Cherry blossoms in Ueno Park (1/4)
Ameyoko Street in Ueno (2/4)
Shinobazu pond in Ueno Park (3/4)
Lotus pond in Ueno Park (4/4)

IN A FEW WORDS

Strolling around Tokyo's Central Park

DESCRIPTION

Ueno is a district located in northern Tokyo, best known for housing the vast Ueno Park, several of Tokyo's most important museums and the Ueno train station, which acts as an important transportation hub for routes between Tokyo and the north of Japan.

Ueno Park

Free

Ueno Park is a large public park located next to Ueno train station, which houses several museums, temples, shrines and a zoo. It occupies the grounds originally belonging to the Kane-ji Temple, one of Tokyo's most prominent Temples during the 17th century which was almost completely burnt down in the Boshin Civil War in 1868. Shortly after the destruction, the grounds became property of the city of Tokyo and were opened in 1873 as one of Japan's first public parks.

Nowadays the park is one of Tokyo's most popular cherry blossom viewing spots in spring, thanks to the more than one thousand cherry trees which line up the main walkways. Aside from the cherry trees the park is very rich in nature, featuring over eight thousand trees of typical Japanese species, several thousands of shrubs and extensive lotus beds which partially cover the Shinobazu pond.

The Shinobazu pond is a large pond of about 1.100.00m2 and located on the southwest end of the park, which was modeled after Kyoto's renown lake Biwa and dates from the days of the Kane-ji Temple. On the center of the pond lies a small island which houses a shrine dedicated to the goddess of fortune Benzaiten and can be accessed by several paths. Rental boats are available on the eastern side of the pond for a small fee.

Remaining from the days of the Kane-ji temple, Ueno Park also features the Toshogu shrine, a wooden structure covered in black lacquer and gold leave dedicated to the unifier of Japan Tokugawa Ieyasu, and the Kiyomizu Kannon Temple, which includes an elevated balcony modeled after the Kiyomizu Temple of Kyoto. Both miraculously survived through history and date from 1616 and 1631 respectively.

Tokyo National Museum

600¥ 9:30 - 17:00

The Tokyo National Museum is Japan's oldest National Museum and houses the largest Japanese art collection in the world. It was originally established in 1872 and has been heavily expanded throughout its years of history into a gigantic complex formed by a total of five buildings.

Its exhibitions consist mainly in comprehensive collections of art works and archeological objects of Asia, with special focus on Japan. Among its thousands of pieces, the museum includes 87 National Treasures and several hundreds of Important Cultural Properties.

Ameyoko

Free 10:00 - 19:00

Ameyoko is a discount open-air market, located on the alleys along the railway tracks leading south of Ueno Station, which evolved from a black market created on the streets after World War II. Its name is an abbreviation of Ameya-Yokocho, meaning Candy Shop Alley, since candies were traditionally sold in the area.

A wide variety of products are sold in the hundreds of small shops which form the market, including fresh seafood, dried food, groceries, shoes and clothing. Energetic sellers are constantly calling out for customers, creating a lively and busy atmosphere which reaches its peak in late December, when Tokyoites gather to buy traditional Japanese New Years food.

Ueno Zoo

600¥ 9:30 - 17:00

Ueno Zoo is Japan's largest and oldest zoo, founded in 1882. It covers an area of 35 acres and it's divided in two areas connected by a monorail, which was the county's first monorail. The zoo houses more than 2600 animals from all over the world, of which a couple of panda bears received in 2011 are the visitor's favorites.

HOW TO GET THERE

Ueno Station
Yamanote Line

Ueno Station
Hibiya, Ginza Lines

aroundMOVE AROUND

All of the visiting spots in Ueno are located within a short walk of Ueno station's Park Exit, with Ueno Zoo being the furthest point from the station and reachable on a 5 minute walk.

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