Enjoy Tokyo/Ueno

UenoEdit

Ueno.jpg

Available RailwaysEdit

Directions from TOKYO StationEdit

  • Keihin Tohoku Line (towards Oomiya/Minami Urawa) 5 minutes 京浜東北線 大宮・南浦和行き 5分
  • Yamanote Line (towards Ueno/Ikebukuro) 3 minutes 山手線 上野・池袋行き 3分

JR (Japan Railway)Edit

  • Keihin Tohoku Line 京浜東北線
  • Toban/Narita Line 常磐・成田線
  • Toban Line 常磐線
  • Takasaki Line 高崎線
  • Tohoku Line 東北本線
  • Yamate Line 山手線

Shinkansen (bullet train)Edit

  • Akita Shinkansen 秋田新幹線
  • Jouetsu Shinkansen 上越新幹線
  • Tohoku Shinkansen 東北新幹線
  • Nagano Shinkansen 長野新幹線
  • Yamagata Shinkansen 山形新幹線

SubwayEdit

  • Tokyo Metro Ginza Line 東京メトロ銀座線
  • Tokyo Metro 東京メトロ日比谷線

,,,東京都交通局(バス)

OthersEdit

  • Kyosei Dentetsu Line 京成電鉄本線
  • Toei Bus 都営バス

HistoryEdit

The history of “Ueno” begins from the erection of Kaneiji (Kanei-temple) by Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third Tokugawa Shogun in 1625 Edo period. This temple was erected for defending against the unlucky direction where the Edo temple is located, and at present six of the fifteen Tokugawa shoguns sleep in the Kaneiji grave. After the erection, this area was called “Ueno”, developed as a temple town.

Although various opinions are advocated, the origin of the name “Ueno” is not concretely determined. One of the origin says that the naming is due to the fact that "the top of this area (Ueno) is a field”, because “Ue” means top or up, and “no” means field in Japanese.

For another historical characteristic, Ueno Park, the first park completed in Japan, was opened in the end of Meiji period 1873. Then a foreign medical officer Dr. Baudin from the Netherlands, contributed to exploit the new park. At that time, the temple was ruined by a war, and the Japanese government planned to build hospitals in affiliation with university there. Then Dr. Baudin advanced the exploiting park to protect the abundant nature, and it became Ueno Park. Without Dr. Baudin, the place would not be the park it is today.

Tourist AttractionsEdit

Ameya YokotyouEdit

Ameyoko.jpg

A shopping arcade as long as 400m also called “Ameyoko”. Many people come shopping even in the weekdays, and 200~300 thousands of people come to buy products for the New Year in the end of the Year. A large character of “Ameyoko” is the activeness of the city. For example, all the clerks of all of the shops shout out how purchasable their product is. It is also interesting how customers too make conversations to discount the products by the negotiation to the clerks. Including some low-priced snacks, fresh seafood, Japanese sweets and Ameyoko special products are sold, so you would enjoy shopping eating them.

There are some opinions about the origin of the Name “Ameya” as “Ueno”. One of the opinions says in those days many shops sold candies, so it became “Ame(=Candy) ya(shop)”, and some others say that after the war, American products were on the market sold by the American soldiers, and became“Ame(=America) ya(=shop)”.

Access:

  • 10 min. walk from JR Ueno Station, Park Exit
  • 7 min. walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza Line/Hibiya Line Ueno Station
  • 5 min. walk from Keisei Line Keisei Ueno Station

Opening Hours:

  • Defers depending on each shop

HP:

Kokuritsu Kagaku Hakubutsukan (National Museum of Nature and Science)Edit

Kokuritsu Kagaku Hakubutsukan.jpg

This one and only national science museum was built in 1877, and is one of the oldest museums in Japan. About 3500 thousand collection about nature, science and technology are exhibited and protected. The museum consists two pavilions: Nihon-kan and Chikyu-kan. In the Nihon-kan pavilion, you can learn the environment, the animals, the history of the archipelago and people in Japan. In the Chikyu-kan various exhibitions about nature, science and technology like space, dinosaur, creature evolution, a physical phenomenon, etc. can be seen.

The museum also has an exhibition called “Theater 360” which was originally a pavilion in Expo Aichi, Japan. After the expo it was moved to this museum, and people in the theater can see video's of Earth and the early periods of earth by experiencing images and sounds from 360°direction.

In addition, there are special exhibitions held where unique pavilions are opened. They are held most of the time, but since the contents are changed periodically they are sometimes under-construction. Some interesting topics from former the exhibitions would be “science art fashion”or “STAR WARS science and art”.

