Translated by Sandy Lau
JR Ueno Station Guide – How To Exit To Find Your Destination Quickly!
Written by MATCHA
JR Ueno Station in Tokyo is a large station that is easy to get lost in at first. This article introduces the quickest ways to get from JR Ueno Station to sightseeing spots like Ueno Park, Ueno Zoo, and the famous Ameyoko shopping street.
Find Your Way Around JR Ueno Station!
In front of Ueno Station’s Central Gate
JR Ueno Station is a very large station in Tokyo, although it is not as expansive as Shinjuku or Shibuya Station. The station has three floors, as well as four underground floors including the platform for the shinkansen (bullet train).
When leaving JR Ueno Station, you might become lost trying to find the best exit to use. However, it actually isn’t complicated once you understand some key features of this station.
In this article, we’ll introduce which gates (exits) provide the fastest route to reach sightseeing spots like Ameya Yokocho (Ameyoko), Ueno Park, and Ueno Zoo. We’ll also introduce how to get to locate these exits from the train platforms!
The following passes and tickets are convenient and will save yen on travel in and around Ueno and the rest of Tokyo: Tokyo Subway Ticket (24, 48, and 72-hour passes available), Japan Rail Pass, Suica IC Card Reservation
The Structure of JR Ueno Station
First, we’ll explain the basic structure of JR Ueno Station.
In most situations, you will arrive on the second-floor platform (**) when getting off the train at JR Ueno Station.
Head down to the first floor for the Central Gate and Shinobazu Gate, where the shopping street of Ameyoko is. Go up to the third floor to reach the Park Gate, which leads to Ueno Park.
Pay special attention to which exit you use, as leaving out of the wrong gate will result in having a further walk to your destination. Below we introduce these three gates, which are most convenient for travelers.
** The lines serviced by JR Ueno Station include the Yamanote Line, Keihin-Tohoku Line, Ueno-Tokyo Line, Joban Line, and other lines. The trains on all lines with the exception of those for the Tohoku Shinkansen and Tohoku Main Lines (Utsunomiya and Takasaki Lines), will arrive on the second-floor platform.
1F Central Gate and Shinobazu Gate - Ameyoko, Yamashiroya, and Takeya
The Central Gate is the JR Ueno Station's largest gate. There is the Travel Service Counter located immediately to your right upon exiting, so travelers can feel at ease.
Shinobazu Gate is a small gate but is convenient to use if you are going to Ameyoko. Central Gate and Shinobazu Gate are located close to each other, so feel free to exit from either gate if you are visiting the destinations listed above.
Locating Shinobazu Gate from the Platform
Shinobazu Gate is on the first floor. Upon arriving at the platform, go down to the first floor where the gate is located.
There is a sign above you when you descend the escalator. Follow the arrows in the direction of Shinobazu Gate.
As you continue through the station, there will be a passageway with a low ceiling, as pictured above. Continue straight down this passageway.
You’ll find Shinobazu Gate at the end of the passage!
Continue straight from here and you’ll exit out of the station to a pedestrian crossing like pictured above.
The area circled in yellow is Ameyoko. If you make a right, you’ll arrive at Keisei Ueno Station (circled in blue) from which you can get to Narita Airport. Head towards Keisei Ueno Station and you’ll find stairs that lead to Ueno Park to your right. Go up the stairs and you’ll find the statue of Takamori Saigo, an influential samurai and a symbol of Ueno.
3F Park Gate – Ueno Park, Art Museum, and Zoo
Park Gate, just as its name describes, is closest to Ueno Park. Ueno Park is right outside when you exit this gate.
Ueno Park is very large, so there is also an entrance to the park immediately outside of Shinobazu Gate. Park Gate is near art museums located in the park such as the National Museum of Western Art and Ueno Zoo. These facilities are about a three to five-minute walk from this gate.
**There is another gate called Iriya Gate, but it is rarely used for sightseeing. Due to this, we will not be including it in this article.
Locating Park Gate from the Platform
Ascend the staircase or escalator from the platform to Park Gate.
Once you’ve gone up a floor, find the guiding signs. Park Gate is at the end of this floor, so continue through the station while following the arrows.
This is the Park Gate!
There is an information booth in front of Park Gate, so feel free to direct your inquiries here if there is anything you’re unsure about.
Near the information booth is a museum ticket sales booth. Here you can purchase tickets for the art galleries and museums in Ueno Park. These tickets are also sold directly at the museums, but if you prefer to have your tickets in advance and avoid lines at the museums, we recommend buying them here.
A shopping mall called ecute is also located on the same floor. You can eat at the restaurants and other dining options available inside.
Exit JR Ueno Station the Smart Way!
JR Ueno Station isn’t too complicated to navigate, as long as you follow signage. Leave the station out of the correct exit and head to your destination!
Please note that there are other stations with the name "Ueno Station" in addition to JR Ueno Station. These stations include the Ueno Station for Tokyo Metro's Ginza and Hibiya lines, as well as Keisei Ueno Station. Make sure to see A Complete Guide To Ueno Stations: Lines And Accessibility for details on each station.
Original Author: Yuhei Hori
This article is an updated version of an article originally published on August 17th, 2015.