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Awesome Things to Do In Japan: Most Popular Spots in Ueno! (February 2020 Ranking)

Awesome Things to Do In Japan: Most Popular Spots in Ueno! (February 2020 Ranking)

Date published: 1 March 2020

These are the top recommendations for Ueno, with travel tips and more, according to LIVE JAPAN, a top-class travel website for visitors to Japan. Our ranking is based on the most popular pages viewed by foreign visitors in a given category.

For instance, Niki no Kashi in Ameyoko (The first Store), Nezu Shrine, Ameyoko Shopping Street and other related spots will be listed. Be sure to check them out during your visit to Ueno!

1.Niki no Kashi in Ameyoko (The first Store)

1.Niki no Kashi in Ameyoko (The first Store)

Niki no Kashi has been a vendor and wholesale distributor of candy and snacks in the Ameyoko shopping district of Ueno since 1947, and this location is Niki no Kashi’s first candy and snacks shop.

The store at this location has a price system where you can buy just one item and still get a good price, while there is also the option of making bulk purchases to get a greater discount if you buy the minimum fixed quantity.

The 1st and 2nd floors are stacked with an impressive array of candy and snacks, and also region-specific snacks such as Kit Kats from different regions throughout Japan can all be bought in this one spot.

Souvenirs, including favorites such as Kororo, Umaibo, Oyatsu Calpas, Cheese Oyatsu, etc. are fully stocked and many other products, like wasabi and green tea flavored snacks and gift items are available as well.

The product selection changes from season to season, and new products that are popular in Japan on any given day can be found right here.

2.Nezu Shrine

2.Nezu Shrine

The ”Nezu Shrine” was built in Gongen-zukuri in 1706. All the buildings from the main hall to the hall of offerings, the hall of worship, the Karamon (a type of gate seen in Japanese architecture), the Nishi-mon (west gate), the Sukibei (lattice-windowed wall) and the two-storied gate still exist today, and they have been designated as National Important Cultural Property. Its history traces back 1900 years ago, when the shrine was (allegedly) established by Yamato Takeru where Sendagi exists now.

During the Bunmei era (1469 - 1486) the main building of the shrine was established by Ota Dokan (1432 - 1486) and during the Edo period (1600/1603 - 1868) Tokugawa Tsunayoshi (1646 - 1709) - the fifth shogun - established the main building of the current shrine which he then relocated from Sendagi where the old shrine existed to its current location, also in Sendagi.

Also, on the premises is a 6,600 square-meter azalea garden where about 3,000 azaleas of 100 different types bloom in Late Apli (depending on the climate of the year). During this period, street stalls such as Amazake-chaya (traditional Japanese teahouse famous for its Amazake: a traditional Japanese (alcoholic and non-alcoholic available) drink made from fermented rice) and Ueki-ichi (flower market) are lined up at the premises. It is a 5-minute walk from ”Nezu” Station and ”Sendagi” Station of the Metro Chiyoda Line and ”Todaimae” Station of the Metro Namboku Line.

3.Ameyoko Shopping Street

3.Ameyoko Shopping Street

The Ameyayokocho shotengai(shopping street) is located between JR Okachimachi Station and JR Ueno Station. It is a lively market with the charming atmosphere of historic downtown Tokyo and is visited by many shoppers every day. In addition to the well-known fish and crab, there is a wide variety of shops selling everything from clothing to Asian food, as well as food stalls.

Looking back at its history, it is said to have grown out of a black market that sprung up in the years following the end of World War II. Initially, when sweets were valuable, many shops sold sweet potato candies and candies called amedama, but once the Korean War started in 1950, many shops began selling articles procured from the American military forces and the Market gradually changed from a black market to a shopping district.

Because it was selling imported goods, it began to be called Ameyoko, which is a combination of ”Ameya-yokocho” (candy store lane) and ”Amerika-yokocho” (America lane). Even today, there is an ”Ameya-yokocho” sign on the Ueno side where many food stores are, and an ”Ameyoko” sign on the Okachimachi side, where many import stores are. It is well-known as a market full of shoppers buying fresh food at the end of the year to prepare for the New Year. It is a short walk from the central exit of JR Ueno Station.

