Thursday, July 17, 2003

Ueno Park


JAMES says:

If Ueno Park was a newspaper, it would be the News of the World. Not because it’s full of rabid white wing idiots (it might’ve been, I just don’t know), but because it contains lots of cheerful bits but none of what you’d actually expect to be there, eg news in my tortuous metaphor, grass in Ueno. It houses a bumper roster of attractions. There is the national museum, the art gallery, the science museum, other museums, and a zoo. There are also assorted old buildings and shrines, including the civic shrine of Tokyo. It is a fantastic place to go, and if you’re in Tokyo, I would recommend setting aside at least a day there. There is even a fantastic reedy duck pond surrounding the Benten shrine. There are the full public space requirement of groups of damn punk kids looking surly and men making arses of themselves for lose change, and the arrangement is such that you never know what new surprise is going to be around the corner. A giant Buddha face, a pagoda, crazy homeless Japanese people drinking. But that’s the point, though. It’s a park! Parks don’t have corners around which mystery and adventure await you. Parks have big stretches of grass where people have picnics and play football. I think Ueno could be greatly improved by calling it ‘Ueno Site of Fun!’ Or even better, ‘the James Cameron Site of Fun!’ I don’t know, maybe it’s a problem with the translation.


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