Ueno Park and Zoo, Tokyo
Ueno Park is just a minute walk from Ameyoko Ueno, most of the time, visitor will never forget to spend another hour here. They are a lot of museums here for you to explore. In Spring, Sakura Blossom festival is one of the biggest event in a year. Families and Companies rent a small space on the ground under the Sakura trees and having dinner party after work. There are no boundaries here now and If you are on time for the festival, just join any group and sit down for the free beer and free food. No one will question you because there are too crowded.
Ueno park is a huge public park just next to Ueno station.
There's so many things to see here, you can easily spend the whole day, of course that's if you don't visit all of the Museums inside the park.
Anyway due to the time constraint and lack of research on my part, I skipped or missed quite a number of interesting sights there.
Here are some of the highlights:
-Saigo Takamori's statue (I missed this one)
-Ueno Zoo (no time to visit)
-Shinobazu Pond (should be nice on spring, but it was winter when I was here...)
-Many Shrines and Temples: Hanazono Inari Shrine, Benten Hall, Toshogu Shrine, etc.
-Many Museums: Tokyo National Museum, the Orient Museum, the National Science Museum, the National Museum for Western Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Fine Art Gallery, etc.
-more than 1000 cherry trees! (they're all bald on winter...)
-And not to mention the many entertainers trying to amuse the visitors.
If you are pressed for time and cannot go through the whole huge UENO ZOO, go sightseeing at UENO PARK, just a few minutes' walk from UENO Station using JR line and the monorail.
The majestic trees are very calming, despite the crowds that are not surprisingly drawn to the many fascinating species of trees and flowers around the park. Along the way to the gigantic park are several more attractions to go to making it a cultural mecca as well with places like the Art Museum, Tokyo Museum, Bird Sanctuary, conservatorium, etc.
The best part about this park is it is FREE of course!
People watching can also be fun with the throng of crowds- schoolkids on their excursion being close to the holiday in Japan. You can choose to avoid the crowds (which is really near to impossible) so just soak in the atmosphere! Get abreast with the latest fashion for mums and young ladies alike as you see the women even in high heels walking cautiously around the grounds of the gigantic park!
This is a nice park to visit, via train from Tokyo. If you come on any day but a Monday, you will find all the Art Galleries & Museums are open, the Zoo is here, there are Temples, nice gardens, Playgrounds and a large Lake.
A minus is......... quite a few homeless Japanese sleep on the park benches or under make-shift homes of cardboard, don't worry, they don't take any notice of you.
Its a nice spot to enjoy on a hot Tokyo day, and if you are here in Spring, its an excellent place to see the Cherry Blossoms. When we were there, (July) the large Shinobazu Lotus Pond was just coming into bloom, what a sight that would have been a couple of weeks later.
Located adjacent the Ueno train station, hub for northeastern Japan train services, this large park was first opened in 1873. It may be most famous for its 1200 flowering cherry trees which blossom in the spring. There are 4 museums devoted to art, science, and Japanese history as well as a famous zoo. Monet's "Water Lilies" is shown at the museum of Western Art. There are also several shrines with one contained within a large artificial lake. One is devoted to the Tokugawa Ieyseu, who unified Japan and whose mausoleum is a central attraction at Nikko. Included are images of the temple, the large lake, and the exterior of the National Museum.
At the entrance of the Ueno Park is the statue of a man with a dog, Saigo Takamori who has helped to bring down the Tokugawa shogunate. So must be a hero. Every Japanese visiting there for the first time, took a photo and so did I.
Ueno has a pond, large gardens with many cherry blossom trees, museums including the Tokyo National Museum, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo Fine Art Metropolitan Gallery,
a temple and Ueno Zoo where you can see pandas.
If you can visit only 1 garden in Tokyo, visit Ueno.
UENO PARK the oldest and largest park in Tokyo city, with cherry blossoms that bloom in spring you can view them by the tree-lined promenade that runs southwards through the park and lotuses that flower in summer, Ueno Park, is regarded as being one of Tokyo's most beautiful park..
So take a day and enjoy what the park as to offer...When you exit JR Ueno Station via the "Ueno Koen" exit head straight for the information kiosk up on the right. Here you can pick up an English map which will help to identify most of the buildings around the park....
Tokyo Culture Hall
The National Museum of Western Art
Tokyo National Museum
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art
Shinobazu Pond dominates the southwestern side of the park - 600 yen will hire you a rowing boat; and 700yen a swan pedal boat...The temple on the man-made island in the middle of Shinobazu Pond is Bentendo Temple. It's dedicated to the goddess of prosperity and the arts, the original building was a 17th century but destroyed in 1945.....
