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Updated: September 30, 2022

Explore a paradise of cultural sights

Ueno Station does not often make it onto the bucket list for many tourists coming to Japan, but that’s sure to change once you see everything that Ueno Park has to offer the modern-day traveler. This spacious park in the north of Tokyo was among Japan’s first public parks. There are a number of major museums surrounding Ueno Park, as well as various historical and cultural sites, and even recreational places to spend a few hours.
In springtime, visit Ueno Park for its awe-inducing cherry blossoms and experience Japanese hanami (flower viewing). There are special events year-round and the park’s beauty holds true no matter the season. More than ten million people a year are drawn to Ueno Park and its surrounding features; visit and find out what makes this place so special, and Japan’s most popular city park.

General Tips

  • Bring a light jacket in spring or autumn
  • Wear good footwear, as there are a number of stairs and gravel pathways
  • Bring your own drink
  • Carry change to buy an o-mikuji (fortune slip) at the temple

Map Legend

  • Walking
  • Taxi
  • Bus
  • Train
  • Water Bus
  • Bike


A major station in the Tokyo urban center

Ueno Station

Ueno Station is a major stop on the JR Yamanote Line and services the Ueno district of Tokyo’s Taito City. The station also serves several other lines, including shinkansen lines that lead to northern Japan. Another great feature of this major commuter hub is the accessibility that it offers visitors to the area. From Ueno Station, visitors can make their way to various sightseeing spots, such as Ameyoko Shopping Arcade, Ueno Park, and Shinobazu Pond.
The station’s Shinobazu Exit leads visitors directly to the crossway of Ueno Park and Ameyoko Shopping Arcade. There are also several famous eateries in the area that cater specifically to tourist tastes, such as the famous Hard Rock Cafe and nearby Monster Grill.

Walking5 mins


A place to enjoy the lotuses

Shinobazu Pond

Shinobazu Pond is split into three smaller ponds. Watch the sunrise sparkle off the waters of the Lotus Pond where, in summer, a multitude of lotus plants blossom bright pink. The surface of the pond is almost completely covered by the lush green plants during the blooming season. In winter, visitors to the lake can see carp swimming and ducks floating on the water. At the Boat Pond, rent a swan pedal boat or a rowboat for a fun or perhaps romantic tour of the pond, surrounded by verdant willow trees and other foliage. The Cormorant Pond, the smallest of the three ponds but also the deepest, lies within Ueno Zoo, and you are likely to see cranes and herons flying over its tranquil waters. While walking around the three ponds, don’t miss out on visiting Shinobazu Benten-do Temple in the center.

Walking8 mins


A quiet respite at Shinobazu Pond

Benten-do Temple

This Buddhist temple is dedicated to the goddess of music and performing arts, Benzaiten. The temple stands in the center of the three ponds that make up the larger Shinobazu Pond. With its cerulean roof, the temple offers a striking image from across the Lotus Pond.
As you approach the temple, you’ll likely notice the food stalls lining the short pathway leading to the grounds. If you can resist the temptation of the various savory smells wafting up from the stalls, you will be greeted by the clear scent of the temple incense. Wash the incense smoke over yourself before approaching the temple stairs; at the top of the stairs, offer up your prayers to Benzaiten, and buy a small o-mikuji (fortune slip), or o-mamori (charm) for success in your studies.

Walking3 mins


Heal your weary soul and cure what ails you

Gojoten Shrine

When you visit Gojoten Shrine in Ueno Park, it can be difficult to believe that you are in one of the most crowded cities in the world. Gojoten Shrine is a sanctuary of peace and quiet, away from the hubbub of Tokyo. The temple has an air of magic for people who are praying for healing, and also students who hope to pass exams.

Walking3 mins


Discover your inner Zen

Ueno Daibutsu

The Ueno Daibutsu (large statue of Buddha), crafted in 1631, was damaged repeatedly by earthquakes. Finally, during the Pacific War, much of the statue's body was melted down for weapon manufacturing, leaving only the face intact.
Today, the face of the Great Buddha stands in the place where the whole statue once stood. The peaceful visage of the Ueno Daibutsu will give a sense of serenity to visitors who seek inner enlightenment.

Walking3 mins


The shrine that has survived all

Ueno Tosho-gu Shrine

This Edo-period shrine has stood the test of time. The gold-and-black exterior offers a striking contrast against the surrounding green trees and the cobblestone pathway leading up to it. Twice a year, visitors to the shrine will be rewarded with fabulous peony blooms.
This 1627 shrine enshrines the first Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and is a surprisingly quiet, uncrowded shrine. Having survived battles, earthquakes, and wars, the shrine is largely as it was, and has only had one renovation, which took place between 2009 and 2013. The tranquil beauty of the shrine makes it a must-see for visitors to Ueno.

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