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Ueno Park (, Ueno Kōen) is a large public park next to Ueno Station in central Tokyo. The park grounds were originally part of Kaneiji Temple, which used to be one of the city's largest and wealthiest temples and a family temple of the ruling Tokugawa clan during the Edo Period. Kaneiji stood in the northeast of the capital to protect the city from evil, much like Enryakuji Temple in Kyoto.

During the Boshin Civil War, which followed the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Kaneiji suffered nearly complete destruction in a battle between the victorious forces of the new Meiji government and loyalists of the overthrown shogunate. After the battle, the temple grounds were converted into one of Japan's first Western style parks and opened to the public in 1873. A statue of Saigo Takamori, one of the generals in the Battle of Ueno, stands near the park's southern entrance.

At the southwestern end of the park lies Shinobazu Pond, one of many reminders of Kaneiji Temple's former grandeur. The pond represents Lake Biwako (in a reference to Kaneiji's model, the Enryakuji Temple of Kyoto, which overlooks Lake Biwako). On an island in the middle of the pond stands Bentendo, a temple hall dedicated to the goddess of Benten.

Today Ueno Park is famous for the many museums found on its grounds, especially the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum for Western Art, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Science Museum. It is also home to Ueno Zoo, Japan's first zoological garden.

Additionally, Ueno Park is one of Tokyo's most popular and lively cherry blossom spots with more than 1000 cherry trees lining its central pathway. The cherry blossoms are usually in bloom during late March and early April and attract large numbers of hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties.

Temples and Shrines

Kaneiji Temple

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Closed: No closing days
Admission: Free
During the Edo Period Kaneiji Temple was one of the largest and wealthiest temples in the city. It was destroyed during the Boshin War, and remnants of the original temple complex, such as its five storied pagoda and Toshogu Shrine, are scattered around the park. The current Kaneiji is a relatively unremarkable, small temple located in a quiet neighborhood near the northwest corner of Ueno Park.

Kiyomizu Kannon Temple

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Closed: No closing days
Admission: Free
Kiyomizu Kannondo was originally built in 1631 as part of Kaneiji Temple. Its design, including a wooden balcony extending from the hillside, was inspired by Kiyomizudera in Kyoto. The temple is home to an image of Kosodate Kannon, the goddess of conception, and is particularly popular among women hoping to have children.

Toshogu Shrine

Hours: 9:00 to 16:30 (until 17:30 from March to September)
Closed: No closing days
Admission: Free (inner shrine area 500 yen)
Ueno Toshogu Shrine was built in 1616 and is one of numerous shrines across the country that are dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Edo Shogunate. The Ueno Toshogu Shrine used to be incorporated into Kaneiji Temple until 1868. The shrine's Botan Garden is open from January to mid February and from mid April to early May (700 yen).

Bentendo

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Closed: No closing days
Admission: Free
Bentendo is an octagonal temple hall on an island in Shinobazu Pond at the southern end of the park. The temple is dedicated to Benten, the goddess of good fortune, wealth, music and knowledge. Bentendo's grounds are especially lively during the cherry blossom season when they are crowded with festival food stalls.

Museums and Zoos

Tokyo National Museum

Hours: 9:30 to 17:00 (extended hours on some Fridays and weekends)
Closed: Mondays (or following day if Monday is a holiday), New Year holidays
Admission: 1000 yen
The oldest and largest museum in Japan, the Tokyo National Museum is made up of multiple buildings, each like a separate museum in itself. They house the largest collection of national treasures and important cultural items in the country.

National Museum of Nature and Science

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays)
Closed: Mondays (or following day if Mon is a holiday), Dec 28 to Jan 1
Admission: 630 yen
This museum covers both science and natural history with hands-on physics and robotics experiments, an impressive collection of mounted animals and a 360 degree virtual theater relocated from the Aichi Expo.

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum

Hours: 9:30 to 17:30 (until 20:00 on Fridays)
Closed: 1st and 3rd Mon each month or next day if Mon is a holiday, New Year
Admission: Varies by exhibition
Reopened in April 2012, this museum displays all types of art in its six galleries. There is no permanent collection, but multiple concurrently held temporary exhibitions by various art groups. Some exhibitions are paid, others are free.

