Things to do in Ueno

Ueno, the last stop of the Keisei Skyliner from Narita Airport. It is likely that many tourists come here first after arriving in Japan. Unlike the technology and skyscrapers in other parts of Tokyo, Ueno is famous for Ueno Park, a variety of museums, and the shopping street Ameyoko, where you can buy almost anything for a cheap price.

In this article, I will introduce some interesting things to do in the area.

Firstly, when you arrive at Ueno station (from the Keisei, subway or JR lines), you will see the statue of Saigō Takamori, one of the most influential samurai in Japanese history. It is possible that every single Japanese person knows of Saigō Takamori – that is how famous he is. This bronze statue is a famous landmark of Ueno.

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Next is the treasure trove of museums. In one of the numerous museums such as Ueno Royal Museum, National Museum of Western Art and Tokyo National Museum you can learn about Japanese culture and history, or if you have an interest about Western art, you can experience that too.

The exhibitions vary depending on the time you visit, but when I went to Ueno Royal Museum there was an Ukiyo-e woodblock art exhibit on display.

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Ueno Royal Museum

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Tokyo National Museum

Time guide: 2-3 hours

After satisfying your thirst for knowledge, how about seeing some cute pandas? Ueno Park is the only place you can see them in the Tokyo area. It is therapeutic to see the adorable pandas!

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Time guide: 2-3 hours

When you leave Ueno Park, on your left you can see Ueno Toshogu Shrine. It is a magnificent shrine made from gold, with highlights such as the five-storied tower.

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Time guide: 30 minutes

Next is Ueno Daibutsu. Daibutsu means “giant Buddha statue”, but this statue consists of only the Buddha’s face! After paying your respects, you could also write your wishes on an Ema plaque.

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Time guide: 20 minutes

Although Ueno Park might be a little lonely in winter, when spring comes the sakura reaches full bloom. You can also enjoy the beautiful leaves changing colour in autumn. In order to liven up the park in winter, there was a beautiful street lantern display. (From 5 to 9 pm, until February 29.)

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Hanazono Shrine, with a long line of red Torii gates. It is said that the gods of health and marriage live here.

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Time guide: 20 minutes

Ana Inari. This is a miniature shrine inside a cavern. It gives off a mysterious aura.

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Time guide: 20 minutes

Kiyomizu Kannon Temple. This is a temple for warding off evil and passing university entrance exams. If you have an important test coming up, how about visting Kiyomizu?

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Time guide: 20 minutes

A Benten hall built within Shinobazu Pond. The hall is ahead of the bridge.

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Time guide: 20 minutes

Shinobazu Pond, an oasis within the metropolis. Locals come here to relax too.

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Time guide: 20 minutes

After touching with nature, why not go shopping at Ameyoko? Some more information about Ameyoko can be found here.

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Time guide: 1 to 2 hours

A shrine that I accidentally found on a side street of Ameyoko. Maybe there are many people who often go to Ueno but don’t know it?

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And finally, once you’ve had your fill with Ueno, why not check out Asakusa? You can get there on one train, only 4 stops away.

All the places mentioned in this article are walking distance from each other. Here is a guide as to how long it takes to walk:

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Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy your time in Ueno!

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