Pink Cherry Blossoms

Getty Images


Ueno & Yanesen

Best known for its profusion of cherry trees that burst into blossom in spring (making this one of Tokyo's top hanami – blossom-viewing – spots), sprawling Ueno-kōen is also the location of the city's highest concentration of museums. At the southern tip is the large scenic pond, Shinobazu-ike, choked with lotus flowers in summer.

Navigating the park is easy, thanks to large maps in English. The wooded pathways also wind past centuries-old temples and shrines; the entire site was the domain of the temple Kanei-ji during the Edo era.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ueno & Yanesen attractions

1. Gojōten-jinja

0.11 MILES

This Inari shrine inside Ueno-kōen is most noteworthy for its photogenic succession of torii gates, which form a vermilion tunnel. This feature is typical…

2. Ueno Zoo

0.13 MILES

Japan’s oldest zoo, established in 1882, is home to animals from around the globe, but the biggest attractions are the giant pandas from China, Rī Rī and…

3. Ueno Tōshō-gū

0.14 MILES

This shrine honours Tokugawa Ieyasu, the warlord who unified Japan; it's the (much smaller) Tokyo counterpart to Nikkō's grand Tōshō-gū. Resplendent in…

4. Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art

0.15 MILES

This museum hosts blockbuster shows with art on loan from local and international museums (such as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art); you could be…

5. Kiyōmizu Kannon-dō

0.16 MILES

Kiyōmizu Kannon-dō is one of Tokyo's oldest structures: established in 1631 and in its present position since 1694, it has survived every disaster that…

6. National Museum of Western Art

0.16 MILES

The permanent collection here runs from medieval Madonna-and-child images to 20th-century abstract expressionism, but is strongest in French impressionism…

7. National Museum of Nature & Science

0.22 MILES

The Japan Gallery here showcases the rich and varied wildlife of the Japanese archipelago, from the bears of Hokkaidō to the giant beetles of Okinawa…

8. Kuro-mon

0.22 MILES

West of the main gate to Tokyo National Museum is the Kuro-mon (Black Gate), transported from the Edo-era mansion of a feudal lord. You can view the…