Tokyo Travel Guide: Ueno

Ueno is a pretty neighborhood in downtown Tokyo that’s famous for the Ueno Park, a perfect spot to enjoy the cherry blossoms during the Sakura season.

Aside from Ueno Park, the neighborhood is also home to museums, shrines, and a few historical attractions. Located in the Taito ward of Tokyo, Ueno is considered a traditional downtown of Tokyo dating back to the Edo period. Thus, the area holds a historical significance that you can easily appreciate by simply walking along its beautiful streets.

What To See and Do

Cherry Blossom Festival at Ueno Park

Ueno will entertain you in many ways. Ueno Park is the area’s most popular attraction. Although it’s more famous for the cherry blossom trees, this sprawling park is also home to a few museums and the popular Ueno Zoo. It’s a great place to visit with the family, where you can spend a day exploring its various attractions.

Panda in Ueno Zoo

If you want to learn more about Japanese arts, culture, and history, check out the various museums in the area. Among these are the Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Shitamachi Museum.

There are also a few historical attractions in the neighborhood that are truly worth a stop. At the Ueno Park, you’ll find the Hanazono Inari Shrine. This shrine is popular with visitors who wanted to improve their luck with love. You’ll also find the Bentendo Temple at Shinobazu Pond, which is also within the park.

Bentendo Temple, Ueno Park

Ueno is also a popular shopping destination in Tokyo. The shopping street of Ameyoko is often filled with crowds of shoppers during the weekends. It has a vibrant atmosphere surrounded with stalls selling everything, from cosmetics, accessories, clothing, and more!

Ameyoko Shopping Street

The Takeya is another popular shopping spot in Ueno that you should check out. This massive shopping mall comprises of 8 buildings selling a wide variety of Japanese goods.

Ueno Sakuragi Atari

For a more laidback atmosphere, check out the Ueno Sakuragi Atari. This is a more serene area in Ueno that’s lined with stylish cafes and shops. Most of these are built in traditional Japanese architecture and some dates back to the early 1930s.

Getting Around

Ueno Park

As you arrive in Ueno, the first place that will greet you is Ueno Park. This massive park is located right next to Ueno Station. Therefore, the best way to explore the neighborhood is to start at this park. The statue of Saigo Takamori will greet you at the southern entrance. He is one of the generals that took part in the Battle of Ueno.

Shinobazu Pond, Ueno Park

At the southwestern end of Ueno Park, you’ll find the Shinobazu Pond. There’s also an island in the middle of the pond where you’ll find the Bentendo temple. Before you leave the park, make sure you visit some of its museums. The Ueno Zoo is also worth a stop, which is considered as the first zoological garden of Japan.

Ueno Zoo

From Ueno Park, the shopping streets of Ueno are only a walking distance away. Ameyoko starts from Ueno Station to Okachimachi Station, along the tracks of the JR Keihin-Tohoku and JR Yamanote Line. As you get out of the park, look for the Ameyoko sign.

Ameyoko Sign

How to Reach Ueno

Taking the Tokyo Metro is the best way to reach Ueno. Take the train at the Ginza or Hibiya Line and get off at the Ueno Station. The Keisei Dentetsu Line will also stop at the Keisei Ueno Station. If you’re coming from Narita Airport, Ueno is only 20 min by train. From Haneda Airport, you’ll reach Ueno in less than an hour.

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