Living in Ueno: What is it like for foreigners?
Located in Taito Ward, Ueno is one of the few places that allows you to experience Japan's impressive culture.
The area has become a famous place to visit because of its variety of activities, including a massive park, the country’s largest zoo, and multiple museums. If you prefer living, or simply visiting, somewhere less busy than Shibuya or Shinjuku, Ueno is a must-go destination.
Read further to learn about Ueno.
Ueno: Home to Japan’s impressive cultural sites
There are many things you can do in Ueno. For starters, Ueno Park, with its massive size, has more than a thousand Cherry Blossom trees that bloom in March and April. This is a perfect destination for hanami, enjoyed by locals and foreigners alike.
Also, located in Ueno is the Ueno Zoo, the oldest of its kind in Japan. With the birth of a new adorable panda, the zoo’s popularity as a tourist destination has been increasing.
Furthermore, Ueno is home to multiple museums such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, the National Museum for Western Art, the Tokyo National Museum and the National Science Museum. This is practically heaven for culture and history buffs.
On top of everything, Ueno is an easily accessible area. Ueno Station is connected not only to 8 train lines that lead to various places in the Kanto Region, it is also connected to 6 Shinkansen lines which reach even further parts of Japan.
- From Tokyo Station, take the JR Keihin-Tohoku Line to Ueno (13 minutes)
- From Shinjuku Station, take the Yamanote line to Ueno station (about 21 minutes) From Shibuya Station- Take Ginza Subway Line to Ueno (around 25 minutes)
There is no better place to find animals from around the world than Ueno Zoo. The zoo, which is the landmark of Ueno, is also home to the animals that are only seen in Japan, such as the Japanese Squirrel and Yezo Deer.
The zoo’s celebrities are its two pandas, who are constantly waited to be seen by visitors. The baby panda is especially getting pop idol-like coverage, as it is only a few months old.
It is a great place to go by yourself, with your family, or with a significant other.
- Address: 9-83 Uenokoen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Directions: 5 minutes on foot from Ueno Station
Hanazono Inari Shrine
The Hanazono Inari Shrine will stun you with its impressive structure. You are greeted by the red Senbon Torii (literally one-thousand shrine gates), which alone is a fascinating sight to see.
The shrine is famous for its powers in matchmaking, fertility, and good relationships. As it is not a very famous tourist spot, you will be able to have a calm, peaceful walk without any disruption.
- Address: 4-17 Uenokoen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Location: 3 minutes on foot from JR Ueno Station, Ueno Park exit
The Tokyo National Museum
The Tokyo National Museum is one of the largest art museums in the world, and the oldest national museum in Japan. Divided into archaeological artifacts, Japanese art, and Eastern art, the impressive building showcases exhibitions not just on Japan but other Asian nations as well.
You could spend a whole day to properly view the many artifacts that are displayed in the building. The Tokyo National Museum is a must-go destination if you are in Tokyo.
- Address: 13-9 Uenokoen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
- Directions: 10 minutes on foot from Ueno Station or Uguisudani Station
Why foreigners live in Ueno
Nearby Ueno Station is Ameya Yokocho (“Ameyoko”), a shopping district filled with cheap and delicious meals. What was once a black market in post-WWII became a lively area with more than one hundred shops.
There are also affordable restaurants surrounding Ueno Station, attracting foreigners and locals alike. When in Ueno, you do not need to worry about the price of food.
Numerous transportation options
Due to the numerous transportation options, Ueno is a highly convenient place to live in.
Ueno Station is connected to the Yamanote Line, Utsunomiya Line, Takasaki Line, Joban Line, Ueno-Tokyo Line, Keihin-Tokyo Line, Ginza Line, and Hibiya Line. You will be able to go to almost every part of Tokyo and multiple areas of the Kanto region.
Ueno Station is also connected to the Tohoku Shinkansen, Yamagata Shinkansen, Akita Shinkansen, Joetsu Shinkansen, and Hokkaido Shinkansen. You can reach various areas of Japan within hours.
Ueno boasts in being the area of Japan’s fine arts. Therefore, it is not as lively as the usual tourist spots of Tokyo. Nevertheless because of its variety of activities, it is still a must-go destination.
Because it is so easily accessible, you have no excuse from visiting Ueno the next time you are in Japan.
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