Ueno Area Guide

Ueno is an entertainment district found in Taito Ward. Within the neighborhood is the massive Ueno Park, a very popular spot for tourists and locals to visit. A wide variety of attractions including museums and temples are in the park, along with the Ueno Zoo. The area can feel chaotic and overwhelming with crowds of people, but if you want to take advantage of the great transportation options from Ueno Station you might have to learn to get used to this.

Contents

Location

Located in Taito Ward, Ueno is one of Tokyo’s larger transportation hubs and the area is very well-known as an entertainment district. With the expansive Ueno Onshi Park as one of the area’s major destinations (both for tourists and residents), there is a lot of foot traffic around the station. Another feature of the Ueno neighborhood is Ameyayoko Market, a stretch of the street with open markets, izakayas, and shops catering to tourists.

Ueno as a neighborhood tends to fly a little under the radar in terms of livability within Tokyo. You’ll have to be very comfortable with crowds and city-life if you want to make this neighborhood your home. But, the fantastic transportation options and shopping/entertainment in the area make this one of the most sought after areas for short-term rental apartments for visiting Tokyo!

Ueno Short Term Apartments

There is almost no end to the shopping, dining, and entertainment options available in Ueno, and in fact, Ueno is a popular location for a short term stay in Tokyo. Searching around the nearby stations of Inaricho and Iriya will also bring up short-term apartments with great value – close to the shopping and dining in Ueno!

Here’s an example of a short-term furnished apartment in Ueno. By using Ueno Station as a home-base for your Tokyo trip, you’ll be able to have a direct connection to many other major hubs in Tokyo!

Key Stats

Average Rent in Ueno

Apartment Type Average Rent ($1 = ¥110)
1R 1K ¥115,500/month ($1,050)
1LDK 2K 2DK ¥170,400/month ($1,550)
2LDK 3K 3DK ¥216,800/month ($1,970)

Apartments For Rent in Ueno

Train Lines

JR/Subway/Other Line
JR East Yamanote
JR East  Keihin-Tohoku
JR East  Utsunomiya
JR East  Takasaki
JR East  Joban
Tokyo Metro  Ginza
Tokyo Metro  Hibiya
Keisei Electric Railway*  Keisei Main Line

*Access to the Keisei Main Line is through Keisei Ueno Station, approximately a 300 m walk southwest of Ueno Station.

Accessibility

Transportation to…  Line Time
Shinjuku Yamanote, direct 26 min
Shibuya Yamanote, direct 33 min
Tokyo Yamanote, direct 8 min
Shinagawa Keihin-Tohoku, direct 17 min
Narita Airport Keisei Skyliner, direct 45 min
Yokohama, Kanagawa Takasaki (Tokyo), train continues on JR Tokaido Line 30 min
Omiya, Saitama Takasaki, direct 27 min

Orientation Around the Station

With all the different train and subway lines stopping at Ueno Station, you can imagine that this station gets quite busy. Let’s take a look at this station level by level.

The Shinobazu Exit of Ueno Station. Photo: Nesnad via Wikimedia Commons

Ground floor (Chuo Ticket Gate 中央改札)

  • The Yamashita entrance (山下口) is a smaller entrance, directly across from Ueno Park. It can be useful if you need to get to the park entrance and forgot to exit at the 3rd floor of Ueno Station.
  • The Shinobazu entrance (不忍口) is at the corner of Ueno Park St. and Chuo Dori Ave. It’s the closest station to Keisei Ueno Station if you’re pressed for time to make your transfer.
  • The Hirokoji entrance (広小路口) is the largest of the entrances on ground level. If you exit from here you should see the entrance to the subway lines in front of you.

Second floor

  • The East Ueno entrance (東上野口) is a smaller entrance located on the second floor. Useful for getting onto the pedestrian overpass so you don’t have to deal with traffic lights at ground level.

The Park Exit of Ueno Station. Across from the station is the entrance to Ueno Park. Photo: 663highland via Wikimedia Commons

Third floor

  • On the third floor you’ll find the Park entrance (公園口) which is the simplest way to get to the park from the station.
  • An alternative exit on the third floor is the Panda bridge entrance (パンダ橋口). Aptly named due to the giant panda stuffed animal on display at this entrance. From this exit, you can cross the bridge to get to the park, or head down the stairs to ground level to explore the shopping and dining options.

Ueno Park

Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park attracts many with its lotus plants. Photo: Dick Thomas Johnson via Wikimedia Commons

Living near Ueno Park is a blessing and a curse. On one hand, not every neighborhood has such great access to a sprawling open space for picnics, jogging, and relaxing away from towering skyscrapers. But, because of the many attractions of this particular park, it does tend to be busier than what one might be looking for in an urban oasis. Ueno Park is home to the Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Ueno Royal Museum, Ueno Zoo, and Shinobazunoike Bentendo Temple.

Ueno Park is a wide open space that’s popular for exploring on days off. Photo: iStock stock photography

The park also hosts many events throughout the year. With its large open space, many booths can be set up for park visitors to browse on any given day. From the annual hanami (cherry blossom viewing) picnics to annual international friendship events (Thai Festival, Pakistani Festival, etc.), you’ll be able to check out any events that make their way through Ueno Park.

