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Shinobazu Pond

Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park, Tokyo

Author: Andrew Ferlitsch

Nestled in the southern region of Ueno Park, Tokyo, Shinobazu Pond is a must-visit attraction for any traveler exploring the city. The pond is partitioned into three distinct sections, each offering a unique experience.

The Lotus Pond

The Lotus Pond, a sight to behold during the summer, is almost entirely blanketed by the Lotus plant. This aquatic perennial, native to tropical regions of Asia and Australia, is deeply respected in various cultures due to its symbolic importance.

The Lotus plant is characterized by its large, round leaves that float on the water’s surface. These leaves, which can span up to 60 cm in diameter, possess a waxy coating that repels water. This causes water droplets to form beads and roll off, a phenomenon referred to as the “lotus effect”.

The plant’s roots are firmly anchored in the mud at the bottom of the water body, while the leaves and flowers float on the surface. This unique growth pattern, coupled with the plant’s ability to flourish in murky, stagnant water, has led to the Lotus being perceived as a symbol of purity and resilience across many cultures.

The Boat Pond, home to a variety of ducks and whimsical duck-shaped boats available for rent, offers a fun and interactive experience.

The Cormorant Pond, which shares its space with Ueno Zoo, is inhabited by the Cormorant bird.

At the heart of it all lies Benten Island, where the Benten-dō temple stands in dedication to the goddess Benzaiten. This temple adds a spiritual dimension to the scenic beauty of Shinobazu Pond. Shinobazu Pond is not just a sightseeing spot, but a place where nature, culture, and spirituality intertwine, offering visitors a rich and diverse experience.

The Lotus Flower

The Lotus plant’s blossoms are undeniably its most captivating feature. These large, aromatic flowers exhibit a spectrum of hues from pristine white to various shades of pink. The blooming season extends from spring through autumn, with each flower unfurling its petals in the morning and folding them back as the afternoon wanes. Each blossom maintains its allure for approximately three days before it gracefully descends beneath the water’s surface.

In addition to its stunning flowers, the Lotus plant is also recognized for its unique fruit, often termed as a “lotus seed head” due to its distinctive, spherical arrangement of seeds within a cone-like structure. These seeds are not only edible but are also a staple in various Asian cuisines.

The Ueno District Skyline

Situated in the Ueno District, Shinobazu Pond is a mere 5 kilometers away from the bustling heart of downtown Tokyo. From the tranquil waters of the pond, one can enjoy a panoramic view

The Aquatic Fish

Shinobazu Pond serves as a thriving habitat for a diverse array of fish species, such as carp, goldfish, catfish, and notably, Koi. The Koi, with their vivid hues and graceful swimming patterns, are the most emblematic residents of the pond. Often spotted gliding near the water’s surface, these vibrant creatures are a major draw for visitors, adding a splash of color and life to the serene pond setting.

The Japanese Cormorant Bird

Within the confines of Ueno Zoo lies Cormorant Pond, home to the exquisite Japanese Cormorant. Accustomed to human presence, these birds are often unphased by visitors, and it wouldn’t be surprising to find them striking a pose for your camera.

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