Shinobazu Pond (不忍池, Shinobazu no Ike) is on the west side of Ueno Park (上野公園). Ueno is located on the border of lower class district and upper class district in Tokyo. The west side of Ueno park is a highly educational area, which includes such prestigious places as Tokyo University. But you can see many shabby homeless people and day laborers on the east side of Ueno Park.
There are cherry trees around the pond and many tourists visit to see the cherry blossoms. You can see street stalls selling yaki-soba (やきそば, fried noodles) or wata-ame (わたあめ, cotton candy) in the front approach to the temple.
Benten-do (弁天堂) is a temple located at the center of Shinobazu Pond and was built in 1625.
In Benten-jima (the island where Benten-do is located), there are many unique stone monuments. In addition in this photo of the Monument of Glasses, there are stone monuments of blow-fish, knives, calendars, birds, fish and Chinese soft-shelled turtles.
The pond is covered with closely packed lotus leaves in the summer.
Lotus seeds, after falling out of the flowers, are very grotesque. Grotesque collage images of lotus seeds and human skin called “hasukora” (蓮コラ) are floating around on the internet in Japan as mind fucks. Don’t search a term of “蓮コラ”.
The meaning of Shinobazu Pond is said to be that it was a place for secret tryst for lovers. There were places for couples called “deai chaya” (出会い茶屋, tea rooms for meeting) in Shinobazu Pond in the 17th century. These were the prototype of “tsurekomi ryokans” (連れ込み旅館, love hotels).
History has been repeated and the roles of towns continue beyond generations. Even now, in Shinobazu Pond, there are intimate dialogues between men and women. Not only cats but also young lovers and hookers hang out around here.
Okura Theater screens adult movies and is famous as a gay cruising spot near Shinobazu Pond. The theater is a deai chaya (meeting spot) for men.
[How to go] a 5 minute walk from JR Ueno Station
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