16 of the Best Things to Do in Ueno 16 of the Best Things to Do in Ueno

17 Best Things to Do in Ueno


2019.07.07

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

16 of the Best Things to Do in Ueno

Ueno has always been a popular destination in Tokyo.
There is an interesting mix between new and old.
Within a short walk from one another you will find the busy shopping area around the station, the lush oasis of Ueno Park as well as the Yanaka area where many local artisans has set up shop.

To help you plan your trip, here are 16 recommendations for things to do while enjoying this city.

  • 01

    Walk around Ueno Park

    Ueno Park

    Ueno Park

    Ueno Park

    Ueno Park

    Once upon a time the land that makes up present day Ueno Park was the spot where a major battle during the Boshin War took place. Since then, the location has turned into a big oasis and one of the most popular city parks in Japan with more than ten million annual visitors

    In spring, you can experience being in the wonderful world of sakura trees.
    The Shinobazuno Pond 不忍池 is also fascinating.
    It’s comprised of three ponds—a boat pond, a lotus pond, and a cormorant pond. The Shinobazuno Pond has been loved by Japanese people for hundreds of years.
    The park is easily accessed from the Park Exit of Ueno Station.

    Read more
    Ueno Park
    A few minutes away from the bustling Ueno station you will find the most popular park in of Tokyo…


    Cherry Blossom Season in Ueno Park
    Ueno Park is easily the most popular park in Tokyo, with over ten million visitors a year. Along with the beautiful green space, this area is…

    Shinobazuno Pond in Ueno Park

    Shinobazuno Pond in Ueno Park

    Ueno Park

    Ueno Park

    Ueno-onshi-koen Park
    place
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Uenokouen - Ikenohata 3
    phone
    0338285644
    opening-hour
    5:00-23:00(Entry prohibited …
    info
    【URL】http://www.kensetsu.metro.tokyo.jp/jimusho/toubuk/ueno/en_index.html
    View Allarrow
  • 02

    Pray to the Buddha’s giant face

    Buddha

    Buddha

    In Ueno Park, there is a spot where you can greet Buddha…but only his face.
    This Buddha used to rise six meters in height and have a full body.
    But the head fell down in 1923 when the great earthquake occurred and has been preserved in the park ever since.

    It is said to bring good luck if you touch the face. Because it can’t drop any further, students sitting their entrance exams come here to pray not to “drop” their exam.

    Buddha

    Buddha

    Buddha

    Buddha

    Ueno Great Buddha and Pagoda
    place
    Tokyo Taito-ku Uenokoen 4-18
    phone
    0338214749
    opening-hour
    10:00-15:00
    View Allarrow
  • 03

    Taste mouth fulfilling joy at Shin-Uguisutei

    Shin-Uguisutei

    Shin-Uguisutei

    Uguisu Dango

    Uguisu Dango

    This delicious sweets shop is also inside Ueno Park.
    Their most popular menu item is Uguisu Dango 鶯だんご (600 yen), which is served on a small plate with three different colors of soft mochi stuffed with a sweet bean paste filling. Enjoy first with your eyes, then let these colorful sweets melt in your mouth.
    They expect you to pay when the food is served, so be prepared when you order.

    Shin-Uguisutei

    Shin-Uguisutei

    Shin Uguisu-tei
    rating

    4.0

    20 Reviews
    place
    Tokyo Taito-ku Uenokoen 9-86
    phone
    0338216306
    opening-hour
    10:00-17:00
    View Allarrow
  • 04

    Go museum Hopping

    Go museum Hopping

    Go museum Hopping

    Tokyo National Museum

    Tokyo National Museum

    Ueno is famous for many things but it’s mostly known as being home to some of Tokyo’s biggest museums.
    The Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Nature and Science, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum as well as several smaller yet impressive cultural institutions.

    They host exhibitions throughout the year, so check their websites to help plan your visit. They are all located in the same area, so you can easily walk from one to the other.

