4 Awesome Things to do in Ueno

by Luke - TripleLights travel specialist

If you are planning on visiting Ueno during your trip to Japan, then be sure to stop by at these attractions. Ueno Park boasts numerous museums and an incredible zoo. And, if you are traveling on a budget, look out for free admission days usually offered once a month or on Japanese public holidays. After wandering Ueno Park, we recommend a stop at Ameyoko, one of Japan's most interesting shopping streets:

Ueno Park

4 Awesome Things to do in Ueno

What makes Ueno Park special is that it is not just simply a park; you can experience history, science, and culture, and you can also spend time with animals. The park was originally part of the grounds of Kaneiji temple but was designated as one of the earliest public parks in Japan in the Meiji period (1868 – 1912). The park started out mainly as a place for viewing Kaneiji temple,Toshogu Shrine and their cherry blossom trees. Subsequently, facilities were built one by one including museums of history and art, as well as a zoo.

Today, you can enjoy not only nature but culture at Ueno Park. After walking around for a while, you can always take a relaxing rest at cafes that have opened near the fountain park which is the focal facility of the Ueno Park. The nearby Tokyo National Museum exhibits approximately 114,000 objects including 87 national treasure items; the museum collection is the best in Japan both in terms of quality and quantity. Photographing is allowed except for the items of special exhibitions.  

From mid-July to mid-August, the Shinobazu pond (Shinobazu-no-ike) will delight you with its beautiful lotus flowers. The huge lotus leaves with a diameter of at least 50cm cover the pond; a magnificent and cooling view. From mid-November, the leaves in the park begin to color; the park features ginkgo trees that line a path as well as keyaki (Japanese zelkova) and maple trees. 

Admission: Free

Guidebook from Planetyze about Ueno Park
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Ueno Park
Tours in Ueno Park

National Museum of Nature and Science

4 Awesome Things to do in Ueno

(image by upload.wikimedia.org)

Japan is a world leader in scientific research, technology, mechanical engineering, medicine and various other fields, and has the largest number of Nobel Prize winners in Asia. The trajectory of this kingdom of science and Japanese scientific technology is seen in full detail in this museum. 

The National Museum of Nature and Science, under its theme of “humanity and nature co-existing” was established in Ueno, Tokyo in 1877, and is the country’s oldest national museum of general science displaying everything from natural history to scientific technological research. The museum has a valuable collection of over 4 million artifacts including actual samples of native Japanese flora and fauna and fossils. 

The museum is divided into 2 large sections: the Japan Gallery and the Global Gallery.  In the Japan Gallery, a wide range of fields is introduced including Japanese geography, flora & fauna native to Japan, natural history and scientific technology. Through these exhibits, you can find out about the natural features of Japan, the origins of the Japanese people and Japanese history. 

In the Global Gallery, there are plenty of exhibits that will have you thinking about the Earth from an even wider view. You can think about the evolution of living things and their relationships with the natural environment through the collection of dynamic animal models, and topics such as the dilemma of extinction are divulged with great interest through dinosaur fossil specimens. There is a lot of deep information for those with an interest in science through the exhibits of such things as space, matter and scientific technology. Think about the future from this massive collection. 

Admission: ¥ 620

Guidebook from Planetyze about National Museum of Nature and Science
Reviews from TripAdvisor about National Museum of Nature and Science
Tours of National Museum of Nature and Science

Tokyo National Museum

4 Awesome Things to do in Ueno

(image by upload.wikimedia.org)

Ueno Park is a place of rest for many people where they can chat on the benches while viewing the fountains as it is covered in the blossoms of cherry trees in spring and the lush greenery of summer, while boats sail in the pond. Within the park, there are many important facilities all over. Along with a theater, an art museum, a zoo and a science museum, there is the Tokyo National Museum which has a collection of cultural assets that numbers over 110,000 exhibits within a huge area. Since its launch as Japan’s first national museum in 1872, it has preserved and displayed cultural properties from Asia mainly centering on Japan. It is a museum representing the nation that has extremely valuable assets of scale and quality including 87 National Treasures and 633 Important Cultural Properties (as of March 31 2014).

