Top 13 Tourist Attractions & Best Things to Do in Ueno, Tokyo

Ueno has got a high popularity as a “downtown” in Tokyo. It attracts visitors not only from nationwide but also from overseas. It has a lot of sightseeing spots apart from the famous Ame-yoko (American Street) and the Ueno Zoo. When you visit Ueno, I’d like you not to miss the most popular spots. Are you already excited to learn about them?


1. Nomono Ueno Station Shop

1. Nomono Ueno Station Shop
photo by yuko2   /   embedded from Instagram

What an interesting name the shop has! It came from “Shun-no-mono”( products at the best season) , “Chi-no-mono” (a local product) and “En-no-mono”(a product for a good relationship).

Nomono” is a food shop which has collected delicious foods from all over Japan. You can see and buy famous sweets or local sake which are normally impossible to obtain unless you visit the places that produce them.

At a certain period, they change the district where they get the products from, so whenever you go there, you will find different products from different provinces. From whom did this wonderful idea come ?!

They have been dealing with not only sweets or processed foods but also the marche (market) which the producers take part in. You can talk and ask about the products directly to the producer!

The “Nomono café” where you can enjoy a light meal is also attached to it. The shop is situated on the Grand Concourse at the Ueno station, so you will never miss the opportunity to find it.

■Information
Name: Nomono Ueno station shop
Address: 1-1-7, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Access: just there from the Chuo exit at the Ueno station

2. The statue of Takamori Saigo

2. The statue of Takamori Saigo

Who is this strong looking Japanese man? Let’s find it out! Takamori Saigo was a samurai (warrior), a politician and a soldier who played an important role from the last days of the Tokugawa Shogunate to the Meiji-era(1853-1868).

It is a 3-minute-walk from the Ueno station and it has been close to the hearts of people as a symbol of Ueno since 100 years ago. In Tokyo, this statue is as famous and symbolic as the statue of Hachiko (a dog) in Shibuya. It is a statue which is associated with the Japanese history and you can’t miss it in your Ueno sightseeing.

The other 2 statues of Takamori Saigo are in the Kagoshima prefecture where he was from.
They look different from the one in Ueno. When you visit Ueno, taking a photo next to him with his dog will become a big memento of your trip!

■Information
Name: The statue of Takamori Saigo
Address: 1, Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Access: a 4-minute-walk from the Ueno station

3. National Museum of Western Art

3. National Museum of Western Art
photo by max_de_bethune   /   embedded from Instagram

Whether you are an art lover or not, you’ll be impressed by the arts, by the events and by the atmosphere of the Museum. This is the Art Museum which was appointed and registered in the world heritage by the UNESCO the 40th World Heritage Committee on the 17th July 2016.

On the Ueno sightseeing, it is a very popular spot to visit. This Museum is the only architecture in Japan which was left by the French architect, Le Corbsier. What a fantastic architect he was!

Inside the Museum, the western arts from the late Middle Ages to the early 20th Century have been exhibited as a permanent exhibition. Besides, for a limited time, the exhibition of various works of art collected from all over the world, the lectures by famous people and the talk sessions take place.

If you are interested in it, please check the date for your favorite event and put it in your schedule.

■Information
Name: National Museum of Western Art
Address: 7-7, Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 9:30 – 17:30
Admission fee: Adult 430yen / University student 130yen
Access: an 8-minute-walk from the Ueno station

4. Ueno Zoo

4. Ueno Zoo

You can see an innumerable number of animals there! I hope some of them are not sleeping inside the cage when you visit! The Ueno Zoo is situated in the Ueno Onshi Park.

It has been well managed since its opening in1882 and it is well-known as an historically famous zoo. The most popular animal is the Giant Panda, but how many animals do you think live in the zoo? There are 400 different species and 3,000 animals.

The admission fee is ¥600 which is reasonable. Not only children with their family but also young couples are excited to come and see them. You can’t leave Ueno without seeing Pandas. Do you want to know their names? They are Lili (female 135kg) and Shinshin(male 125kg)!

■Information
Name: Ueno Zoo
Address: 9-83, Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 9:30 – 17:00
Admission fee:
[Adult]: 600yen
[Junior high school student and under]: 200yen
[Over 65]: 300yen
Access: a 10-minute-walk from the Ueno station

5. Shinobazu-no-ike

5. Shinobazu-no-ike

It is a huge pond with a 2km circumference. It consists of 3 parts, such as a part of lotus flowers, a part where you can row a boat and a part where cormorants inhabit.