The thin building with floors branching off at every angle was designed by Japanese architect, Kiyinori Kikutake and completed in 1994, its the Hotel Sofitel.
Close to the Keisei Ueno Station Exit you'll find Kiyomizu Kannondo Temple. Modeled after the famous Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, couples who want to have children traditionally pray here.
Also next to the exit, the large statue you see is that of Saigo Takamori (1827 - 1877). During the Meiji Restoration Saigo Takamori was an important samurai warrior.
How to get to Ueno:
A double decker bus runs between Ueno and Asakusa. From 10:00am it runs every 30 minutes on weekdays and every 15 minutes on weekends. The bus stop is close to Ueno Keisei Station. Adults: 250 yen one way. Children: 130 yen one way.
From Akihabara, Ueno is about a 10 minute walk up Chuo Dori Avenue. From Asakusa, Ueno is about a 15 minute walk along Asakusa Dori Avenue.
This 17th Century Shrine is located in Ueno Park near the Zoo. "Tosho" means "Lights of the East". This Shrine has gilded walls and is well preserved like it was in the Edo era (16-17th centuries) It is reached by walking under a lovely tree - lined driveway. It is also famous for its Peony garden.
It is open from 9 - 4.30pm, Admission is 200 yen.
It was built in 1967 on the site of an ancient Buddha statue. The pagoda stand on top of a small hill and has the head of the original statue inside.
It is located right by the main walkway lined up with numerous cherry trees.
If you want to see this lovely lazy creature, then this is the place to come with or without kids. The zoo has two parts and you can either walk between them or take a monorail ride for an additional charge. The zoo features a lot of the mainstream animals as well as rarer species like the Okapi. Of course there are restaurants and souvenir shops.
The panda is just to your right when you enter through the main gate. One panda for 3 security or is it the other way round?!
Entry fee (2005) for adults: 600 Yen
It is close to akibahara station, so after or before do it your discount shopping you can conme here to relax and see the zoo, with the popular panda nad the aquaruium.especially at cherry blossom season.there is a park area, a museum of western art and natural history, .
at the park you can buy fake telephone cards that works very well!!! but be awere of the police, this is elegal, no matther you are paying half price or whatever. usually are people from the phillipines or the middle orient selling the phone cards.
Ueno Park is a spacious public park located in the Ueno section of Taito-ku, Tokyo, Japan. It occupies the site of the former Kan'ei-ji, a temple closely associated with the Tokugawa shoguns, who had built the temple to guard Edo Castle against the northeast. The temple was destroyed during the Boshin War.
Ueno Park was established through an imperial land grant to the city of Tokyo by Emperor Taishô in 1924. The official name of the park is Ueno Onshi Kôen, which can be translated as "Ueno Imperial Gift Park".
A famous statue of Saigô Takamori walking his dog stands in this park.
Three museums (Tokyo National Museum, The National Science Museum and The National Museum of Western Art) a concert hall, a Toshogu shrine, the Shinobazu Pond with its Benzaiten shrine, and the Ueno Zoo make this area a tourist and recreation area popular with both Japanese and foreigners.
Established in 1882, Ueno Zoo is the oldest zoo in Japan.
It is home to 2600 animals spread over 35 acres which means quite a bit of walking, but there is a Monorail.
We especially came here to see the Panda's, but found it was closed on Mondays!
We could see a 5 storied Pagoda in the Zoo, this was built in 1631.
9:30am. to 5:00pm (tickets sold until 4:00pm)
TAKE NOTE!....... (CLOSED ON Tuesday if Monday is a public holiday).
The zoo closes from December 29 through January 1.
The Vivarium and the Small Mammal House close the door at 4:15pm.
Admission price is 600yen in 2010
Free admission for the disabled, and one assistant per disabled person.
ADMISSION IS FREE on March 20 (Ueno Zoo's Anniversary Day), May 4 (Greenery Day), and October 1 (Tokyo Citizens' Day)
Its location about and hour by train from the city centre, about 5-10mins walk from Uneo station.
Ueno Park has a lot more concrete than a park should, and is also home to quite a few of Tokyo's homeless.
The real reason to visit is the zoo, and the plethora of museums contained within the park.
Will post tips on the various museums and the zoo as I visit them.
Ueno Park has it all. It is the home to many temples, a zoo, five or six museums and is a main area for the viewing of Cherry Blossoms. If you only have a little time in Tokyo, this is where I would go as you can see so much of Japanese culture in a short time. I got here just as the first buds of the cherry blossoms were coming out. if I had been a few weeks later, they would have been in full bloom. And from what I heard, the park would have been filled with so many people!