Shinobazu Pond - Tokyo Tourist Guide
Benten-do is in the center of the manmade lake. The former marshland is now three ponds. The largest of these is Shinobazu-no-ike, which is on your left as you cross the causeway to the temple. Shinobazu-no-ike is at its most beautiful in the late summer, when it is covered in lotus flowers.
The water plants provide a safe year round environment for birdlife, including up to 10,000 ducks and cormorants during the winter.
In the Spring and in the Fall when temperatures are less harsh on the pond other creatures come out in droves to peddle the waters of the Boto-no-ike, the boat pond. Humans can rent peddle boats for about 30 minutes to the rate of Yen 300.
The third pond is called Suijoudoubutsu-no-ike - and is part of the Ueno Zoo. This is on your right as you cross the causeway to Benten-do temple, and as with Shinobazu-no-ike it is filled with lotuses and other waterplants.
Shinobazu no Ike can be enjoyed at any time of year. Probably the best way to enjoy the area is to take in a walk covering the approach from Ueno Park to the Benten-do, then walk along the path separating Shinobazu-no-ike and Boto-no-ike walking towards the Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens. If you don't have time to visit the gardens (about 200 meters from the edge of the park), turn left and continue to follow the path around the Shinobazu-no-ike until you reach the Shitamachi Museum. From there, you can either return to Ueno Park or in a short walk reach the Ameyoko arcade shopping areas south of JR Ueno station (Yamanote line).
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