By David, long-term Tokyo resident & food-loving traveler
Ueno is one of the districts in Tokyo’s old “shitamachi” downtown area. At its center are Ueno Park and Ueno Station. Here are a few places that you can cover in a photo walk. If you want to avoid the crowds in the park, start early in the morning. And for shooting atmospheric street scenes, neon lights, and local bars, go out in the evening after dark.
Ueno is a big and busy station, served by several train lines and subway lines. Shinkansen trains also pass through here. Near the ticket gates, there are many shops. It is worth taking a look around before you leave the station. Since the station is close to Ueno Zoo, known for its panda bears, you can find many things here that are decorated with or shaped like panda bears.
Ueno Park – views & nature
Through the centuries, views of Ueno Park have inspired Japanese artists to create prints and paintings. Visit and see what you can compose using this popular Tokyo destination. In the spring, this is one of the most popular cherry blossom spots in Tokyo. And Shinobazu Pond is known for its lotus leaves and flowers and the birds and carp that live among them. Early in the morning, you have the best chance to have the park (nearly) to yourself.
Ueno Park – architecture & art
Many museums, temples, and shrines are located inside Ueno Park. Explore and check out the different styles of architecture. There are traditionally Japanese structures but also buildings in other styles. Here are just a few of the places you can go to: Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, The University Art Museum (Tokyo University of the Arts). For Japanese architecture, go to the Kuromon Gate (inside the Tokyo National Museum grounds), the Ueno Toshogu Shrine, or the Hanazono Inari Shrine. You can find many more interesting buildings inside Ueno Park.
There are also many outdoor art pieces here. Keep your eyes open when you walk through the park. The National Museum of Western Art (a building by Le Corbusier), the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, and the National Museum of Nature and Science all have exhibits outside. There are also statues of historic figures and fun finds like a panda-style post box.
Ameyoko Market – neon lights, street scenes & food
Ameyoko Market is known as a top destination in the city for foodies to go shopping, eating, and drinking, but it is also an excellent destination for photographers. See the different vendors selling their wares. The market gets very lively. In the evening, shop signs and shop windows create another atmosphere. Among the shops, there are also many bars, cafes, and restaurants. If you are interested in food, you have a great choice of motives here – and a great selection of places for trying some local delicacies.
If you need help finding something, go to the Tokyo Tourist Information Center at the Keisei Ueno Station or the Ueno Tourist Information inside the Matsuzakaya department store (B1F Matsuzakaya, PARCO_ya Ueno side).
For a more about an early start in the Ueno area click the link below to read this related article you might like: Breakfast & brunch in Tokyo’s Ueno district https://authentic-tokyo.com/news/detail?news_id=662