    Read more
    Ueno Museums
    In and around Ueno Park you will find many of the most interesting museums in Tokyo, all conveniently located …

    National Museum of Nature and Science

    National Museum of Nature and Science

    Tokyo National Museum
    rating

    4.0

    8 Reviews
    place
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Uenokouen 13-9
    phone
    0357778600
    opening-hour
    9:00-17:00 * Advance reserv…
    info
    【URL】https://www.tnm.jp/?lang=en
    View Allarrow
    The National Museum of Western Art
    place
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Uenokouen 7-7
    phone
    05055418600
    opening-hour
    9:30-17:30 (until 20:00 for …
    info
    【URL】http://www.kahaku.go.jp/english/
    View Allarrow
    Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
    rating

    4.0

    541 Reviews
    place
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Uenokouen 8-36
    phone
    0338236921
    opening-hour
    9:30-17:30 (Last entry 17:00…
    info
    【URL】https://www.tobikan.jp/en/index.html
    View Allarrow
  • 05

    Visit a World Heritage architectural building

    National Museum of Western Art

    National Museum of Western Art

    The National Museum of Western Art was established in 1959 to provide the Japanese public with a chance to explore western art.
    The building itself is the first piece of western art that you will experience at this museum.

    The French architect Le Corbusier designed the main building and is renowned as a pioneer of modern architecture. The museum has a new wing and a special exhibition wing where you can also enjoy the architecture. The entrance fee to see the permanent collection is 500 yen for adults.

    National Museum of Western Art

    National Museum of Western Art

    The National Museum of Western Art
    place
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Uenokouen 7-7
    phone
    05055418600
    opening-hour
    9:30-17:30 (until 20:00 for …
    info
    【URL】https://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/
    View Allarrow
  • 06

    Have Lunch on the Terrace surrounded by the woods of Ueno

    Park Side Café

    Park Side Café

    Park Side Café

    Park Side Café

    After your museum visit or walk through Ueno’s parklands, why not refuel with a tasty meal? The Park Side Café offers delicious food where you can enjoy the full taste of vegetables, as well as flavorful herbal and fruit teas that use seasonal fruits. Enjoy some time out with a pot of tea on their open terrace seats while being surrounded by woodlands.

    Park Side Café

    Park Side Café

    Park Side Cafe
    rating

    4.0

    126 Reviews
    place
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Uenokouen 8-4
    phone
    0358158251
    opening-hour
    [Monday-Friday] 10:00-21:00 …
    View Allarrow
  • 07

    Enjoy the music at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan

    Tokyo Bunka Kaikan

    Tokyo Bunka Kaikan

    Tokyo Bunka Kaikan

    Tokyo Bunka Kaikan

    After walking through the woods and experiencing the museum highlights, you might be in need of good music next.
    One of the biggest venues in Tokyo for concerts, operas and ballet. The main hall can accommodate more than 2300 visitors and is highly praised for its acoustic qualities.

    Inside the building you will also find one of the few dedicated music libraries in Japan, where you can enjoy classical music free of charge.

    Tokyo Bunka Kaikan

    Tokyo Bunka Kaikan

    Tokyo Cultural Hall
    rating

    4.0

    103 Reviews
    place
    Tokyo Taito-ku Uenokoen 5-45
    phone
    0338282111
    info
    【URL】https://www.t-bunka.jp/en/
    View Allarrow
  • 08

    Experience Japan’s oldest zoo

    Ueno Zoo

    Ueno Zoo

    Ueno Zoo

    Ueno Zoo

    Ueno Zoo is the oldest zoo in Japan, opened back in 1882.
    Today it’s one of the most popular zoos in Tokyo, conveniently located in the middle of Ueno Park, just a few minutes walk from the station. More than 3000 individuals representing over 400 species live on the inside, making it the most diverse zoo in Japan.

    Their most popular animal is the giant panda. The first panda was sent from China as a gift in 1972 and has been the icon of this zoo ever since.
    The entrance fee is 600 yen for adults and the zoo is closed on Mondays.

    Giant Panda

    Giant Panda

    Ueno Zoo
    rating

    4.0

    3034 Reviews
    place
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Uenokouen 9-83
    phone
    0338285171
    opening-hour
    9:30-17:00
    info
    【URL】https://www.tokyo-zoo.net/english/ueno/index.htmll
    View Allarrow
  • 09

    Explore the Ameyoko Street

    Ameyoko Street

    Ameyoko Street

    Ameyoko Street

    Ameyoko Street

    Ameyoko Street

    Ameyoko Street

    One of the biggest outdoor markets in Japan where you can find everything from fresh fish and seafood to fashion and handbags. Hundreds of vendors are located along the street that stretches between JR Ueno and JR Okachimachi stations. Can get unpleasantly crowded during the weekends, but worth a visit for the bustling and somewhat “un-Japanese” atmosphere alone.

