Travel / Travel: Japan

Ueno Park, Japan

With five museums and a zoo within its premises, Ueno Park is without a question one of the most visited parks in central Tokyo. About 54 hectares, it also has a boating lake, Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. Plus, it’s convenient location makes it easier for locals and tourists to swing by for a quick respite.
In spring time, Ueno Park is one of the most lively places in Central Tokyo as it is home to over 1,000 cherry trees attracting large numbers of hanami (cherry blossom veiwing) groups during late March to early April yearly.

If you love the arts and history, then you’ll love it here. The National Museum of Nature and Science, the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Shitamachi Museum, and Tokyo National Museum are all in Ueno Park.

Within the main park is Gojo Tenjinsha Shinto Shrine, and on the west wing is Shinobazunoike Bentendo Temple. Buddhist temple Kiyomizu Kannon-duo is also on the central area of the park. What I missed during my summer visit at this park was to swing by at the hidden Ueno Toshogu Shrine and the 400 year old Five Storied Pagoda of Kan’ei-ji. Will definitely go back to Ueno Park for these two attractions, and maybe check out the city’s oldest zoo ,Ueno Zoo, as well.

Ueno Park is open 5:00AM -11:00PM (open 24 hours as per google).
Here are the operating hours of other attractions in the vicinity:
1. Kaneiji Temple – 9:00AM -5:00PM daily (Free Admission)
2. Kiyomizu Kannon Temple – 9:00AM -5:00PM (Free Admission)
3. Toshogu Shrine – 9:00AM to 4:30PM daily from March to September
Free admission on outer temple, 500Yen for inner temple
4. Bentendo – 9:00AM to 5:00PM (Free Admission)
5. Tokyo National Museum – 9:00AM to 5:00PM extended on Fri & weekends. closed on Mondays. Admission is 620Yen
6. National Museum of Art & Sciences – 9:30AM to 5:00PM, until 8:00PM on Fridays and Saturdays. Closed on Mondays. Admission 620Yen
7. Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum – 9:30AM to 5:30PM, until 8:00PM on Fridays and Saturdays. Closed on 1st & 3rd Monday of each month. Admission varies by exhibition.
8. National Museum of Western Art – 9:30AM to 5:30PM, until 8:00PM on Fridays and Saturdays. Closed on Mondays. Admission is 500Yen.
9. Shitamachi Museum – 9:30AM to 4:30PM, entry until 4:00PM. Closed on Mondays. Admission is 300Yen.
10. Ueno Zoo – 9:30AM to 5:00PM. Closed on Mondays. Admission 600Yen.

If you are itching to go shopping, the open air market Ameya-Yokocho is right across the west exit of the Ueno Park. Restaurants, game arcades, souvenirs, drugstores, fruits, groceries, electronics and many other shops are inside this market complex of over 160,000 square feet. Ameya-Yokocho, or Ameyoko, is open daily from 10:00AM-8:00PM.

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