Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Japan, Part 3: Ueno Park

11/11/15 A South American flute player
Similar to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and San Diego’s Balboa Park, Tokyo’s Ueno Park is practically a city within a city. Housing several museums, temples, shrines, a zoo and even a university campus, Ueno Park was at the top of our list of places to visit.

First of all, I found buskers! While I didn’t generally see musicians or other performers on Tokyo’s downtown sidewalks as I often do in Seattle, Ueno Park is obviously a popular place for buskers. I especially had fun making a series of gesture sketches of an acrobat who did various handstands and energetic dances.

When I wanted a more static subject, I chose a statue of Imperial Prince Komatsunomiya Akihito (1846 – 1903) mounted on his steed.

11/11/15 An accordion player
Finally toward the end of the day, we explored the National Museum of Nature and Science, an enormous collection of natural history exhibits with an amazingly low ticket price (around US $6). Greg noted that many of the exhibits in the museum’s older section didn’t have English interpretations, so it was sometimes hard to understand the exhibits. I stayed in the newer half of the museum, which seemed to have sufficient information in English, but who had time to read? I barely had time to sketch one dinosaur skeleton! We closed the place regretting that we hadn’t allowed more time for this fantastic museum – I could have spent an entire day sketching nothing but dinosaurs.

One reason both Greg and I enjoyed the day so much was that the spacious park gave moms with toddlers in strollers, buskers, workers on their lunch breaks and even sketchers and photographers plenty of space to play without feeling crowded. Although we weren’t feeling particularly oppressed by Tokyo’s crowds, I imagine that the city’s residents use Ueno Park as a much-needed respite from the daily crush of people. The park gave us a slice of Tokyo life away from the typical tourist attractions, and some of my most memorable sketching moments occurred there.

11/11/15 Here's a larger view of the accordion player and her audience (at left is
Greg taking her photo).
11/11/15 An acrobat/dancer performing in the park.

11/11/15 Statue of the Imperial Prince
11/11/15 I only had about 20 minutes to sketch this dinosaur!

1 comment:

  1. Love those sketches of the acrobatic poses!!! You shading on the dinosaur bones came out great!


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