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Updated: October 11, 2019

A day exploring Tokyo's beauty and culture

Although Tokyo is a busy, modern metropolis, there are still vestiges of its Edo heritage in the grand gardens of former warlords and the precious artifacts of the past. History comes alive in these beautiful parks and museums.

General Tips

  • Komagome is an upscale neighborhood worth exploring; you'll find stores selling wagashi sweets, crafts and fine ceramics and an indigo dye atelier on the way to Rikugien Gardens
  • If you plan to visit several museums in Tokyo, get a Tokyo Museum Grutto Pass for free or discounted entry to museums across the city
  • Don't miss Ueno Toshogu Shrine in Ueno Park, a beautifully ornate shrine similar to the Toshogu Shrine in Nikko. In winter and spring they have spectacular peonies.

Map Legend

  • Walking
  • Taxi
  • Bus
  • Train
  • Water Bus
Between Japanese and European style

Komagome Station

This convenient station on the Yamanote Line becomes colorful in late spring, when the azalea hedges near the platforms burst into bloom. It's an easy walk from here to the classic Japanese Rikugien Gardens on the south side, and the European style Kyu-Furukawa Gardens to the north.

Walking7 mins

2

Poetry comes to life

Rikugien Gardens

Said to reproduce 88 scenes from famous poetry, this classical Japanese landscape garden was created around 1700 for the Tokugawa shogun. Stroll around the pond and over the bridges, and make time for matcha tea at the traditional teahouse.

Train10 mins

3

Alight for pandas and museums

Ueno Station

Cute pandas have taken over Ueno Station, in the form of cakes, chocolates, socks and other souvenirs, dedicated to Ueno Zoo's most famous residents. Ueno Station is convenient to some of the city's best museums, for a taste of art and culture. Take the Park Exit.

Walking8 mins

4

Troves of treasures

Tokyo National Museum

Alongside national treasures and important cultural properties from Bronze Age artifacts to samurai armor, the museum has regular exhibitions from around the world. There are several restaurants and excellent museum shops on-site.

Walking5 mins

5

A cultural magnet

Tokyo Metropolitan Ueno Park

The park is a vast pleasure ground, with fine temples and museums dedicated to art, science and culture, along with a zoo and a concert hall. In spring, it is a focus for cherry blossom viewing, but the park attracts visitors every day to stroll, take coffee and enjoy the buskers.

Walking10 mins

6

Where you can buy anything

Ameyoko

Originally a bustling black market after WWII, the maze of streets under the train lines at Ueno still retains some of that rough charm. Stallholders call out bargains and visitors stroll with traditional snacks as they peruse the wares. It's a great place to find Japanese foodstuffs like green tea and seaweed.

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Visit Tokyo > Walks & Tours > Discover the beauty of Japan