Ueno, Tokyo, Japan

To experience the less stylish, less sophisticated - and perhaps more authentic - Tokyo, Ueno is just a short walk north from Akihabara. The absence of skyscrapers, huge department stores and hip trends creates an atmosphere of the old Japan, that can be found in this area.

North and west of Ueno, in areas such as Nippori and Hongo, you will find the shitamachi, old town, which is light years away from neon-fueled Ginza or Shinjuku. An important piece of Japan, a modern country with an ancient history.

Ueno Attractions

Ueno Park

Ueno Park, Tokyo Attractions, Japan

In the gigantic Ueno Park, located near Ueno Station, you can enjoy many attractions but also get a glimpse of the less glamorous life in Tokyo, as it is home to many of Tokyo's homeless people. If you happen to be in Tokyo during cherry (sakura) blossom season, come here to participate in the hanami celebrations. This annual tradition takes place in early April, when this park explodes in a pink and white miracle of blooming cherry trees.

Ueno Park is Tokyo's first public park and was opened in 1873. Ueno Park has rental boats, monuments, temples, and a zoo. The following attractions are all located within Ueno Park:

Saigo Takamori Statue, Ueno Park, Tokyo Attractions, Japan

Saigo Takamori Statue near the southern entrance of Ueno Park is a statue of the famous samurai Saigo Takamori walking his dog. Saigo Takamori led the Satsuma Rebellion against the Meiji government, which later was depicted in the 2003 film The Last Samurai.

Ueno Zoo with over 300 animals from around the world. The panda Ling Ling is the most popular. Entrance fee is 600 yen. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 9:30 to 16:30.

Shinobazu Pond a large pond with lotuses and other aquatic plants. Bentendo Hall Shrine, dedicated to goddess Benzaiten, stands on the artificial island in the center of the pond. Rowing and pedal boats are available for rent at around 600-700 yen.

Tokyo National Museum, Ueno Park, Tokyo Attractions, Japan

Tokyo National Museum established in 1872, this is the oldest and largest museum in Japan. The museum has a large collection of over 110,000 objects with focus on ancient Japanese art and Asian art along the Silk Road. There is also a large collection of Greco-Buddhist art. Admission is 600 yen for adults and free for children. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 9:30 to 17:00.

Other museums Shitamachi Museum, National Science Museum and National Museum of Western Art is also located here.

Toshogu Shrine, Ueno Park, Tokyo Attractions, Japan

Toshogu Shrine built in 1651 and dedicated to Ieyasu Tokugawa, who was responsible for making Tokyo the capital and most important city in Japan. The path to the shrine is lined with large stone lanterns donated by feudal lords. It is Ueno Park's most famous religious structure.

Kiyomizu Kannon-do Temple completed in 1631 as a miniature copy of the famous Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto and one of the few buildings left standing after the battle of 1868, this is one of the oldest temples in Tokyo. The temple houses the protectress of childbearing and child-raising, thereby attracting women hoping to become pregnant and those whose wishes have been fulfilled.

Ueno Shopping

Ameya-yokocho (Ameyoko)

Ameya-yokocho, Ueno Shopping, Tokyo, Japan

The Ameya-yokocho Market (short: Ameyoko), is a market street just off Ueno Park, between Ueno and Okachimachi Stations. This used to be a thriving flea market immediately after the end of the WWII, where American goods where sold on the black market. Now it's filled with loads of little shops selling everything from basic foodstuffs to high-class imported goods, all at reasonable prices, and as a result it is always crowded with shoppers.

Nearest Station: JR Ueno Station (Shinobazu Exit)
Telephone: +81 3-3832-5053
Website: http://www.ameyoko.net

Ueno Dining


Izuei, Ueno Restaurant, Tokyo, Japan

This Ueno restaurant, with a 260-year history dating back to the Edo Period, specializes in Unagi (grilled eel). Izuei also offers sushi and tempura as well as set meals. This multistoried restaurant is modern yet traditionally decorated with more than 200 seats. There's no English-language menu, but there is a display case outside, and the menu has some pictures.

Address: 2-12-22 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Ueno Station
Telephone: +81 3-3831-0954
Opening Hours: 11:00 to 22:00 daily


Yayoiken, Ueno Restaurant, Tokyo, Japan

Cheap and cheerful grills served on a hot teppan iron plate with all-you-can-eat rice. Colorful plastic models and a coupon machine with images make it easy to order when even if you don't speak Japanese. Morning sets from ¥ 350, full meals from ¥ 580.

Address: 3-37-9 Higashi-Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Ueno Station
Telephone: +81 3-5846-6175
Website: http://www.yayoiken.com (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: 07:00 to 23:00 daily


Torindo, Ueno Restaurant, Tokyo, Japan

Torindo is a gorgeous little tea shop located just a short walk from the Tokyo National Museum. The staff speaks only Japanese and the menu is entirely in Japanese, but to experience a tea ceremony without frills, this is an excellent choice. They also serve delectable Japanese desserts and selections of "gochika" - candied fruit and vegetables.

Address: 1-5-7 Ueno-sakuragi, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Nearest Station: Ueno Station
Telephone: +81 3-3828-9826
Website: http://www.tourindou100.jp (Japanese only)
Opening Hours: 09:00 to 17:00 daily