  • Ameyoko Shopping Street
    • Address 4, Ueno, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 110-0005
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    • Nearest Station Ueno Station (Hokkaido Shinkansen Line / Tohoku Shinkansen Line / Akita Shinkansen Line / Yamagata Shinkansen Line / Joetsu Shinkansen Line / Hokuriku Shinkansen Line / JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Tohoku Main Line / JR Utsunomiya Line / JR Takasaki Line / JR Joban Line / JR Ueno Tokyo Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
      1 minute on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3832-5053

4.Ueno Park

4.Ueno Park

Ueno-onshi-koen, or the Ueno Park, is one of the most famous cherry blossom viewing sites in Japan, and there are about 1,200 cherry trees in the park.

Every spring, when the cherry blossoms bloom, nearly 2 million people visit the park for hanami, or cherry blossom viewing (a custom in which food and alcohol are enjoyed under blooming cherry trees). In the evening, bonbori (paper lanterns) are lit, and the cherry blossoms look fantastic as they appear in the soft illumination of the paper lanterns. There are various festivals held in the summer such as enthusiastic performances by various artists, music concerts on the outdoor stage, and a bon-dance festival. (Bon is a religious observation.)

A beautiful autumn foliage can also be viewed, and it attracts many visitors who want to experience a tasteful walk. In winter, there is an exhibition of beautiful peonies at the Ueno Toshogu Shrine, which is situated within the park. Peonies are some of the auspicious flowers celebrating a new year. Also, a zoo, a museum, and an art gallery are placed within the park premises, so the premises is widely known as bunka-no-mori (translated as the forest of culture). It is a two-minute walk from the Ueno Station on the JR (Japan Railways), the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, or the Hibiya Line.

  • Ueno Park
    • Address Uenokouen, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007
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    • Nearest Station Ueno Station (Hokkaido Shinkansen Line / Tohoku Shinkansen Line / Akita Shinkansen Line / Yamagata Shinkansen Line / Joetsu Shinkansen Line / Hokuriku Shinkansen Line / JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Tohoku Main Line / JR Utsunomiya Line / JR Takasaki Line / JR Joban Line / JR Ueno Tokyo Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
      1 minute on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3828-5644

5.Ueno Toshogu

5.Ueno Toshogu

Located in Ueno Park, Ueno Toshogu Shrine is a cultural property of significant value. It was built in 1627 as a shinto shrine enshrining Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. Later in 1651, the third shogun Iemitsu ordered massive scale reconstruction.

Its main hall was richly decorated with gold foils, which eventually gave the nickname of the ”shrine of gold”. In the shrine precinct you can enjoy viewing the essence of the every season such as peonies and cherry blossoms in spring colored leaves in Autumn. Any time of the year the shrine is filled with people who pray for their academic achievement and better luck. The shrine is also a popular tourist attraction for overseas visitors because it is the place to see a genuine Edo/Tokyo style building right in the middle of Tokyo. It is only a five-minute walk away from Ueno Station on the Yamanote Line, Keisei Line and Tokyo Metro Line.

  • Ueno Toshogu
    • Address 9-88, Uenokouen, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007
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    • Nearest Station Ueno Station (Hokkaido Shinkansen Line / Tohoku Shinkansen Line / Akita Shinkansen Line / Yamagata Shinkansen Line / Joetsu Shinkansen Line / Hokuriku Shinkansen Line / JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Tohoku Main Line / JR Utsunomiya Line / JR Takasaki Line / JR Joban Line / JR Ueno Tokyo Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
      5 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3822-3455

6.Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street

6.Yanaka Ginza Shopping Street

Yanaka Ginza Shopping District is a local shopping street in downtown Tokyo that retains the good old shitamachi atmosphere. The friendly service, the close rapport between staff and the customer, and the human warmth keep customers coming back. This district is located in an area called Yanesen, which is the connected areas of Yanaka, Nezu and Sendagi.

It is so popular that many people come from afar, especially on weekends. There are 70 stores along the 170-meter-long street, mainly older private shops. Not only locals but tourists as well can enjoy traditional Japanese sweets, cakes, crafts, take-out dishes, cafes and so on. Enjoy a stroll along this pleasant street with its charming awnings, signboards and cat-motif street furniture. A five- minute walk from Nippori Station on the JR Yamanote Line, Jouban Line, Keisei Line and Toei Toneri Line.

7.Takeya

7.Takeya

Takeya is a long-established general-discount department store dating back to 1947. They stock consumer electronics, PCs, clothes, watches and jewelry, foods, alcoholic beverages, commodities, sporting goods, pharmaceuticals, furniture, stationery goods and more.

