My favourite place in Tokyo is Ueno Park, especially beautiful when the cherry trees are in bloom. The park is located in the area of the ancient Kaneiji Temple, which contains the Toshogu Shrine and the five-story pagoda, originally from 1639.
At one end of the park, there is a pond called Shinobazu that is divided into three areas: the lotus pond, which practically covers it during spring and summer; the cormorant pond, named as such due to the large number of birds that visit it, and the pond of the boats, where you can rent skates and boats. In the center of the pond is the Benten-do Temple, which can be visited from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Access is free.
The park houses the face of the ancient Great Buddha of Ueno; a zoo, with famous pandas, and several museums: the National Science Museum, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, the Tokyo National Museum, the Ueno Royal Museum, the Shitamachi Museum and the National Museum of Western Art, my favourite one. Designed by Le Corbusier, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it houses more than 4,000 paintings and sculptures by Western artists with works by Monet, Picasso, Cezanne, Van Gogh and Renoir, among others.
7-7 Ueno-koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
- Friday and Saturday from 9.30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Special days from 9.30 to 10 p.m.
The museum is closed on Mondays, December 28 and January 1.
There are different rates:
- Reduced: university students
- Free: over 65, high school students, under 18, disabled and companions
In the immediate vicinity of the park you can find the Ameyoko shopping street. On the website of the park there is a map where all the points of interest mentioned above appear. For more information about Ueno Park, click here.