The Top 3 Things To Do in Ueno

The Top 3 Things To Do in Ueno

by Geoff Day

Ueno, located in Taito-ku, Tokyo is one of Japan's most frequented tourist destinations. Three locations in particular make Ueno the perfect location for a day trip. Ueno Park is a cultural haven and a seasonal wonder in the spring and fall seasons, Ueno Zoo is the perfect destination for a couple or family and Ameyoko is a vibrant shopping neighborhood with tasty food and over 400 shops to cover all of your souvenir needs.

Starting with the largest of the three, Ueno Park is Japan's most popular park drawing in over fourteen million visitors a year. The park has around 10,000 trees including over 1,200 cherry blossom trees. During late March and early April, Ueno hosts one of Japan's most celebrated cherry blossom viewing locations with over two million people per year visiting and celebrating on mats with friends in the park. Equally beautiful in the autumn season, the park transforms to yellows, oranges and reds for spectacular photo opportunities. Aside from the natural beauty, Ueno Park is home to a some of the finest museums in all of Japan including the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Nature and Science, the National Museum of Western Art and several others.

Ueno Zoo, the oldest Zoo in Japan, is enjoyable for the whole family. There is also a small amusement park located nearby targeted for children. The zoo is quite spacious with a monorail to help you get from one end of the zoo to the other. You will find just about every animal you are looking for including the iconic panda. In fact, Ueno Zoo is Japan's most diverse zoo with over 400 species and 3000 animals. Other notables include tigers, bears, lions, gorillas and my favorite, the red pandas. Zoo hours are from 9:30a.m. - 5:00p.m. (closed on Mondays). Admission is 600 yen for adults and free for children 12 and under.

Located across the street from Ueno park is Ameyoko, a busy shopping neighborhood famous for food and shopping. Ameyoko is known for shops that extend out into the streets with colorful vendors and a wide assortment of products. For souvenirs, you can find countless types of food products made for handing out in individual servings. There are also an assortment of clothes stores, tea and traditional stores and novelty gift stores along the street. Apart from shopping, Ameyoko is famous for food with a great variety of street food and restaurants to choose from. Check here for a few well-known recommendations.

Ueno station can be reached via the Tokyo Metro Ginza and Hibiya lines. Several shinkansen and JR lines also pass through including the Yamanote line and the Keihin-Tohoku line.

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