Our last day in Tokyo...was to be a busy day. With our flight not until 1am we left the hotel about 11am and headed out to do some last minute shopping and sight-seeing.
We went to Ueno, north of our hotel to visit the Tokyo National Museum which houses an amazing collection of over 110,000 art works and antiquities from Japan and other Asian countries.
Here's the outside of the main museum building and the mascots of the museum, to encourage kids to visit and learn.
The gardens of the museum house a number of old tea houses.
Here are some of my favourite objects.
This lobster is over 300 years old and is made of metal. It is also articulated. Amazing.
This beautiful drawing of a teapot is also over 300 years old.
The samurai armour was amazing.
The textiles, mostly kimonos were stunningly beautiful, hand embroidered masterpieces.
This is one of several Haniwa sculptures in the collection. Haniwa are terracotta figures which were produced from the early Kofun period to decorate tombs. During the 5th century, sculptures of people and animals started to appear.
This is a contemporary netsuke. Netsuke are miniature sculptures that were invented in Japan in the 17th century. At that time Japanese robes did not have any pockets and the wearers needed somewhere to store their belongings. They used to hang containers called sagemono from their robes, attaching them with a cord. The objects were attached to the wearer's sash by a carved, button like toggle...these are the netsuke.
They were made famous in the west in recent years by the book The Hare with the Amber Eyes.
The museum houses a collection that was donated by Princess Takamado which she collected with her husband Prince Takamado. The collection consists of many contemporary netsuke which are displayed in the museum in the Prince Takamado Collection Room. I loved this one of a fish egg sushi and the fish swimming up the river to spawn.
This stunning hairpiece looked so delicate.
After the museum we wandered around Ueno Park, one of the first public parks in Japan, founded in 1873.
We loved this manhole cover, decorated with cherry blossom...why can't we decorate our manhole covers so beautifully?
Shrines, temples and mausoleums also dot the park.
The swan boats that you can pedal round the lake...
One part of the lake is full of lotus and it was amazing to see the lotus seed heads..
We finally had to admit that our trip was over and headed to the airport. Haneda Airport has to be one of the most amazing airports I have ever visited. It used to the domestic airport for Tokyo-Japan but a new terminal dedicated to international travel opened in 2010, allowing long-haul flights to use the airport at night (hence our 1am flight).
Terminal 3, the international terminal has many areas including a shopping/restaurant area that resembles an old Edo period street, the Nihombashi Bridge, a torii gate....
There was also a modern shopping area - Tokyo Pop and the Cool Zone - kawaii goods, Japanese design and the chance to play on the largest scaletrix track I have ever seen.
You can still go outside at Haneda Airport to the viewing platform and watch the planes coming and going....the telescopes allowing you a view over the Tokyo Skyline...
Or you can view from the inside too!