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Current Address
Taito-ku, Uenokoen / Ikenohata
A pond located in the southwest of present day Ueno Park. It was once an inlet to Tokyo Bay, however it is said that it became a pond when the inlet receded sometime during the Heian Period. When the Kan'ei-ji Temple was constructed, the temple's sango (honorific mountain name prefixed to a temple's name) was named Toeizan modeled on Mt. Hie, and this pond was likened to Lake Biwa and Nakajima Island was constructed in imitation of Chikubujima Island in Lake Biwa, and Bentendo was established. There are many theories on the name, including one that the name comes from Shinobugaoka and another that small bamboo called shino grew around the area in a circle, and so it was called "shinowazu" (circle of small bamboo) which was altered to become the name. It is a particularly beautiful sight in the summer and was called "Shoseiko" (little Saiko Lake) by writers. It is a famous spot for lotus and hasumesi (the soft portions of lotus leaves cut fine, rubbed with salt and served mixed in with rice) was served at the teahouse here.