Access:

  • 5 min. walk from JR Ueno Station, Park Exit
  • 10 min. walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza Line/Hibiya Line Ueno Station
  • 10 min. walk from Keisei Line Keisei Ueno Station

Fee:

  • 600 yen (adults, university students)
  • Fees for special exhibitions differ and change determining to the contents held

Opening Hours:

  • 9:30 ~ 17:00 (9:30 ~ 20:00 on Fridays)
  • Mondays are closed (Tuesdays are closed instead when Monday is a holiday)

HP:

 

Ueno Dobutsuen (Ueno Zoo)Edit

Ueno zoo.jpg

This zoo, established in 1882, is the oldest zoo in Japan. 464 species, 2600 many animals live in the zoo due to the large area which is over 35 acres. Therefore, like okapis from San Diego and aye-ayes from Madagascar, rare animals from all over the world live here too and you might not see them at others. The Ueno Zoo is also one of the most vigorous zoo's in Japan. For example Ueno zoo is famous for importing the first panda into Japan and it became a great news causing a social phenomenon all around Japan. “Gorilla Woods” and the “Tiger Forest” are two of the most entertaining places in the zoo, where visitors can face the animals nose-to-nose and experience the thrills of wildlife.

In the zoo are not only animals but has traditional Japanese aspects hidden too. The Five-storied Pagoda built in 1631, and the tea ceremony house built in the 17th century are two historical buildings that have great Japanese characteristics.

Access:

  • 6 min. walk from JR Ueno Station, Park Exit
  • 10 min. walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza Line/Hibiya Line Ueno Station
  • 5 min. walk from Keisei Line Keisei Ueno Station

Fee:

  • 600 yen (adults)
  • 200 yen (jr. high school students)
  • 300 yen (senior visitors older than 65)
  • FREE for students of jr. high schools in Tokyo, all elementary schools, and children younger.

Opening Hours:

  • 9:30 ~ 17:00 (some animals may not be seen after 16;30)
  • Mondays are closed (Tuesdays are closed instead when Monday is a holiday)

HP:

Personal Recommendation Best 5Edit

Statues
There are many statues are in Ueno, and walking around finding them is a meaningful way to travel around Ueno. Some statues are the famous historical characters, some are academic, and others are plain interesting. Having the knowledge about these statues, you would be able to look at them more deeply.

1. SAIGOU, Takamori

Saigo.jpg

This is the one of the most popular statues in Japan. Takamori Saigo from the Satsuma Clan (the present Kagoshima Prefecture) flourished for Japanese politics in boundary between Edo and Meiji Period. He exerted to succeed the Meiji Restoration, which played an important part in new Meiji government. Many people recognize him as a historical vital character, and love him still now.

His statue was made in 1898 by Kouun Takamura (1852~1934) who was also a famous engraver in Japan. He left some masterpieces like “Rouen”which was showed in Shicago Expo in 1893,and now exhibited in Tokyo National Museum. The dog next to Saigou is called “Tsun” which is made by Sadayuki Gotou. This statue is a symbol of Ueno, so many tourists always take its picture.

2. Whale

Ueno Blue Whale Statue.jpg

This is a statue of Blue Whale which is the biggest creature in the earth. It is exhibited outside of the National Museum of Nature and Science. Amazingly the total length is 30 meters long, so you can find it soon even from far away.

The whale lives on the krill and sardines about four ton per a day. To catch such fishes which are small and move quickly, the whale often swims with complex posture. The statue exhibited upside-down shows the unique figure of the whale.

Originally, 300 thousand Blue Whales inhabited in the world. But, the number has decreased to 7 thousand because of too much hunting, so that at present the whales are recognized as endangered species, and it is prohibited to hunt them.

3. NOGUCHI, Hideyo

Noguchi.jpg

This is a statue of NOGUCHI, Hideyo. He was a bacteriologist who discovered the agent of syphilis as the cause of progressive paralytic disease in 1911. He is famous from his personal history of how he was born to a poor farmers house, but how he studied hard and became a bacteriologist and made efforts to save people from serious diseases. His final days is another famous story; as he was studying a way to cure yellow fever, which in those days were understood to be an incurable disease, he himself also is infected by the fever and passed away. Note that he is printed in the \1000 bill, due to his brave and vigorous personality.

The statue was built by Professor Yoshida Saburo of the Tama Art University and is approximately four and a half meters tall. On the stone base it is written in Latin, “PRO BONO HUMANI GENERIS” which mean “For the good of humankind”.

4. The Thinker

The Thinker in Ueno.jpg

The name of this statue that anyone has once seen before is “The Thinker”. The original statue is a bronze and marble sculpture by Auguste Rodin held in the Musée Rodin in Paris. It depicts a man in sober meditation battling with a powerful internal struggle. From his pose, this statue is often used to represent philosophy, but the original name was actually “The Poet”

More than twenty monumental size bronze casts of the sculpture are in museums around the world, and this one in Ueno is one of them. This version was owned by an Japanese industrialist and politician, MATSUKATA, Koujiro. He liked to collect work of arts and this statue was one of 370 works he owned. Though he donated them to the National Museum of Western Art and it is now acting as the door of the museum.

5. Kappa

Kappa.jpg

This is a statue of Kappa which is the Japanese popular imaginary animal living in the river. It is said that it loses energy due to the damage of the dish on the head. The Cucumber is its favorite food,and Sushi rolls of cucumber is called “Kappa roll” in Japan.

The interesting statue is in the start point of Ameya Yokotyou. The word “賑わい” meaning bustle or activity in English is carved down the statue, so you could understand that the Kappa was made for a great success of the shopping arcade. However, the official data about the statue: the name and the maker and the date of making are unknown. If you know some details of this statue, please edit.

Last modified on 6 March 2011, at 02:29