By David, long-term Tokyo resident & food-loving traveler
Ueno is a main hub for travel inside Tokyo and to surrounding regions. Many eating and shopping options are available close to Ueno Station and Ueno’s Ameyoko Market. Inside Ueno Park are temples, shrines, several excellent museums, and Ueno Zoo.
Decide on what you want to see. The Ueno area has so many interesting places and shops to choose from. A Tokyo Tourist Information Center is located at Keisei Ueno.
When to visit? Ueno Park is famous for its cherry trees in the spring, but it is a great destination any time of the year.
My tip for seeing Ueno is to wear comfortable shoes. Ueno - and most of Tokyo - is best explored on foot.
For a leisurely visit, walk from Ueno Station into Ueno Park, visit Ueno Toshogu Shrine, and take pictures at Shinobazu Pond. There are a few cafes in the park where you can pick up a coffee or sit down for Japanese sweets and tea.
If you only do one thing in Ueno, visit the Tokyo National Museum. This large museum houses a vast collection that gives great insight into Japanese art, crafts, and history. In the main Honkan building you can see a variety of precious Japanese items, including textiles, ceramics, antiquities, prints, paintings, statues, and samurai swords. The Heiseikan building shows Japanese archaeology and special exhibitions. The Gallery of Horyu-ji Treasures houses hundreds of items from the famous Horyu-ji Temple in Nara. In the spring and fall, the museum’s traditional Japanese garden is also open. For more information, please see https://www.tnm.jp.
Not interested in fine art? Go shopping and sample snacks and delicacies at Ameyoko Market. Read more about this exciting part of Ueno in this article: “Shopping for foodies in Tokyo - Ueno’s Ameyoko Market” https://authentic-tokyo.com/news/detail?news_id=647.
Traveling with children? Visit Ueno Zoo and the National Museum of Nature and Science. More about the home of Tokyo’s panda bears and Japan’s biggest science museum: “Ueno with kids: Visit the zoo, the science museum, or take a boat out on the pond”. https://authentic-tokyo.com/news/detail?news_id=634.