The Shinobazu-no-ike is a huge pond in the site of the Ueno Onshi Park. In the middle of the pond the Benten(goddess of arts and wisdom) Island has been enshrined to be a holy place.

Many lotus flowers cover the pond and the peak of their flowering is from July to August. They make such a wonderful sight! You can check the exact bloom situation by contacting the local government HP or SNS at any time.

It is located in the Ueno Onshi park, so you can just drop in on the way or way back to and from the Takamori Saigo’s statue and the Ueno Zoo. You’ll be seduced by the beauty of the lotus flowers.

■Information
Name: Shinobazu-no-ike
Address: Ueno park, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Access: a 15-minute-walk from the Ueno station

6. Hanazono Inari Shrine

6. Hanazono Inari Shrine

It is one of the most beautiful shrines in Tokyo. This Shrine is located on the Ueno Onshi Park site. Because of many red Torii (a gate that stands at the start of the front approach to a Shinto shrine) , it is very popular among visitors.

The lined up beautiful red Torii will strike your eyes! Speaking of Tori, the 1,000 Torii in the Fushimi Shrine in Kyoto is famous nationwide, but you can enjoy the Torii in Tokyo which is as beautiful as the ones at the Fushimi Shrine in Kyoto.

It is also known as a marriage match maker and a power spot. It is believed that the power raises the luck for love and encounters. Visit this Hanazono Inari Shrine to improve your luck for love. You may even have too many people who love you!

■Information
Name: Hanazono Inari Shrine
Address: 4-59, Ueno park, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Access: an 8-minute-walk from the Ueno station

 
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7. Former Iwasaki Residence with a Garden

7. Former Iwasaki Residence with a Garden

It looks like someone’s manor house in Europe! Former Iwasaki Residence with a Garden is a park which was created by maintaining the founder of the Mitsubishi Foundation, Mr. Iwasaki’s former residence and garden.

Its artistic and historic value is highly valued and it has been recognised as an important cultural asset. It often appears in the Japanese dramas or films as a palatial residence. Its beautiful architecture has an overwhelming attraction.

The admission fee is ¥400 which is very reasonable. It will be such a joy when you will spend some elegant time, separated from the noise of a big city in this special garden. You may have a dreamy moment.

It is located in the southern part beyond the Shinobazu-no-ike and it is a 15-minute-walk from the Ueno station. It is really worth visiting. How many rooms do you think it has?

■Information
Name: Former Iwasaki-tei Garden
Address: 1-3-45, Ikenohata, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 9:00 – 17:00
Admission fee:
[Adult]: 400yen
[Over 65]: 200yen
[Primary school pupil and under]: free
Access: a 15-minute-walk from the Ueno station

8. Ameya Yokocho

8. Ameya Yokocho

It is a shopping street which has been close to the hearts of people in the downtown as the “Ame-yoko” to give it another name. About 400 shops are lining up next to each other and it is well-known as the most lively shopping street in Japan.

Various things such as fashion, miscellaneous goods and foods are displayed in the shops. If you go there for the first time, you may be startled by the merchants’ special shouts.

This characteristic shopping street is very unique so it’s hard to find a similar one. Therefore, it attracts many visitors from all over the world. There are many places where you can eat food on the Ame-yoko street. You can taste sushi, ramen or fruits and all at reasonable prices. I want you to experience the real Japanese culture!

→The Best 10 Places to Eat in Ueno, Tokyo

■Information
Name: Ameya Yokocho
Address: 4-11, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Access: a 3-minute-walk from the Ueno station

9. National Museum of Nature and Science

9. National Museum of Nature and Science
photo by bell_yukky   /   embedded from Instagram

The National Museum of Nature and Science is only one Synthetic Science Museum which handles both the natural history and the history of science and technology. The permanent exhibition has the “Japan Museum” and the “Earth Museum”.

You can learn here about the early life of the Japan archipelago and the history of scientific technology. If you are interested in the history of Japan or the Earth, you can enjoy the Museum all day long.

Also, they have a lot of special exhibitions for a limited period on the top of the permanent one. So, no matter how many times you visit there, you can enjoy the different projects.

The various languages, such as English, Korean and Chinese are available for the explanations. The reputation from foreign visitors is very high. Please don’t miss this exciting Museum!

