With summer vacation around the corner, every parent
has one question on the top of their minds: Where should
we take the kids next?
Today`s stroll in and around Ueno station is great for families!
Ueno is famous for being a cherry blossom viewing spot,
the residence of Panda Xiang Xiang at Ueno Zoo and of course
for the Ueno Imperial Park which is the largest urban park in
In addition to being a city of art, with more than 10 museums
and art museums, there are many spots in Ueno that children
can enjoy. Let`s have a fun around Ueno with the children
while appreciating old buildings and culture.
Ueno Station (Park Entrance)→
1. National Diet Library Internation Children`s Library→
2. Kamakura Ueno Forest Cherry Blossom Terrace Store→
3. Ueno Inner Park (Boat Station)→
4. Yu Nakagawa Ecute Ueno Store→
Ueno Station (Park Entrance)
Distance: 4,8 km
Steps: 7,000 steps
Duration: 60 minutes + Reading, Meals and Boating Time
Budget: 3,000 yen
Let`s start today`s stroll in the morning at Ueno station!
As you leave the station (park entrance) you will find
the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan（cultural hall) right in front of you.
This Tokyo Metropolitan Hall, where domestic and international
renowned opera and classical concerts are held,
is the work of Kunio Maekawa, famous architect
Le Corbusier`s disciple. Although it is difficult to enter the museum
if you are accompanied by children, there are many fine buildings
in Ueno, so let`s just have a look at this one from the outside.
Starting point at Ueno station park entrance.
Outside the cultural hall, there is a signboard
where you can check the schedule of neighboring
museums and museums, so you don`t really
have to plan anything in advance, just hop
onto the train to Ueno!
The Western art museum is opposite the cultural hall.
It was created by Le Corbusier while Maekawa is
responsible for the extension part.
Left: Courtyards, museum shops
and cafes are available free of admission.
Right: This courtyard is mainly Rodin`s work.
You can see famous "thinkers" and "gates of hell".
Let`s walk and appreciate the various art you can see
around Ueno Inner Park while moving towards our
first destination - the International Children`s Library.
Left: The National University of Fine Arts
where works of art college students are
displayed. You can enjoy a little break on
benches in the shade of trees.
Right: Spots and objects of art college
students are displayed.
Going through the road in the park, you will see
the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.
The school building on the left is the faculty of art and
on the right side is the music faculty. Everyone can use
the art museums, cafes and school cafes
in the university, so it is perfect for a quick break!
Left:Tokyo National University of Fine Arts` Cafeteria
has plenty of fun things to do like drink organic
coffee and see exhibits of students, etc.
Right/ The musical faculty of the Tokyo Metropolitan
College of the University of the Arts which is designated
as an important cultural property is being repaired.
By autumn, the inside of the building will be open
to the public. The oldest pipe organ in Japan is also
under restoration, so you can come and listen to it
1. The Children`s Library: Picture books and children`s
books from all across the world!
When we turned the corner of the building which was
originally the Keisei main line station, we arrived
at the National Diet Library International Children`s
Library! This is the building of "Old Empire Library",
which was refurbished and expanded by famous
architect Mr. Ando Tadao. It is designated as one of
the Tokyo`s Selected Historic Buildings. While visiting
the building, reading time in a cool place! The library
has about 400, 000 collections of books, you can also
enjoy foreign picture books and children`s books.
While you can`t borrow books, if you find a book
you are interested in - check the number on the back
cover. If you go to the same number shelf in any library,
you can find similar books. (Image provided:
National Diet Library website).
Left/ Building built in the Meiji Period.
Right/ Interior is beautifully decorated in Renaissance
style, making it feeling light and shadowy.
The library is divided into many rooms. So, you can
enjoy reading in various rooms such as "child`s room",
"know the world room", "story telling room" etc.
For example, in "know the world room", famous
children`s books are translated into English, Korean,
German, etc. It`s fun and educational to read and
Left/ Events such as music concerts are held in a hall
with a high ceiling. You can see Tokyo Sky Tree from
Right/ Old inventory shelves contain title cards that you
can browse it.
The building has a cafe, but you can eat in the courtyard
or indoors if you bring your own food. You can take
a breather outside once the children are tired of reading!
The cafe has plenty of food options including lunch
sets and curries as well as cakes and ice cream.
Breast-feeding room and diaper changing space are
also equipped so you can take your toddler as well.
National Diet Library International Children`s Library
Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo 12-49
Business Hours: 9:30 A.M.~5 P.M.
Regular Day Off: Mondays・National Holidays
(Children`s Day on May 5th is open)・New Year`s
After having a leisurely read, it`s time to return
to the station and have a lunch! Please be aware that
during lunch, the cafes in the park are always crowded!
Left/ Starbucks in the park is recommended, because
the terrace is wide and it is easy to enter even
with a stroller.
Right/ A lot of school trip students!
Everyone is taking pictures here - so much fun!
2. Time to Eat: A cute Panda Lunch!
Head on out to "Ueno no Mori Sakura Terrace"
(you can see it when you pass the park entrance
in front of the Keisei line).
There are many restaurants in this area but today
we chose a Japanese restaurant "Kamakura".
