Ueno Park is a public green space and a well-known park in Tokyo. Situated near the Ueno Station in Tokyo, the outdoor haven is easily accessible in central Tokyo. Ueno Park dates back to 1873 and the grounds were once a part of the Kaneiji Temple.
The large park houses many attractions, including museums, temples and a zoo. It is an ideal place for families, picnics or just enjoying a break from the busy city vibes. Beyond this, Ueno is considered a cultural hub, known for hosting celebrations and arts.
History of Ueno Park
Ueno Park is actually considered the first public park in Japan and has a long history, surviving through natural disasters and war. Dating back to the Edo period, Ueno Mountain was a part of the Kaneiji Temple grounds, and the surrounding area was, and still is, known for viewing cherry blossoms. In 1868, during the Meiji Restoration, the Kaneiji Temple underwent significant destruction through battle. The new Meiji governing body was fighting with the overthrown shogunate system. As a result of this battle, the temple grounds were changed to public park space in 1873. It was the first western-style park of its kind to be opened and remains a popular public park to this day. To pay homage and honor the battle, there is a statue of Saigo Takamori, a prominent general who fought in the Battle of Ueno, at the park entrance.
There is much to see in Ueno Park and is a great place for families or travelers with children. Within the grounds, there are several museums including the National Museum of Western Art, the Tokyo National Museum, the National Science Museum, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.
Ueno Park also houses a zoo, known as the Ueno Zoo. Other attractions in the park include the Shinobazu Pond, which stands to symbolize Lake Biwako. The center of the pond holds a temple hall called Bentendo which honors the goddess of Benten.
During the cherry blossom bloom, Ueno Park is one of the most beautiful places in Japan to see the Sakura blossoms with over 100 cherry trees in the center of the park. It’s also a popular location for Hanami festival celebrations. Shrines that are found on the grounds include Toshogu Shrine, Kiyomizu Kannon Temple, Bentendo, and the Kaneiji Temple.
How to visit
The best way to access Ueno Park is via the JR Ueno Station which is right next to the exit.
5-2-0 Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan
Park is open 24 hours