On the 1st floor of the Japanese Gallery, there are exhibits by genre of fine works of art including sculptures, metalwork, lacquerware, pottery and swords. On the 2nd floor, there is earthenware which predates Christ, collections of exhibits such as Haniwa figurines, the Buddhist art of the Asuka Era which blossomed in Nara, the Imperial Court culture of the Heian Era, the Zen Buddhism and literature during the age of the samurai, the armor of the Warring States Era, and the tools of the tea ceremony. The culture of Japan which has matured with the passage of time is displayed in an easily understood way alongside the actual artifacts. 

In addition, in the Gallery of Horyu-ji Treasures, numerous valuable assets are on display as a collection of ancient 7th and 8th century art that had been dedicated to the Imperial household from the World Heritage site of Horyu-ji Temple in Nara and then transferred to the Tokyo National Museum, so these are exhibits that cannot be missed by fans of ancient art.

Also, at the Asian Gallery that was built in 2013, art, handicrafts and archeological artifacts from places such as China, the Korean peninsula, Southeast Asia, India and Egypt are displayed. One day is not enough to see everything there. However, even if you are not a fan of Japanese art, visiting this museum will deepen your knowledge of Japan more than ever. Get the feeling from the real thing about the culture and sense of values which matured and blossomed through the changes in the lifestyle and generations of the Japanese people.

Admission: ¥ 620 

Guidebook from Planetyze about Tokyo National Museum
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Tokyo National Museum
Tours of Tokyo National Museum

Ameyoko

4 Awesome Things to do in Ueno

(image by flickr.com)

After the war, Ameyoko, though it was called a black market, was a place that was indispensable for survival. From Narita, it’s the closest shopping district in Tokyo.

Since there were a lot of stores selling candy there, the area was called “Ame-ya Yokocho” (Candy Store Lane). It was also called “America Yokocho” because it sold contraband goods from the US army. The two names got confusing so it’s said that the name ended up as “Ameyoko”. In the past, there were markets in ShinjukuShibuya and Ikebukuro, but now there is only Ameyoko in Ueno. There are 520 stores selling everything from foods and products for everyday living to clothing, watches and health goods. Ameyoko is a street that has a very inexpensive image with many shops that offer products that are cheaper than usual. 

Admission: Free

Guidebook from Planetyze about Ameyoko
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Ameyoko
Tours of Ameyoko

 

Want to have a better experience in Japan?

Japan is certainly a country that has a rich culture and lot to visit.

To plan better your trip,  you can hire a private guide from TripleLights. Here are some advantages of the service:

  1. Save your time
  2. Custom itinerary
  3. Know more about the history and culture of the places you are visiting
  4. Qualified professionals to guide you
  5. Private experience that allows you to focus on the people that are traveling with you and with time flexible.
  6. Affordable price

You can also join a tour from TripleLights too and get knowledge about the main spots selected by the guides. This way, you will certainly have a great experience visiting Japan.

If you want to go further to the country, you can also hire private cars from TripleLights that allows you to go to various places without having to worry about the public transportation system and schedule.

Triple Lights is a company that wants to help tourists in Japan to have a better experience visiting the country.  If you want to know more about how can the company helps you, visit the website or contact one of the guides.

Blogs about Ueno

The Three Best Museums in Ueno Park
Ueno-Ameyoko district

Did you like my article?

If you are interested to know more and save your time during your trip to Tokyo, You can send a message to our local guides to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience.

