Translated by Collin Radford
13 Things to Check Out at Ueno Park
Written by Hori Yuhei
Introducing 13 great spots to visit in Ueno Park, including The Tokyo National Museum, Museum of Western Arts, Mori Art Museum, and the Shitamachi Museum.
Ueno park is situated in Tokyo's Taito city, and is a place of relaxation for its citizens. It's officially known as the Ueno Onshi Park. Inside is Shinobugaoka, a place famous for its cherry blossoms, and was selected as one of Japan's top 100 cherry blossom posts. You can also see the leaves change color in autumn, and lotus flowers in the summer.
In this article we will introduce spots inside the park that can be enjoyed any time during the year.
How many statues can you find?
There are countless statues of famous figures throughout the park. The statues feature those famous both within Japan and throughout the world.
1) Saigo Takamori
Saigo Takamori is known for promoting the modernization of Japan during the Meiji Period. It was unveiled in 1898. His dog is called Tsun.
2) Hideyo Noguchi
This is a bronze statue of the microbiologist Professor Hideyo Noguchi. It is located to the east of the Takenodai fountain.
3) The General Grant monument
This monument was made when General Grant, the 18th and 19th President of the United States made his visit to Japan in 1879. Grant planted the Lawson cypress at the monument and his wife the magnolias.
4) Professor Baudin
The Dutch military surgeon and birth father of the Ueno Park; it was he that suggested that Ueno's hill be turned into a modern "park".
Take a break at one of these cafes
5) Ueno no Mori Park Side Café
This park-side cafe is a great spot to take a break during your tour of Ueno Park. There's nothing like sitting at the terrace on a sunny day, surrounded by nature.
6) The Ueno Onshi Park Starbucks
This is Ueno Park's Starbucks store. It's known for its design, which uses Japan's traditional dyeing techniques to express images that convey the themes of Ueno Park. It has a great open terrace, and from the seats inside you can see fountains and the nature of the park through the windows.
Shrines and Buddhist Temples
9) Ueno Toshogu
The Ueno Toshogu is notable for its vivid gold coloration.
Related Article: Tokugawa Ieyasu is worshiped as a god at “Ueno Toshogu Shrine”
10) Ueno Park Shimizu Kannon
A Shimizu Kannondo, based on the motif of the Shimizu Temple in Kyoto.
This Bentendo Temple stands at the center of the Shinobazu Pond, just across the stone bridge.
Related Article: Exploring Ueno’s Hexagonal Tower: Bentendo
11) Hanazono Inari Shrine
Hanazono Inari Shrine has a long path of torii gates; come here for its great other-worldly atmosphere.
Reference Article: Vermilion Torii Gates in Hanazonoinari Shrine, Ueno Park
12) Ueno Buddha
The Ueno Buddha was originally a statue with an entire body, but through earthquakes and repeated damage through the war was destroyed, and all that is left is the relief of its face, which is about the height of a person.
13) Museums and art exhibits
There are several museums and art exhibits in Ueno, which is known as the city of culture.
Related Article: 6 Museums in Ueno Park
Ueno Park is filled with highlights, to the point that you could spend your whole day there. It's very wide, so make sure you check your map as you walk, so as to get the most out of it.
Nearest Station: JR Ueno Station
Keisei Line, Keisei Ueno Station
Toei Oedo Line/Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line Yushima Station
Access: 10 min on foot from Ueno Station/Keisei Ueno Station
7 min from Yushima Station
Phone Number: +81(0)3-3828-5644
Official Website: Ueno Onshi Park (Japanese)