National Museum of Western Art

Hours: 9:30 to 17:30 (until 20:00 on Fri and Sat)
Closed for renovations until spring 2022
Admission: 500 yen (free entry after 17:00 on Friday and Saturday, free on 2nd and 4th Saturday each month, and Nov 3)
This museum displays Western art, primarily by European artists. There are rotating exhibitions from the museum's collection as well as temporary special exhibitions. The museum is Japan's only building designed by Le Corbusier and has been designated a World Heritage site alongside a few other buildings designed by the pioneer of modern architecture.

Shitamachi Museum

Hours: 9:30 to 16:30 (entry until 16:00)
Closed: Mondays (or following day if Mon is a holiday), Dec 29 to Jan 1
Admission: 300 yen
Shitamachi is the name of the artisan and merchant part of old Tokyo. This nostalgic museum has exhibits and reconstructions that show what life was like in Tokyo from the late Meiji to early Showa Periods.

Ueno Zoo

Hour: 9:30 to 17:00 (entry until 16:00)
Closed: Mondays (or following day if Mon is a holiday), Dec 29 to Jan 1
Admission: 600 yen (free admission on March 20, May 4 and October 1)
Opened in 1882, Ueno Zoo is Japan's oldest zoo. Its most popular residents are giant panda bears, which first moved here in 1972 on the occasion of the normalization of relations between Japan and China. The zoo temporarily had no pandas after the death of Ling Ling in 2008, but two new pandas moved in in 2011 and had a baby in 2017.

Getting there and around

Ueno Park is just next to JR Ueno Station. Easiest access is provided by the station's "Park Exit".