In the TripleLights website you can find the best professional guides all over Japan to help you plan your trip. Check our local guides for Tokyo


06 Oct 2015

Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started

Recent Tour Reviews in Tokyo

“ airport pickup ”

Very Good
1 day ago Traveler: Eric -   Tour Guide: Oeuvre Limousine Services

driver was waiting at airport with sign with my name on and taken to hotel straight away
read more

“ Great Guide, Many happy moments ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Shafeeq -   Tour Guide: Riko

My family and I had 2 full days in Tokyo, we booked the 2nd day with Riko, proposing a long list of places to see in this short time, the response from Riko was very quick and her suggestions / planning for the trip very apt. Still, I was very skeptical, considering we were to cover all these spots with a child. We were extremely happy end of this trip, for the immaculate planning, using all the d...
read more

“ Saw a lot in a short time ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Colin -   Tour Guide: Junko

My husband and I had a long layover in Tokyo, and Junko was a great guide through the city both efficiently and knowledgabilty. She customized our itinerary to what we wanted to see and what we had time for. Definitely recomend!
read more

“ Tokyo 1 Full Day ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Richard -   Tour Guide: Riko

We had 4 adults and 6 children a large group to manage. Riko managed to get us to all the sites we wanted to see, the Fish Markets were a highlight. Riko's knowledge and explanation of Japanese culture and traditions was excellent. We had a wonderful time. Thanks Riko!!!
read more

“ Best Tourist Guide ever ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Ana -   Tour Guide: Makiko

Makiko was simply amazing. Very knowlageble, kind, flexible and approachable. She planned an amazing 1 day itinerary for us and we loved every bit if it. You cannot go wrong with Makiko; We 100% recommend her. We are very grateful to her for her oustanding services.
read more

“ Highly recommend touring Tokyo with Yukiko ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Robert -   Tour Guide: YUKIKO

We had a perfect and fun day with Yukiko. We were on the beginning of a two week trip to Japan and Thailand. Working with Yukiko to plan our tour was very easy. We conversed over email for around 2 months to custom tailor our tour. We only had 1 day to experience the best of Tokyo so Yukiko and I worked on a 5 destination trip plus lunch. Each stop on our tour was great. We started at the Out...
read more

“ Very worthwhile ”

Excellent
2 days ago Traveler: Tanya -   Tour Guide: Toshihiro

We had Toshi as a personal guide around Tokyo for 6 hours after we landed. He met us at our hotel and showed us some main attractions as well as less known ones. The day was not rushed, yet we saw many sights. We learned how to use the rail network system and Toshi related really well with our whole group, including 2 teenagers. Such a great investment and I would really recommend having his loca...
read more

“ Sumo, Temples, Shrines and Geiko in Tokyo ”

Excellent
3 days ago Traveler: Stephen -   Tour Guide: KASHIMA

Our family of 6 had an excellent and enriching tour with Kashima-san. One of the main reasons we wanted a guide in Tokyo was to help with arranging a tour of a sumo stable in Tokyo, many of which are weary of visitors. Despite this, Kashima-san managed to book a tour of the Hakkaku sumo stable. Ahead of the visit, Kashima-san sent us a summary of sumo wrestling and what we might expect to see in t...
read more

“ Wonderful day in Tokyo ”

Excellent
3 days ago Traveler: Giuseppe -   Tour Guide: Makiko

Yes I was lucky... nice weather, not so many people and the antique market just opened today, but I would never had such beautiful experience without the help of Makiko. In a few hours I have visited so many interesting places and had so many new experiences.. the fish market (the big tuna cut was amazing..), the antique market, the temples, the local food... everything perfect. I left Tokyo know...
read more

“ Tokyo Highlights ”

Excellent
3 days ago Traveler: Linda -   Tour Guide: Makiko

We had an amazing time with Makiko. She was very knowledgeable, professional, and fun. She communicated with us several times in the weeks leading up to our tour. I had a few ideas of what we wanted to see and she incorporated those into other popular and traditional places to visit. She made sure we ate at a place that accommodated everyone’s tastes. Makiko is fluent in English and very easy...
read more

Related cities

Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started