This high concentration of sights to see draws in a fair share of tourists (both international and Japanese). If you’re okay with crowds and a little bit of that “city that never sleeps” atmosphere, then Ueno could be right up your alley.

Ameyayokocho

Ameyoko is an often busy marketplace, where you can find a wide variety of stores and restaurants. Photo: iStock stock photography

More well-known by its abbreviated name, Ameyoko, this stretch of road in Ueno is a dense cluster of markets and izakayas. When the weather is nice, it’s very common to see establishments utilize the space in front of their shops, giving Ameyoko an open-air market atmosphere.

If you venture into the depths of the markets you’ll find some very affordable imported foodstuffs. The markets on ground level and in the basement level of many of the buildings are packed with a wide variety of spices (especially for cooking Chinese, Korean, and Southeast Asian cuisines) that you won’t find in regular Japanese supermarkets.

The exact origin of the name has been lost to time, but there are two theories as to how Ameyayokocho was named. The Japanese word for candy is ame (飴) and combined with the word for store becomes ameya (飴屋). The legend goes that the name came about from the candy shops that are said to have popped up in the area during the postwar era. The second theory is that the name comes from abbreviating the Japanese romanization of America (amerikaアメリカ) since there used to be stores selling American military surplus goods on the streets.

Eating

Ueno is filled to the brim with restaurants, so foodies who love exploring the tastes of Tokyo will find this area to be an absolute delight. There’s no shortage of top eats in Ueno, so here’s our take on a few gems that you can find here. Yamabe is a tonkatsu (deep fried pork cutlet) restaurant with juicy cutlets and a crisp panko breading. Yoseya is a Japanese seafood restaurant with some large portions that are surprisingly wallet-friendly. Near the station is Taimeiken, a nostalgia inducing (well, if you’re Japanese) postwar era eatery serving up classic Japanized western food like omuraisu (omelette over rice).

Livability

The topic of living in a very busy, heavy-traffic area like Ueno is polarizing. Either you love the idea of being plugged into the depths of downtown Tokyo on a daily basis, or you need space to get away from the sensory overload.

With the emphasis on entertainment, the neighborhood can be fun for a single apartment hunter, particularly for men. Families and women might not feel as safe in the area. Ueno is one of the few locations in Tokyo with a sizable homeless population. You will probably find a few areas around Ueno Station and Ueno Park where people have set up temporary shelters.

It can seem like there’s never a dull moment around Ameyoko and Ueno Station with the amount of foot traffic that continues well into the night. Photo: Levi Clancy via Wikimedia Commons

The fact of the matter is that you’ll be constantly bombarded by crowds of people when trying to get anywhere around the station. On the plus side, you’ll have practically immediate access to a wide variety of entertainment and shopping options. In addition, rent in the area tends to be a little cheaper than that of rent around other similar downtown areas like Shibuya and Roppongi.

Ueno can be a great area for students or those staying in Tokyo for a short term (those coming to Japan for working holiday) because of the sheer amount of things to do and see in the area.

Here’s a sense of what the non-touristy sections of Ueno can look like. Photo: Franklin Heijnen via Wikimedia Commons

Ueno is an extremely popular location for tourists from Asia, particular Chinese tourists. Residents jokingly remark that sometimes they forget they’re in Japan when walking around since sometimes all they hear is Chinese.

Useful Info at a Glance

Supermarkets

*This is just a selection of supermarkets in the area.

Gyms

*These are just examples of gyms available in the area.

Universities

Nearby Universities Information
Ueno Gakuen University Ueno Gakuen University Home Page
Tokyo University of the Arts Tokyo University of the Arts Home Page

Language Schools

Nearby Language Schools Information
Tokyo Asahi Gakuin Tokyo Asahi Gakuin Home Page

Ward Office, Police, Library

Nearby Community Center/City Hall/Police Station Hours Address
Taitō City Hall Mon., Tue., Thu., Fri.: 8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Wed.: 8:30 AM – 7:00 PM

Sat. – Sun.: Closed

4 Chome-5-6 Higashiueno, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0015
Taito City Central Library Mon. – Sat.: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Sun.: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

3 Chome-25-16 Nishiasakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0035
Ueno Police Station Mon. – Fri.: 8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Sat. – Sun.: Closed

4 Chome-2-4 Higashiueno, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0015

Hospitals

Nearby Hospitals Address
The University of Tokyo Hospital 7 Chome-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo City, Tokyo 113-8655

*These are examples of clinics in the area.

Parks

Family-Friendly Features

Nearby Family Friendly Features Address
Matsyugaya Children’s Hall 4 Chome-15-11 Matsugaya, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0036

Department Stores

 


Ueno Apartments

Apartments for rent near Ueno Station:

Ueno stands toe-to-toe with other downtown entertainment districts such as Shibuya, Roppongi, and Ikebukuro in terms of sights to see and things to do. Browsing the Real Estate Japan listings in Ueno, you can find studio apartments starting at around ¥70,000 per month. This is a bargain for a location with such density of attractions and shopping available. If you’re looking for more space, check out the listings for 1LDK apartments in Ueno which start at around ¥140,000 per month!

Apartments For Rent in Ueno

Where should you live in Tokyo? Check out all our Tokyo Area Guides to find the perfect place!

Lead photo: iStock stock photography

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