Explore Ueno with Ueno Joshi! A Day Tour with an Unforgettable Group of Girls

Tokyo Tour Ueno 2019.09.04
With the crowdfunding campaign underway, we took a special Ueno Joshi guided tour around Ueno! Take a look at some of things you could get up to with them!
What is Ueno Joshi?
Ueno Joshi is a tour group that looks to give tourist in Japan an amazing customized experience that not only looks at the places you want to go to but also the people you meet! With their main idea being the idea to try make your memory of Japan more of the people you encounter rather than just the places, they are focused on giving the best tour guide service possible.
Each premium tour lasts about 3-4 hours and will give you a deeper understanding of the local people, places, and things!

When it comes to Ueno, many people think of Ueno Park or Ame Yoko-cho but there is much more to Ueno! This is what we experienced in Ueno thanks to Ueno Joshi! 
Let's Go!

①Tour Explanation at cafe in front of the Western Art Museum, a World Heritage Site
②A look at Kanei Temple where the Tokugawa Family from the Edo period are enshrined
③A brilliant experience at an antique store, choosing from 15 bowls and taking part in a real tea ceremony 
④Looking around a renovated old manor house
⑤Experiencing a former liquor store called Yoshidaya 
⑥Finishing the tour at Seiyoken, and getting to know each other more!
Tour Explanation at cafe in front of the Western Art Museum, a World Heritage Site
After arriving at JR Ueno Station Park Entrance we headed to the cafe.
When we got there our guide was there to greet us wearing a kimono.
After introducing ourselves to each other in the cafe, we took a look at our itinerary and then we set off!
②A look at Kanei Temple where the Tokugawa Family from the Edo period are enshrined
The first stop was Kanei Temple, where the Tokugawa family is enshrined! We never realised that this temple was found in Ueno! We had a great explanation from our guides and we got to visit the temple itself. 
③A brilliant experience at an antique store, choosing from 15 bowls and taking part in a real tea ceremony
Our big experience for the day was here! We came to an antique store, and was able to choose a special tea bowl out of 15 that changes monthly! Then we got to participate in a real tea ceremony! 

The family that runs this antique shop/ tea shop introduces people to the traditional tea ceremony, but instead of sitting on a tatami mat on the floor, you get to sit comfortably in a chair and relax while enjoying the tea!
④Looking around a renovated old manor house
After taking part in that amazing tea ceremony experience, we headed to Ueno Sakuragi, home to a collection of old but now revenovated homes! 
This beautiful area was rebuilt in 1939 and was transformed into a beer hall and common working space! We were able to look at the building and taste the beer that was available there!
⑤Experiencing a former liquor store called Yoshidaya
After our small rest, we visited the site of an old liquor store called Yoshidaya. 
Now it is a museum of old customs and ways of life that's found on near the Shinobazu lake in Ueno. 
We met with the extremely knowledgeable curator of the restaurant, who was able to explain a lot about this old culture! We also got to see a lot of items used in the creation of making alcohol! 
⑥Finishing the tour at Seiyoken, and getting to know each other more!
We finished our amazing day off at an old fashioned restaurant in Ueno, where it's famous for it's special sauce that they have! 

The area is like a large dining hall, and extremely hard to get a reservation there. 
With it overlooking Ueno, it makes an impressive place to eat while talking and checking out the view! 
It was the perfect place to end our little outing! 
Each guide that belongs to Ueno Joshi have their own area of expertise, be it culture, architecture, food, even dance! With this, whether it be you want to speak to a master of traditional Japanese dance, or a guide with large amount of knowledge of Japanese and Western architecture or a guide that is a kimono model, there is a vast amount of knowledge between the guides!

At the end of the tour, we felt rather refreshed even after 4 hours, with a reinvigorated love for Ueno! We heard that a couple from Ehime of ages of 75 and 69 took the same course and they still had energy to go for more after! 

What we felt at the end though, was that even we went to a multitude of different places, it wasn't those that stuck in our mind, but the girls that took us around. The chance to get to know these Japanese people and have a whole new outlook on the area was a great take-away and much better than just focusing on the places and food and things we tried. 
 
Crowdfunding for 2020! Making a tour aimed at giving visitors the best experience possible!
So are you interested in Ueno Joshi and the unique tour that they offer? If you are you can join via Japankuru Funding, where if you back the project at certain levels you can try out the tour, as well join in with the creation of a special community that will give you access to travel help from the guides up until next year for Tokyo! 
You can find out more on the project page: 
https://en.japankurufunding.com/projects/ueno-joshi/
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