Visitor Information & Insider's Travel Tips

Ueno

Ueno Sightseeing Guide

Full blooming cherry blossoms (sakura) and Ueno Zoo.

Ueno - A Collection of Arts, Culture, Zoo & Cherry Blossoms

 

Descriptions of Ueno

Ueno is a famous place for its collection of culture and arts such as museums, zoo, temples & shrines, and cherry blossoms.

 

After burnt in the battle between the samurais and the new government in 1868, Ueno Park was registered as Japan’s first park by the government.
Ueno Park is very large and comfortable with a fountain and benches. Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo University of the Arts and other concert halls and museums gather in the park, which was originally a part of Kan-ei-ji Temple.

 

Ueno Zoo is the first zoo in Japan. It has been exchanging animals with foreign zoos for over 100 years. Today’s center of attraction is giant pandas from China who have been living there since 2011.
In late March and early April, 1200 cherry blossom trees like pale pink fog attract many people. Ueno Park is one of the most popular cherry blossom spots in Tokyo.

Ueno Park's cherry blossom (sakura) street.

Direct Guide to Ueno

From Tokyo Station

Take JR Keihin-Tohoku Line (via Omiya, Minami-Urawa) or JR Yamanote Line (via Ueno, Ikebukuro) to Ueno.
(around 5 minutes, \150) Keihin-Tohoku Line is convenient in the daytime because it is rapid.

 

From Shinjuku Station

Take JR Yamanote Line (via Ikebukuro, Ueno) to Ueno.
(around 25 minutes, \190)

 

From Shinagawa Station

Take JR Keihin-tohoku Line (via Omiya, Minami-Urawa) or JR Yamanote Line (via Ueno, Ikebukuro) to Ueno.
(around 15 minutes, \190) Keihin-Tohoku Line is convenient in the daytime because it is rapid.

 

From Shibuya Station

Take Ginza Subway Line (via Asakusa) to Ueno.
(around 25 minutes, \190)
Or, take JR Yamanote Line (via Shinagawa, Tokyo) to Ueno.
(around 30 minutes, \190) If you want outside views from the train window, choose this.

 

Travel Freely like a Local!

Check out The Easiest JR Train Maps & Subway Maps

 

link to the easiest JR train maps in Tokyo, Japan

 

link to the easiest subway maps in Tokyo, Japan

 

Get a Google Map of Ueno

https://goo.gl/maps/LV13e


Things to Do & See in Ueno

National Western Art Museum with world's masterpieces.

Going out from Park Exit of Ueno Station, the nearest museum is the National Museum of Western Art, where paintings of Vermeer, Monet, Gogh, Picasso, etc. stop during their world tour.

Their permanent collection made up mainly by a Japanese sponsor 100 years ago is also attractive. You will meet Corot, Gogh and other masterpiece painters.
In 2016, the building became a World Heritage Site as one of the 17 Works of Le Corbusier, a famous French architect, existing in 7 countries.

The National Museum of Western Art
430 yen for Adult for the Permanent Collection
9:30 - 17:00 (20:00 on Friday)
Closed on Monday (if Monday is a public holiday, open on Monday and closed on Tuesday), 28 Dec - 1 Jan
Official Website: http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/

 

Rodin's sculpture outside Western Art Museum.

Outside of this museum, there are Auguste Rodin’s sculptures for Free.

“Le Penseur (The Thinker)” and “La Porte de l'enfer (The Gates of Hell)” are world-famous.

Ueno Park's cherry blossom (sakura) street.

Cherry blossoms (sakura) spread out from late March to early April!
Ueno Park is one of the most beautiful sakura spots in Tokyo. It has been very popular among locals for a long time and a lot of international tourists visit here today.
The street is surrounded by more than 1000 cherry trees. It is like walking through an arch of cherry blossoms.

Ueno Park's cherry blossom (sakura) street.

 

Ueno Park's cherry blossom (sakura) street.

Tip: Turn right to Benzaiten Hall, the temple's house on Shinobazu Pond, and Rental Boat Center.
The path is amazingly beautiful, so when you visit Ueno Park for cherry blossoms, never miss it!

 

 

 

Please see Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival) Ueno, Japan - Why You Shouldn't Miss Shinobazu Pond!

Ueno Park's cherry blossom (sakura) street.

 

Museum of Science.

You can see cool dinosaur fossils in National Museum of Nature and Science. A very big whale sculpture and an old black train are its landmarks.

 

National Museum of Nature and Science
620 yen for Adult
Open 9:00 - 17:00
Closed on Monday (if Monday is a public holiday, open on Monday and closed on Tuesday), 28 Dec - 1 Jan
Official Website: http://www.kahaku.go.jp/

 

Tokyo National Museum with Asian and Japanese arts

Tokyo National Museum has a large collection of Asian and Japanese arts.

