Ueno Park

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by billmoy on August 20, 2002

Ueno Park is the largest park in Tokyo, and is also the oldest established park in Japan. While it is not necessarily an essential place to visit if you have little time in the city, the park has many enjoyable places to visit. You can easily relax and stare at the cherry trees. The surrounding neighborhood still has a relaxed "old Edo" atmosphere to it that is most refreshing. Note that many of the park's establishments are closed on Mondays.

One may get different opinions from different people, but the Ueno Zoo probably comes to mind first when one thinks of Ueno Park. There are always kids walking around with colorful balloons and snacks around the various animal areas. There is the sizeable Shinobazu Pond, which features lotus flowers, ducks, and an island with the Benzaiten Temple. Other old temple structures, all dating from 1631 to 1651, are the Kiyomizu Kannon-do Temple (based on the famous Kyoto complex), the Toshogu Shrine, and the Five-story Pagoda of the Kaneiji Temple, with a height of 120 feet.

Ueno Park is also a museum campus in itself. The Tokyo National Museum displays not only Japanese artifacts, but also Iranian, Egyptian and more standard Asian items as well. The great LeCorbusier designed the National Museum of Western Art, although this project is not generally regarded as one of his more significant efforts. The Tokyo Metropolitan National Hall, the place to go to for classical music in Tokyo, is also located here.

The park features an unusual statue of Saigo Takamori, whose image is captured walking his dog. Across from the west side of Ueno Park is an unusual tower that looks like a weird stacked wedding cake. This is the Sofitel, a deluxe hotel with only 83 rooms within its 26 floors, designed by architect Kiyonori Kikutake as a cross between a multi-leveled temple and a tree.

Ueno Park
5-20 Ueno Koen
Tokyo, Japan, 110-0007
+81 (3) 3828-5644


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