    Minatoya

    Minatoya

    Minatoya

    Minatoya

    Minatoya is an eatery where you can get a bowl of rice topped with fresh fish for just 500 yen. They also have tasty takoyaki, a ball-shaped snack made from flour and octopus.

    Shimura-shoten

    Shimura-shoten

    If you want candies, look for the yellow sign of Shimura-shoten 志村商店.
    They sell chocolates and other snacks for 1,000 yen that you would have to pay 2,000 yen for if you bought them from other shops.

    Read more
    Ueno Ameyoko and Street Food
    Between Okachimachi and Ueno, on the Yamanote line, lies Ameyoko. This is one of the biggest outdoor markets in Tokyo, perhaps in all of Japan.…

    Ameyoko Street

    Ameyoko Street

    Ameyoko Shopping Street (Ameyoko)
    rating

    4.0

    2733 Reviews
    place
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Ueno 6-10-7
    phone
    0338325053
    opening-hour
    Depending on the store
    info
    【URL】http://www.ameyoko.net/
    View Allarrow
  • 10

    Find your favorite Japanese HipHop at CASTLE RECORDS

    CASTLE RECORDS

    CASTLE RECORDS

    CASTLE RECORDS

    CASTLE RECORDS

    Inside the Ameyoko Center Building, you will find this established music store that specializes in hip hop and club music CDs.
    They have a tremendous selection of CDs, ranging from old to new.
    If you are not familiar with Japanese hip hop, talk to the shop clerk.
    These experts will be able to help you discover a sound that you’ll love.

    CASTLE RECORDS

    CASTLE RECORDS

    Castle Records
    place
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Ueno 4-7-8
    phone
    0362401190
    info
    【URL】http://www.castle-records.net/
    View Allarrow
  • 11

    Cozy time at the retro style cafe Oka

    Neapolitan Pasta

    Neapolitan Pasta

    Cafe Oka

    Cafe Oka

    If you want to get a cup of coffee, don’t go to a chain cafe when you could experience something very unique instead. Cafe Oka is located on the other side of Ueno Station from Ameyoko Street.

    The stairs to the basement will lead you to a world that’s filled with the atmosphere of the Showa era (1926-1989). Try their Neapolitan pasta with ketchup flavor to make your cafe stay completely nostalgic.

    Cafe Oka

    Cafe Oka

    place
    東京都台東区上野6-5-3 尾中ビルB1F
    phone
    03-3835-4401
    View Allarrow
    no image
  • 12

    Shop wisely at the discount shop Takeya

    Takeya

    Takeya

    Takeya

    Takeya

    At the Takeya Okachimachi branch 多慶屋 御徒町本店, you can buy everything very cheaply.They have pretty much anything, from food to furniture.
    There are several buildings located close to one other, each with a different name, and they sell their products in different sections within those buildings.

    You can decide which building and section to go to depending on what you want to buy. Be ready to shop hard, as their prices will surely tempt you.

    Takeya

    Takeya

    Takeya

    Takeya

    Takeya

    Takeya

    Takeya
    place
    Tokyo Taito-ku Taito 4-chome 33-2
    phone
    0338357777
    info
    【URL】https://takeya.co.jp/english/
    View Allarrow
  • 13

    Look for Panda items

    Panda Item

    Panda Item

    Panda Item

    Panda Item

    Since the Ueno Zoo received giant pandas from China in 1972, the entire city of Ueno has been recognized as the “City of Pandas”. You can find numerous panda items during your stay in Ueno. Actually, you probably don’t need to go out of the station to realize that it’s the “City of Pandas”. Panda-shaped Japanese traditional sweets, cheesecakes, macaroons, and even sandwiches with a panda’s picture on the bread are all available inside the station.

    Panda Item

    Panda Item

    Ueno
    place
    Tokyo
    View Allarrow
  • 14

    Easy Walk to Yanesen area

    Yanesen

    Yanesen

    Yanesen

    Yanesen

    From Ueno, you can access the Yanesen area very easily on foot.
    It’ll only take 20 minutes or so, but you might want to stop by interesting places along the way, such as the Ueno Atari where many unique events are held and the beautiful Nedu Shrine.