 

Dogu, Japanese clay figurine.

Old Japanese paintings at Tokyo National Museum.

 

 

You can meet Dogus (Japanese sculptures made of clay 3000 - 6000 years ago) in its permanent exhibition.
There are also Japanese potteries, genuine swords, Buddhist sculptures and Ainu & Okinawan arts. If you hope to explore old and important arts, Tokyo National Museum is a right place.

Tokyo National Museum
620 yen for Adult
Open 9:30 - 17:00
Closed on Monday (if Monday is a public holiday, open on Monday and closed on Tuesday), 28 Dec - 1 Jan
Official Website: http://www.tnm.jp/?lang=en
Blog Post: The Best Things at Tokyo National Museum

Winter Peony Garden in Ueno Toshogu Shrine.

Spring Peony Garden in Ueno Toshogu Shrine.
There is a cozy shrine named Ueno Toshogu in Ueno Park.
It has a beautiful peony garden open in winter and spring. Peony flowers are displayed with straw snow fences in winter and with Japanese sunshades in spring.
The small but golden building of the shrine cannot be missed, either.

Ueno Toshogu Shrine.

Ueno Toshogu Shrine
Winter Peony Garden:
Official Website: http://www.uenotoshogu.com/

 

Ri Ri and Shin Shin the giant pandas are now the symbol of Ueno.

Giant Pandas are the most popular in Ueno Zoo. You will see them soon after you enter the main gate. Even if they are sleeping, it's too early for you to give up to see them moving. Go to see other animals for a while and they wake up for meals. They love to eat.
Ri Ri and Shin Shin the giant pandas are now the symbol of Ueno. Ri Ri and Shin Shin the giant pandas are now the symbol of Ueno.

 

A tiger in Ueno Zoo.

There are elephants, lions, tigers, gorillas, shoebills (very strange birds) and other animals living in Ueno Zoo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Japanese crane in Ueno Zoo.

Part of Shinobazu Pond is part of Ueno Zoo. Swans, cranes, geese etc, inhabit in the large beautiful pond. It is originated from Temple’s garden, so the temple hall is seen beyond the zoo.

Ueno Zoo
600 yen for Adult
Open 9:30 - 17:00
Closed on Monday (if Monday is a public holiday, open on Monday and closed on Tuesday), 29 Dec - 1 Jan
Official Website: https://www.tokyo-zoo.net/zoo/ueno/

 

Just one day is too short to visit all of these museums, so I advise you to choose your interests.
More animals, arts and topics are on the blog.

See blog posts about Ueno.

 

Have a good trip!

Ueno Event Calender

Date Event Place Details
January - February Winter Peony Garden Toshogu Shrine Peonies with straw snow fences are displayed in the Japanese garden.
Late March - Early April Ueno Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Festival Ueno Park Cherry blossoms of 1200 trees bloom. Cherry Blossom Lighting at night, Traditional Music Stage and Antique Market are held.
Middle April - Middle May Spring Peony Garden Toshogu Shrine Peonies bloom in the Japanese garden.
6, 7, 8 of July Iriya Morning Glory Market Iriya Kishimojin Temple Flowerpots of morning glories (Asagao) are sold.
Middle July - Middle August Ueno Summer Festival Ueno Park around Shinobazu Pond Lanterns on the pond at night, parades of local groups Antique Market and other events are held.
4 days in Middle October Ueno Pottery Market Ueno Park Traditional Japanese pottery are sold. You also enjoy foods.
31th December (0:00 of New Year) Watch-Night Bell Kan-ei-ji Temple The bell rings 108 times for New Year.

Accommodation in Ueno

Ueno is a great place to stay though there are not so many hotels, because you can get an easy access to Narita Airport by Keisei Skyliner and to anywhere in Tokyo by Ginza Subway Line and JR Yamanote Line. Just 3 stations to Asakusa, another tourist attraction in Tokyo, on Ginza Subway Line.

 

Search Hotels in Ueno

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A List of 4-Star Hotels in Ueno
Business Hotels

In Ueno, there are many hotels whose prices are around 5,500 - 9,000 yen. These so-called business hotels will be confortable enough to stay though they are not so luxury.

 

For Backpackers

A youth hostel, whose building was a Business Hotel and renovated, opened in 2013. From Narita Airport, you will have a great access by Keisei Skyliner.
In Japan, there are not many big youth hostels named Youth Hostel. This youth hostel often gets full, so book as soon as possible!

What is a capsule-hotel?

 

When searching cheap hotels in Ueno, you find some "capsule-hotels". See how it is like before you book it on Accommodation Advice For Backpackers

 

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