Orientation in Tokyo

Hotels around Tokyo

Top rated in Tokyo
Budget:
    • Mokkoan
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring free WiFi and a hot tub, Mokkoan offers accommodation in Kita Ward, Tokyo. Private parking is available on site. Every room comes with a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Certain units have a seating area where you can relax. For your comfort, you will find slippers and free toiletries. You will find a shared kitchen at the property. The guest house also offers free use of bicycles. Yokohama is 37 km from Mokkoan, while Chiba is 41 km away. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 24 km from Mokkoan.
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    • HISAYO'S INN
      Budget-friendly
      Set in the Ota Ward district in Tokyo, 5 km from Tokyo International Airport Terminal No2 Observation Deck, HISAYO'S INN features air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi throughout the property. Each room has air conditioning and a safety deposit box. A shared kitchen comes with a refrigerator, stovetop, microwave, toaster and electric kettle. Bathrooms are shared and include free toiletries, towels, hairdryer, mouthwash and toothpaste. You will find a washing machine, tumble dryer and electrical adapter. Guests can try Japanese traditional haori jacket and have their photos taken free of charge. Rental bikes are available, and the staff can assist guests try on a yukata robe for female at a fee. Free luggage storage service is offered. Bike hire is available at this guest house and the area is popular for cycling. Oedo Onsen Monogatari is 8 km from HISAYO'S INN, while Fuji TV Odaiba is 9 km from the property. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 3 km from HISAYO'S INN.
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    • SOLA HOTEL
      Mid-range
      Located in Tokyo, near Kamejimashogakko Memorial Park, Kameido Tenjin Shrine and Umeyashiki Monument, SOLA HOTEL features free WiFi, and guests can enjoy a shared lounge and a terrace. Accommodation is fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with bidet, a hairdryer and free toiletries. A fridge and kettle are also provided. Popular points of interest near the aparthotel include Olinas Kinshicho Shopping Mall, Tobacco & Salt Museum and Gokinimono Museum. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 17 km from SOLA HOTEL.
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    • Sakura Cross Hotel Tokyo Kayabacho
      Mid-range
      Located in Tokyo, 300 metres from Zuiken Kawamura Former Residence Place Monument, Sakura Cross Hotel Tokyo Kayabacho provides air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi. The property is around 500 metres from Oiwa Inari Shrine, 600 metres from Bank of Japan Origin Place Monument and 700 metres from Takao Inari Shrine. Each room is equipped with a balcony. At the hotel, each room includes a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. All units will provide guests with a fridge. Popular points of interest near Sakura Cross Hotel Tokyo Kayabacho include Shinkawa Historic Place Monument, Sailor Education Origin Place Monument and War Disaster Memorial Service Monument. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 13 km from the accommodation.
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    • The Hideout Tokyo
      Mid-range
      The Hideout Tokyo is set in Tokyo. In a prime location in the Taito district, this cosy hotel is located 1.5 km from Sensoji Temple. JR Yamanote Uguisudani Station is just a 4-minute walk away. The compact rooms at The Hideout Tokyo are equipped with a seating area and a flat-screen TV. Rooms come with a private bathroom. Complimentary breads, banana and coffee are served every morning. Tokyo Skytree is 2.9 km from The Hideout Tokyo, while Edo Tokyo Museum is 2.9 km from the property. Tokyo Haneda International Airport is 18 km away.
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    • Sumida Nagaya
      Budget-friendly
      Sumida Nagaya is situated in Tokyo, an 18-minute walk from Tokyo Skytree. Well situated in the Sumida Ward district, this guest house is set 2.6 km from Sensoji Temple. The property is 3.4 km from Edo Tokyo Museum and 7 km from Marunouchi Building. The guest house is equipped with a kitchenette with an electric kettle, microwave, toaster and fridge. Every room comes with a shared bathroom with a bath. An simple Japanese breakfast with rice balls and miso soup or a simple cereal is available daily at the property upon prior reservation. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 18 km from Sumida Nagaya.
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    • Sato-san's Rest
      Budget-friendly
      Open from October 2015, Sato-san's Rest offers accommodation in a shopping arcade in Tokyo's traditional downtown area. It features free WiFi and bicycle rental at an additional charge. Ueno can be reached with a 5-minute train ride while Akihabara is a 10-minute train ride away The property is a 8-minute walk from Hibiya Line Minowa Station exit 3, and a 30-second walk away from Toden Arakawa Line Arakawa-itchumae Station. Minowa Station provides better access to the city centre. . Yokohama is 35 km from Sato-san's Rest, while Chiba is 33 km from the property. Haneda Airport is 20 km away. All rooms come with free tea bags. Bathroom facilities are shared. There is luggage storage space at the property. The shower booths are available 24 hours and comes with free toiletries. Guests can enjoy local Japanese dishes at the nearby restaurants or buy some groceries at the shops in the arcade.
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    • Resol Poshtel Tokyo Asakusa
      Budget-friendly
      Ideally set in Tokyo, Resol Poshtel Tokyo Asakusa offers air-conditioned rooms, a shared lounge and free WiFi. The property is around 400 metres from Asakusa Public Hall, 500 metres from Edo Taito Traditional Crafts Center and 600 metres from Sogenji Temple. The property is close to popular attractions like Kinryu Park, Hozomon Gate and Honpo-ji Temple. Popular points of interest near the capsule hotel include Asakusa ROX Shopping Center, Drum Museum and Kappabashi-dori Shopping Street. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 18 km from Resol Poshtel Tokyo Asakusa.
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    • Hostel Chapter Two Tokyo
      Budget-friendly
      Conveniently situated in the Taito district of Tokyo, Hostel Chapter Two Tokyo is located 60 metres from Komagatado, 500 metres from Kaminarimon Gate Senso-ji and 500 metres from Ekimise Asakusa. With a shared lounge, the 1-star hostel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. The accommodation provides a shared kitchen, and luggage storage for guests. The hostel offers a terrace. Popular points of interest near Hostel Chapter Two Tokyo include Hozomon Gate, Chiisanagarasunohonno Museum and World Bags and Luggage Museum. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 17 km from the accommodation.
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    • No Borders Hostel
      Budget-friendly
      Located in Tokyo, 700 metres from Togoshi-ginza Shopping Street, No Borders Hostel provides air-conditioned rooms and free bikes. Among the facilities at this property are a shared kitchen and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The property is close to popular attractions like Meguro Fudoson Ryusen-ji Temple, Kaifukuji Temple and Yakushi-ji Tokyo Annex Temple. All guest rooms in the guest house are fitted with a kettle. The shared bathroom is equipped with a shower and a hairdryer. Guest rooms will provide guests with a microwave. Popular points of interest near No Borders Hostel include Remy Gotanda Shopping Mall, Anyo-in Temple and Musashi Koyama Shopping Street Palm. The nearest airport is Tokyo Haneda International Airport, 9 km from the accommodation.
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