Around Ueno Park you can find amazing old shrines, museums, a zoo, a pond – everything you need for your perfect romantic date.
This zoo is the oldest one in Japan e one of the most famous zoo in the world. Here you can find a wide variety of rare animal species such as the panda, the red panda and the polar bear. The last panda of Ueno Zoo died in 2008, but on February 2011 two new pandas arrived from China. Before February 2018, visitors that want to meet the female giant panda cub Xiang Xiang were depending on luck, as there was a lottery system. Now the lottery is been replaced with a first come, first served system.
This shinto shrine was built in 1627, dedicated to the shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa. The shrine is covered in gold and it’s a precious architectural asset that, despite wars and calamities, still preserves the same appearance from the Edo period. The entrance to the shrine is free, but if you want to make your experience more memorable and more romantic, you may want to visit the inner flower garden, especially during spring, and pay an extra fee.
Ueno Park hosts some of the most important museums of Japan, such as the Tokyo National Museum, the Japan’s largest museum, that exhibits more than 100,000 pieces of ancient and medieval art from Japan and other East Asian countries. You can also find the National Museum of Nature and Science, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, the Shitamachi Museum and the Ueno Royal Museum.
Ameyoko (short form for “Ameya Yokocho”) is a market street along the Yamanote Line tracks between Okachimachi and Ueno Station. In this street you can find a wind range of food and clothes shops. Opening hours depend on individual stores, but they are usually open from 10am to 8pm.
In Ueno Park you can also find the Shinobazu Pond. Along the pond you can see people walking, reading a book or jogging, while the couples enjoy a romantic ride on paddle boats. During spring and summer, you can find the beautiful lotus flowers in full bloom. Ducks, cormorants, herons and other birds populate this pond. You can see the skyscrapers of Tokyo in the distance, creating a postcard-like background. Shinobazu Pond is the perfect place to relax when you try to get away from the noise of the metropolis.
Neko Maru Cafe
This is one of the most popular cat cafes in Tokyo, so if you are cat lovers you really don’t want to miss the chance to visit this cafe when you’re in Ueno. The cafe is quite spacious and the staff is very friendly. Enjoy a cup of tea and relax while petting cats.
Marui Department Store
After spending the day at Ueno Park, or if you are looking for shelter from a cold winter day, why not visit the Marui Department Store? Inside the 9-storey building there are plenty of shops, cafes and restaurants – a real shopper’s paradise.