Over 200,000 items are available, often at low prices. The advantage of Takeya is that its goods are selected nationwide by buyers for the store, so the quality is excellent. All counters are staffed by experts specializing in the products: consumer electronics advisers, jewelry coordinators, food advisers, Japanese sake (alcoholic beverages) advisers, pharmacists, and makeup artists whom you will find helpful. It is located just outside Exit 3 of Nakaokachimachi Station on the Hibiya Line.

  • Takeya
    • Address 4-33-2, Taitou, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 110-0016
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    • Nearest Station Naka-Okachimachi Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
      1 minute on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3835-7777

8.Yushima Tenman-gu (Yushima Tenjin)

8.Yushima Tenman-gu (Yushima Tenjin)

Yushima Tenjin Shrine is said to have been constructed in 458 by the Imperial order of Emperor Yuryaku. The official name is Yushima Tenmangu Shrine. This shrine was originally established to worship Ameno-tajikaraono-mikoto, one of deities that appears in the Japanese myths. But later, the spirit of Michizane Sugawara, a historical great politician, was also enshrined to venerate his extraordinary virtue and performances as a scholar. Since then scholars and writers have worshiped the shrine.

Today many people, especially students visit the shrine to pray Michizane Sugawara. About the shrine pavilions, the Honden (main) building is connected with the Haiden hall where people pray. They were built with 250 year old Kiso cypress trees according to the tradition of shrine architecture. The precincts were selected by a famous Japanese ukiyo-e artist in the Edo era, Hiroshige Utagawa as a subject for his One Hundred Famous Views of Edo and were very popular as a recreation area for local Edo people. Plum trees were Michizane Sugawara’s favorite and approximately 300 plum trees are planted here and in the peak of blossoming, February, the shrine receives a lot of visitors. You can also see a large bronze statue of a cow, a typical feature of a Tenjin shrine known as a nade-ushi (stroking cow) as well as mikoshi portable shrine and artifacts in the museum. A two-minute walk from the Exit 3 of Yushima Station on the Subway Chiyoda Line.

9.World currency shop atre' Ueno

9.World currency shop atre' Ueno

World Currency Shop (WCS) is a foreign currency exchange shop operated by one of Japan’s megabanks, the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG). Rest assured, our rates are the same as those ofMUFG Bank. Our services are quick and easy-to-use. Please see our website for more detailed information on the WCS and rates.

  • World currency shop atre' Ueno
    • Address Atre Ueno EAST 2F, 7-1-1, Ueno, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 110-0005
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    • Nearest Station Ueno Station (Hokkaido Shinkansen Line / Tohoku Shinkansen Line / Akita Shinkansen Line / Yamagata Shinkansen Line / Joetsu Shinkansen Line / Hokuriku Shinkansen Line / JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Tohoku Main Line / JR Utsunomiya Line / JR Takasaki Line / JR Joban Line / JR Ueno Tokyo Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
      2 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-5826-5771

10.Benten-do

10.Benten-do

The Bentendo Temple in the Shinobazu Pond is one of the remaining buildings of the Toeizan Kan'eiji temple complex, 10 hectres in area, which has a number of National Important Cultural Properties. The founder of Kan’eiji Temple, the high priest Tenkai (1536?-1643) built an artificial islet called Nakanoshima in the Shinobazu Pond after Chikubu Island of Lake Biwa and erected a Bentendo Temple there.

The current building was reconstructed in 1958. Its main object of worship, the Happi (eight-armed) Benzaiten originally comes from Hogonji Temple on Chikubu Island. Shinobazu Pond, a spacious natural pond in Ueno Park with Bentendo Hall surrounded by lotus plants is quite a magnificent vista. During spring, the park, popular with residents and tourists alike, is filled with large number of people who enjoy viewing the cherry blossoms in full bloom. It is an eight-minute walk from the Park Exit of JR ”Ueno” Station.

  • Benten-do
    • Address 2-1, Uenokouen, Taitou-ku, Tokyo, 110-0007
      View Map
    • Nearest Station Ueno Station (Hokkaido Shinkansen Line / Tohoku Shinkansen Line / Akita Shinkansen Line / Yamagata Shinkansen Line / Joetsu Shinkansen Line / Hokuriku Shinkansen Line / JR Keihin-Tohoku Line / JR Yamanote Line / JR Tohoku Main Line / JR Utsunomiya Line / JR Takasaki Line / JR Joban Line / JR Ueno Tokyo Line / Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line)
      8 minutes on foot
    • Phone Number 03-3821-4638
*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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