Visiting Tokyo’s temples, shrines, and museums

Ueno Area

Tokyo is one of the greatest metropolises in the world. One of its charms is its townscapes where modern buildings and monuments meet historic temples, shrines, and other structures. Pleasant and relaxing scenery can be enjoyed only a short distance from the bustle of the city.

Day 1

Harajuku -- [Meiji-jingu Shrine] -- Harajuku -- <JR Yamanote Line30 mins.> -- Ueno -- <by walk> -- [Ueno-koen Park] -- [Tokyo National Museum] -- [Ueno Toshogu Shrine] -- <5 mins. by walk> -- [Shinobazunoike Pond] -- [Shitamachi Fuzoku Shiryokan (Downtown Folk Craft Museum)] -- <5 mins. by walk> -- [Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Garden] -- <3 mins. by walk> -- Yushima -- <Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line2 mins.> -- Nezu -- <5 mins. by walk> -- [Nezu-jinja Shrine] -- <5 mins. by walk> -- Sendagi -- [Asakura Choso-kan (Asakura Sculpture Museum)] -- <10 mins. by walk> -- Nippori -- <JR Yamanote Line5 mins.> -- Komagome -- [Rikugi-en Garden] -- <JR Yamanote Line15 mins.> -- Shinjuku

*The times required with public transportation are approximate.

Meiji-jingu Shrine

Ueno-koen Park

From the Koenguchi Exit of the Ueno Station, you will see Ueno-koen Park extending up over Ueno Hill in front of you. The park has several museums, concert halls, a zoo ?as well as a pond with rowboats, so the area is always filled with people enjoying the many available activities.

Tokyo National Museum

Among the many museums situated in the vast Ueno-koen Park is the Tokyo National Museum, which specializes in Japanese and Oriental cultural assets. The Honkan (Japanese Gallery) is designated as an important cultural property.

Ueno Toshogu Shrine

The Ueno Toshogu Shrine was built in reverence to Tokugawa Ieyasu, who founded the Edo Shogunate. The red Karamon Gate and the wall are designated as national treasures. Take a moment for a closer look at the detailed carving and decorations in the Haiden (front shrine).

Shinobazunoike Pond

In summer the pond is covered with lotus flowers, and in winter it is a haven for water birds. The cherry blossoms in spring are magnificent. You can also enjoy rowing a boat on the pond.

Shitamachi Fuzoku Shiryokan (Downtown Folk Craft Museum)

This museum represents everyday life in the downtown area about 100 years ago. In each room, you can see the actual utensils and paraphernalia used in everyday life and work.

Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Garden

The residence of the Iwasaki family, founders of the Mitsubishi Group, designed by Josiah Condor in 1869. The attached Japanese-style house and billiard room still remain today. The western-style building with its delicate design is highly valued as representing modern Japan’s wood buildings.

Nezu-jinja Shrine

This shrine is believed to have been founded about 1900 years ago. The lacquer-coated Haiden (front shrine) built in 1705 is the largest shrine construction of the Edo Period (1603-1867). The normally quiet premises burst with vitality from the middle to the end of April when the azaleas are in bloom and during the festival season around 21 September.

Asakura Choso-kan (Asakura Sculpture Museum)

This museum is housed in the former residence and studio of the sculptor Fumio Asakura. The studio is a western-style building and the residence is in traditional Japanese style with a garden and tea house, but they go together perfectly. This is an interesting space not only because of the sculptures, but also because of the architectural merit of the buildings.

Rikugi-en Garden

This richly endowed garden was created in 1695. Since its establishment it has been held in high esteem as one of the two largest gardens of the Edo Period (1603-1867) together with the Koishikawa Koraku-en Garden. A small hilly area centering on a pond creates many scenic uphill and downhill spots. In the cherry blossom season in spring and in the season of autumn leaves, the trees are lit up at night so that the many visitors can enjoy the beautiful gardens.