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Enjoy Tokyo’s Ueno Area to the Fullest in a Single Day! A Recommended Day Trip Model Course

Ueno, Tokyo, is a place that is filled with famous attractions and sights to see. Don’t you want to efficiently explore the area that you’re visiting? With that in mind, below is a recommended course for enjoying a day at Ueno.

2017.11.09

Ueno Station

The starting point in this model course is Ueno Station. This station is a convenient railway junction where Keihin Tohoku Line, Yamanote Line, and other JR Railway lines pass, along with the Tohoku, Hokuriku, Joetsu, and other shinkansen (bullet train) lines. It is also within a short walking distance to the Ueno Onshi Park (Ueno Park), where the major sightseeing spots featured in this article are concentrated.


National Museum of Nature and Science

Approx. 5-minute walk from JR’s Ueno Station

The first spot you have to visit is the National Museum of Nature and Science, which is a museum found inside Ueno Park that boasts the largest scale among all the museums in Japan. Divided into the Japan Gallery and Global Gallery, this museum offers high-quality exhibitions on space, the Earth, the evolution of life, and advances in science and technology, among other themes. Most of the exhibits here contain an abundance of authentic specimens and materials. You will be able to observe a lot of valuable displays here, including the most well-preserved fossil sample in the world, which is of a triceratops.

Admission fee for permanent exhibitions:
General and university students: 620 JPY
High school students (including technical college students) and younger visitors: Free

▼ Length of stay (approximate) ▼
2 hours



National Museum of Nature and Science

National Museum of Western Art

Approx. 1-minute walk from the National Museum of Nature and Science

Next, head towards the National Museum of Western Art, which is within walking distance from the National Museum of Nature and Science. This museum has a permanent exhibition that focuses on various artworks, such as Italian artworks from the post-Renaissance era, along with mid-19th century to 20th century modern French artworks from artists such as Monet and Renoir. It also hosts various themed exhibitions around three times a year. Sculptures like the famous “The Thinker” by Rodin are also on display.

Admission fee for permanent exhibitions:
General: 500 JPY
University students: 250 JPY
High school students (including technical college students): Free

▼ Length of stay (approximate) ▼
1 hour



National Museum of Western Art

Ueno Onshi Park

As mentioned earlier, this area is inside Ueno Onshi Park (Ueno Park). The largest city park in Japan, Ueno Park is dotted with numerous cultural facilities, shrines, and other structures. It was designated as the first park in Japan in 1873, along with Asakusa, Fukagawa, and other parks. It is also famous for its sakura (cherry blossom) trees.

▼ Length of stay (approximate) ▼
30 minutes


Have Lunch at the Well-Established Restaurant, Ueno Seiyoken

For lunch, it is recommended to visit Ueno Seiyoken, which is inside the park. It is known as the pioneer of French restaurants in Japan. It was established more than 145 years ago, during an era when Western-style food was still rare in the country and virtually nobody in Japan had tasted beef. However, this restaurant gained popularity with lots of people since its opening. Seiyoken’s main shop in Ueno has two restaurants: Grill Fukushima for regular meals, and Caferant Le Landaulet for light meals. Various European-style dishes are available at these spots.

Sample dishes:
Grill Fukushima: Course set Lunch (prices start at 3,800 JPY)
Caferant Le Landaulet: Hayashi Rice With Salad (hashed meat with rice and a salad on the side) (1,450 JPY (incl. tax))

▼ Length of stay (approximate) ▼
1 hour


Have Lunch at the Well-Established Restaurant, Ueno Seiyoken

Ueno Toshogu

Approx. 10-minute walk from Ueno Seiyoken

Next, visit Ueno Toshogu, which was built in 1627. It is a shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, who built the foundations of present-day Tokyo. This shrine is said to answer prayers for a successful career, victory, sound health, and longevity. There are many valuable structures in this shrine, including the main Konjikiden (Golden Hall) that has been designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan.

▼ Length of stay (approximate) ▼
1 hour


Shinobazu Pond

Approx. 10-minute walk from Ueno Toshogu

The next stop on the course, Shinobazu Pond, is found inside Ueno Park. In the middle of the pond stands Shinobazu Bentendo, a temple that is said to bring success in business, along with economic fortune. The embankment extends from that point, dividing the pond into three sections. Each pond has a different theme: the pond filled with lotus flowers, the pond where visitors can ride on boats, and the cormorant pond at the center of Ueno Zoo.

▼ Length of stay (approximate) ▼
1 hour



Shitamachi Museum

Approx. 8-minute walk from Shinobazu Pond

Ueno is considered to be the downtown district of Tokyo. Shitamachi Museum was established for the purpose of preserving the life, culture, and traditions of the residents in Ueno for future generations. Inside, you’ll find exhibits that reproduce the townscape as it was during the Edo period, including tenement houses and commercial shops from about 100 years ago. You’ll also find displays of various materials, including documents and tools.

Admission fee:
General: 300 JPY
Elementary, junior high, and high school students: 100 JPY

▼ Length of stay (approximate) ▼
1 hour


Shitamachi Museum

Ameya Yokocho

Approx. 4-minute walk from Shitamachi Museum

For the last stop on this course, get out of Ueno Park and head to Ameya Yokocho (nicknamed Ameyoko), the spot that best represents Ueno. This is a shopping district that is abuzz with the vigorous voices of hawkers and bargain sellers during the day. It is packed with various stores, such as those selling shoes, miscellaneous goods, and apparel. However, most of the shops are restaurants, offering dishes like seafood. End your day by having a hearty dinner at Ameyoko! There are many kinds of dining establishments here, from well-established shops with a long history, up to hidden yet famous shops. You’ll find a wide range of food, whether that be Japanese, Chinese, or Italian dishes.

▼ Length of stay (approximate) ▼
2 hours and 30 minutes



Ueno is extremely convenient, as it is easily accessible from Tokyo, Akihabara, and Asakusa Stations. You can follow this model course or stay longer if there’s a spot you particularly like. On your next trip to Tokyo, try to visit Ueno!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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Writer: nakamura

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