    Starting from Ueno Station, walking through Ueno Park is the course we recommend. You will pass the Tokyo National Museum, then keep walking to the Tokyo University of Arts.
    The Yanesen area is just after the university.

    Read more
    25 of the Best Things to Do in Yanesen
    Get lost in the Edo-era stylings and retro vibe of the Yanesen area of Tokyo’s Shitamachi. Consisting of the Yanaka 谷中, Nezu 根津, and Sendagi 千駄木 neighborhoods…

    Yanesen

    Yanesen

    Ueno-Sakuragi Atari
    place
    Tokyo Taitou-ku Uenosakuragi 2-15-6
    opening-hour
    8:00-20:00
    info
    【URL】http://uenosakuragiatari.jp/
    View Allarrow
  • 15

    Only a five-minute train ride: Tokyo’s popular destination Asakusa

    Asakusa

    Asakusa

    Asakusa

    Asakusa

    Take the Ginza Subway line from Ueno Station to Asakusa, which is just five minutes away and home to Sensoji, Tokyo’s oldest temple. The train ride costs only 170 yen or you can ride the Skytree shuttle for 220 yen, which you can catch from Ueno Station or the bus stop in Ueno Park.

    If you want to get drunk in the daytime, you should go to Hoppy Street.
    There you’ll discover a Japanese happy drinking culture, even before it gets dark.

    Read more
    27 of the Best Things to Do in Asakusa
    The area around Asakusa is noteworthy for being able to provide a multifaceted Tokyo experience within a surprisingly narrow area. Many tourists from…

    Asakusa

    Asakusa

    Senso-ji
    place
    Tokyo Taito-ku Asakusa 2-3-1
    phone
    0338420181
    info
    【URL】http://www.senso-ji.jp/
    View Allarrow
  • 16

    Easy Access to Skytree

    Easy Access to Skytree

    Easy Access to Skytree

    Skytree Shuttle

    Skytree Shuttle

    The Skytree shuttle is the easiest way to access the Skytree from Ueno.
    The bus comes every 15 to 20 minutes, with the ride taking about 25 minutes. The bus will take you to the entrance of Skytree, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.

    Observation Deck

    Observation Deck

    The views from the Observation Deck and the Observation Galleria are priceless. But if you want to see even more dramatic views, you can try their 50minutes long terrace tour.

    Read more
    Skytree Terrace Tour
    Open in 2012, Tokyo Skytree is the world’s largest tower standing at 634 meters. The tower is located in Sumida and is known for its colorful evening lights. …

    Tokyo Skytree (R)
    place
    Tokyo Sumida-ku Oshiage 1-1-2
    phone
    0570550634
    opening-hour
    [Observatory] 9:00-21:00 (La…
    info
    【URL】http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/en/
    View Allarrow

    18% OFF Tokyo Skytree® Tickets—Skip The Line Reserved Ticket

    ¥1,900

    arrow icon

    Update date:2021/11/28

  • 17

    Hopping between extremely cheap bars

    Hama-chan

    Hama-chan

    Nikuno Oyama

    Nikuno Oyama

    In Ueno, you can find many Senbero bars.
    “Senbero” are a place to get drunk and satisfied while spending only 1000 yen. Hama-chan 浜ちゃん, Nikuno Oyama 肉の大山, and Kadokura カドクラ are three popular bars where you can enjoy Senbero.

    In addition, Kadokura’s ham cutlets, Ohyama’s deep-fried minced meat, and Hama-chan’s fresh fish are unbelievably affordable yet tasty and so fulfilling too.They are all in the same area, so you can easily hop from one to another.

    Kadokura

    Kadokura

    浜ちゃん 上野店
    place
    東京都台東区上野6-9-13
    phone
    03-5807-8413
    info
    【URL】http://www.window-co.jp/shop/hamachan-ueno/
    View Allarrow
    no image
    肉の大山
    place
    東京都台東区上野6-13-2
    phone
    0338319007
    info
    【URL】http://www.ohyama.com/ueno
    View Allarrow
    no image
    カドクラ
    place
    東京都台東区上野6-13-1 フォーラム味ビル1F
    phone
    03-3832-5335
    View Allarrow
    no image

Click here for a summary article including this article