Ueno Park is a public park in central Tokyo that’s home to several of the city’s top museums, including the Tokyo National Museum and the National Museum of Nature and Science. You’ll also find Ueno zoo, Tokyo’s first zoo, a boating lake, and other attractions for the whole family here.
Ueno Park, in Taito district, has been a Tokyo fixture since 1873, when it was established on land previously owned by Kan'ei-Ji temple. Locals and tourists love its beautiful landscaping and wealth of museums, including the National Museum of Nature and Science, the National Museum of Western Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, the Shitamachi Museum, and Tokyo National Museum, the largest art museum in Japan. You’ll also find Ueno, the city’s oldest zoo, the popular Toshogu Shrine, and several concert halls here. It’s also one of the premier sites in the city to enjoy cherry-blossom-viewing season (hanami), when parties of people bring picnics to the park to see the pale pink flowers in bloom.
The park is close to many of Tokyo’s other popular attractions and can be visited as part of a guided tour of the city.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Visit the Kan'ei-Ji pagoda, which has been standing in the same spot for almost 400 years.
- The statue of samurai warrior Saigo Takamori (found outside the Tokyo National Museum) is a popular photo stop in the park.
- The Shitamachi Museum is dedicated to exploring the legacy of the city’s Shitamachi district and its residents, which historically were craftsmen, fishermen, and merchants.
How to Get There
Ueno Park is in Ueno, part of the central district of Taito. The Ueno metro station is found along the southeastern edge of the park, with connections to six different metro lines. It’s also possible to visit the park as part of a guided city tour with transport provided.
When to Get There
A public park, Ueno Park is open from 5am–11pm. The various museums and attractions have varying opening times, so check before you visit. The park is especially busy during cherry-blossom-viewing season in late March to early April.
Tokyo National Museum
One of the largest art galleries in the world, the Tokyo National Museum is home to more than 110,000 artifacts, including paintings, sculpture, and archeological finds. It is made up of six different buildings, each focused on a particular aspect of Japanese art, life, and culture. You can see many different exhibits here, from samurai armor to delicate decorative scrolls and handmade ceramics.