■Information
Name: National Museum of Nature and Science
Address: 7-20, Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 9:00 – 17:00
Admission fee:
[Adult]: 620yen
[High school students and under]: free

10. Mihashi Ueno Head Shop

10. Mihashi Ueno Head Shop
photo by mamimanimo   /   embedded from Instagram

Mihashi is a famous shop for the delicious “Anmitsu” which is a representative of Japanese-styled sweets. (a fruit cocktail with gelatin cubes and sweet azuki beans paste) For making the vital ingredient for gelatin cubes, they use the carefully selected aga produced in the Shizuoka prefecture and in the Izu Island.

Also they are particular about the azuki beans paste which controls sweetness. They use the azuki beans produced inthe Hokkaido Tokachi province. When you visit Ueno with the Edo-era “downtown” charm, you want to enjoy the traditional Japanese sweets, don’t you? It is honestly a lovely taste!

They have a few branch shops in Ueno. The head shop is near the Ueno Park and the Ueno Zoo. One of the branch shops is in the Atre Ueno in the Ueno station precinct. So you can drop in on one of them adjusting the time schedule of your other sightseeing to have a break there.

→The Best 10 Dessert Shops You Must Eat in Tokyo, Japan

■Information
Name: Mihashi Ueno Head Shop
Address: 4-9-7, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 10:30 – 21:00
Access: a 5-minute-walk from the Ueno station

11. Juusanya Comb shop

11. Juusanya Comb shop
photo by yuichan.udachan   /   embedded from Instagram

Juusanya Comb Shop is a historical comb shop which first opened in 1736. It is a less well-known shop and even Japanese tourists hardly know it. You can buy a hand-made box-tree comb which was made by skilful craftsmen.

Tsuge-gushi (comb) is a very classy comb made from the ever-green, Japanese box-tree. It is different from plastic combs in terms of the targeting towards hairs. When you stroke your hair with a tsuge-comb it prevents your hair from coming off and your hair-ends from splitting. On the top of that it gives your hair some gloss.

The technique of making tsuge-comb has been handed down from generation to generation as one of the Japanese traditional works of art. Their beautiful completion and performances are highly appreciated by people from all over the world. It is recommended as one of your souvenirs from the Tokyo sightseeing.

→The 10 Best Must-Buy Souvenirs in Tokyo, Japan

■Information
Name: Juusanya Comb Shop
Address: 2-12-21, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 10:00 – 18:30
Access: a 7-minute-walk from the Ueno station

12. Ueno Toshogu

12. Ueno Toshogu

The Ueno Toshogu is a shrine which has been commemorating Ieyasu Tokugawa who created the the Edo-era (1603-1868) as a God. The main building of the Shinto Shrine was completed in 1651 and is called the “Golden Hall” and it is tinged with a beautiful gold color, as the name tells.

The Kara-mon (a large gate with a karahafu gable) and the walls are also gracious. It has been appointed as an important cultural asset. Many sightseers come and see this outstanding shrine from nationwide as well as from overseas.

Besides, the “Botan-en” (peony garden) which has been open in commemoration of friendship between Japan and china is also famous. The peak of the blossom of spring peonies is from early April to early May and of winter peonies is from early January to late February. You can enjoy them twice a year. There is an old saying which describes a beautiful lady.

When she stands up, she looks like a Shakuyaku (peony). When she sits down, she looks like a Botan(peony). And when she walks, she looks like a lily.] Peony is a flower for a gracious Japanese Beauty!

→Top 10 Tourist Attractions & Best Things to Do in Akihabara, Tokyo

■Information
Name: Ueno Toshogu
Address: 9-88, Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Access: a 12-minute-walk from the Ueno station

13. Yamashiroya

13. Yamashiroya
photo by toy_yamashiroya   /   embedded from Instagram

If you love Japanese animations or games, this shop is for you. The animation’s Mecca is Akihabara, but this Yamashiroya has been doing as well as Akihabara.

This shop has been dealing with character goods all over the 6 floors. There are Pocket Monsters(Poke-mon), Mario, Doraemon and so on. All most all Japanese popular characters are seen here.

It was the talk of the town as a toy specialist, but now it has grown to be a popular sightseeing spot for foreign visitors. It is in the building at the front of the Chuo Exit of the Ueno station. You can meet your favorite character there!

■Information
Name: Yamashiroya
Address: 6-14-6, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 10:00 – 21:30
Access: a 3-minute-walk from the Ueno station

Let’s Enjoy The Tourist Attractions in Ueno!

Have you found these articles interesting? Ueno is the area where you can enjoy various genre entertainments, such as gourmet, history, works of art and animation at the same time in a relatively concentrated place. Apart from the popular Ame-yoko and the Zoo, there are so many sightseeing spots. Visit the delicious food shops and enjoy the attractions in Ueno.




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