of inspection tours.
It looks like a stone-built house but actually it is wooden and mortar was played on the wall so that it looks like stones. The pillars are said to be Ionian style. The details of the building was elaborated. You can see in detail in this website.
When I visited there, it seemed it was closed. It did not look like it was open to public. But I am sure the interior must be also worth looking with lots of retrospective furniture.
Address: 3-19 Ikenohata 3-chome, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Ougai Mori’s Residence
Ougai Mori is a Japanese author of late 19th and early 20th century. I found a description about him in wikipedia. He used to live in Ikenohata and that residence is now preserved in Suigetsu Hotel. It is a typical Japanese residence – typical not only for its traditional style but also for its mixture with the modern westernised style. Many Japanese architecture in this era has a harmonised combination between traditional Japan and modern western culture.
The dining room and the study room can be rented for special events with foods and drinks. The sofa, tables, chairs and lamps in these rooms have atmosphere of Meiji era, the late 19th century. It was the time in Japan when people started to learn western culture.
Since this is a part of the hotel, you can stay here. There is a hot spring as well. They have a restaurant, too.
Address: 3-21 Ikenohata 3-chome, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Old & Modern Shopping District – Ameyoko
The last stretch of my walking starting from Nezu was Ameyoko Market. The official name of this market is “Ameya Yokocho” which means the street which sells candies, though it’s not a candy market. It locates between two JR stations of Ueno and Okachimachi, and the origin was a flee market right after the WWII. They had everything from daily goods to foods and perhaps candies and other sweets as well. Today, Ameya Yokocho or Ameyoko in short is famous for foods, fresh fish in particular. At the end of the year, many people go to Ameyoko to by fish and vegetables in order to prepare New Year dishes. There are many food-stall like small eateries, too but this is something new, I think. When I was a kid, Ameyoko was not a place to eat, but a place to buy groceries and perhaps sports wears.