For children, there is a "Children`s menu (990 yen
including tax)" with fried shrimp, fried potatoes and
hamburger - exactly the type of food that children love.
There are also cute Panda rice balls which will make
any child jump in their seat!
For adults, there are Japanese food options
such as tempura or ginger and pork stir fry.
Child Menu (990 yen including tax), with jelly and
juice. The volume is perfect for a child.
The desserts are too cute not to try, especially
the Panda Panna cotta.
Rich cream panna cotta (690 yen including tax)",
with plenty of fresh cream and fruit syrup on the
This restaurant has private seating so it is recommended
especially if your child is in a difficult mood.
Kamakura has many private seats like this to relax in.
Kamakura Ueno no Mori Sakura Terrace Shop
Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo 1-54 Ueno no Mori Sakura Tessace B1
Mon~Fri 11 A.M. ~ 3 P.M. (L.O. 2:30 P.M.)
5 P.M. ~ 11:30 P.M. (L.O. 11 P.M.)
Sat~Sun & Public Holidays 11 A.M. ~4:30 P.M.
(L.O. 3:30 P.M.)
Sat 4:30 P.M. ~ 11:30 P.M. (L.O. 10:30 P.M., drink L.O. 11 P.M.)
Sun & Public Holidays: Dinner from 4:30 P.M. ~ 11 P.M.
(L.O. 10 P. M., Drink L.O. 10:30 P.M.)
Regular Day Off: None
Once your family is full and happy, let`s walk for a while again!
The next destination is the boat station in Ueno-Onsen Park.
Walking along the "Keisei Ueno Station" and entering from
"Bentendo" is shorter, but let`s go around the Shinobazu pond
After leaving Kamakura restaurant, you will see the big
"Ameya Yokocho" (Ameyoko)" arch.
It is a very interesting place with lots of cheap shopping
and food (Especially kebabs etc.) on offer.
As a tourist, it is our big recommendation to come here.
This time it is not covered on our itinerary as
it deserves its own walking route!
Even on weekdays, Ameyokocho is very crowded.
There are lots of tourists!
3. Ueno Onsen Park: Blooming Lotus
When you are in Ameyoko, you can`t help yourself
from shopping so instead turn right and walk onto
the main street. You will find yourself in the park around
the Shinobazu pond. Lotus season is of course
the most beautiful time to go. It is a wonderful sight
to see the tall flowers blooming in the water.
Left/ The Shinobazu pond full of lotus leaves on
one side as far as the eye can see.
Although at early July it does not bloom fully yet,
it seems that the full bloom can be viewed around
the beginning of August.
Right/ There are lots of carps and turtles in the pond.
After the park stroll, you will arrive at the boat station.
Besides the row type of low boat here, there is
a cycle type to be rowed by foot and a swan boat.
You can feel a bit cooler just by being near the water,
so please try it by all means.
Left/ Low boat costs 700 yen for 60 minutes,
cycle board is 600 yen for 30 minutes, Swan boat is
700 yen for 30 minutes.
Right/ Do not forget to take a drink before you get
on so you stay hydrated.
Ueno Onsen Park
Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo - Ikenozumi 3-chome
(Ueno Imperial Park Management Office)
4. Ueno Station: Taking home special Panda Souvenirs
On the way back, you can take a shortcut through
Bentendo (as mentioned previously) and return to Ueno
station. Inside the station there are department stores
such as Atre and E-cute, which are full of panda goods!
Among them, our recommendation is the popular
"Nakagawa Masashi store" in particular the brand
"Yu Nakagawa". Japanese pattern goods like
"Yu Nakagawa" are a fusion of traditional technology
and modern design, but for the children, let`s head
to the Ueno E-cute store to buy panda souvenirs!
The shop is on the 3rd floor of JR`s station, so
we will go through the ticket gate once.
Here stationary, bookmarks, miscellaneous goods
like aprons etc. all have panda patterns and make for
a fun shopping experience.
Left/ If you want to gift to a friend or neighbors,
we recommend the mosquito net dough cloth dish.
A cherry-colored "Panda cloth (432 yen including tax)"
and "Parent-child panda dish (432 yen including tax)"
are warmly recommended.
Right/ Bamboo goods which seems good for baby gifts,
such as stuffed panda type bibs and thin panda socks.
Ueno branch of Yu Nakagawa Ecute
7-1-1 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo JR East Ueno Station 3F
Business Hours: 8A.M. ~ 10 P.M.
(Sun&Public Holidays 9:30 P.M.)
Regular Days Off: Fridays
That is all for today. There are many events (listed
below) during the summer vacation at museums,
so please go out and have a fun in Ueno.
In the special exhibition "Insect" of the "National
Science Museum", you can see huge 2m models
and tens of thousands of specimens.
You can experience unique lunchbox exhibitions
and participatory-type experiences at "BENTO
PETENTAKO EXHIBITION" at "Tokyo Metropolitan
Art Museum" at "Eating, gathering and connecting".
At the TNM & TOPPAN Museum Theater "DOGU
Beauty Beginning" which is useful for free study when
children`s summer vacation is underway.
Original Article: https://sanporge.com/oyakoueno/
Translated by: Raveena Paul