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Art and shopping at Ueno is highly recommended

2018.03.15

“Ueno and Okachimachi” and its surroundings are attracting the attention of visitors from abroad to Japan as a unique city with various genres crammed into a small corner. Although the area is located in the city center, there are parks blessed with rich natural environments, and it has also played important roles in history. Further, you can try different kinds of food and enjoy shopping. Let us introduce you to some of the sightseeing hot spots.

National Museum of Nature and Science

The National Museum of Nature and Science that stands next to the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo's Ueno Park, has a long history, established in 1959. The exhibitions are divided into the Global Gallery and Japan Gallery, with so many valuable permanent collections on display that cannot be seen in one day, and some of them are hands-on exhibitions. There are touch-screen type of information terminals in various places within the museum providing details of displays and videos in English, Chinese, and Korean, other than Japanese. Further, for a fee, an audio guide tablet offering comments of researchers is also available. You can rent them for 310 yen each, and they are also available in English, Chinese, and Korean aside from Japanese. The museum is open until 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

National Museum of Nature and Science D51 type steam locomotive exhibited near the entrance
*photo: National Museum of Nature and Science (same for all following photos)

National Museum of Nature and Science2This model of the blue whale outdoor is in its actual size. The blue whale is the largest animal currently living on earth. The model is reproducing its form when it is submerging its 30 meter long body from the sea surface.

National Museum of Nature and Science3 The “Japan Gallery” was constructed in 1931, and has been designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. The theme of the gallery is “The Environment of Japanese Islands and us.”

National Museum of Nature and Science4 In the “Japan Gallery,” this white dog catches the eye. It is the stuffed remains of “Faithful Dog Hachiko,” an Akita dog, well-known for its bronze statue at Shibuya Station.

National Museum of Nature and Science5 One of the Important Cultural Properties of Japan, “Troughton astronomical telescope” is the first full-fledged astronomical telescope that was introduced to Japan.

National Museum of Nature and Science6 At the “Global Gallery,” their theme is “Earth's History of Life and Mankind.” They exhibit documents related to science.

National Museum of Nature and Science7 The huge ancient cetacea (mammal) Basilosaurus and Mosasaur (reptile) Tylosaurus have quite a lot of impact.

National Museum of Nature and Science8 The museum shop has original merchandise that use exhibitions of the National Museum of Nature and Science as motif, and also some items that are great for souvenirs and presents.

National Museum of Nature and Science9 a stuffed Hachiko mascot 700 yen (including tax)

National Museum of Nature and Science10 a commemorative medal of the Troughton astronomical telescope 500 yen (including tax)

“National Museum of Nature and Science”
●03-5777-8600 (Hello Dial)
●7-20, Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
●9:00-17:00 (admission until 16:30), 9:00-20:00 (Fridays and Saturdays admission until 19:30)
*Museum shops: 9:30-closing time
●Closed: Mondays (When Monday falls on a national holiday, the next Tuesday is closed), year end and New Years
http://www.kahaku.go.jp/

Ueno Frontier Tower

“Ueno Frontier Tower,” a new landmark that has PARCO_ya, a PARCO that is more for adults, TOHO Cinemas, and Matsuzakaya all in one building and is enjoyable for a wide range of generations has opened in 2017 in the Ueno/Okachimachi area. A new “Shitamachi. (downtown) Front” has arrived, where people from around the world gather, and experience downtown culture. “Matsuzakaya Ueno Store” is in the 1st basement floor along with the main store, “PARCO_ya” is in floors 1 through 6, “TOHO Cinemas” is in floors 7 through 10, and offices are in floors 12 through 22.

Ueno Frontier Tower “PARCO_ya”

Their concept is “a bit of a fancy hangout for adults, a place you want to invite friends to.” Since its opening of “Shibuya PARCO” in 1973, PARCO has opened a new store within the 23 wards of Tokyo for the first time in 44 years.

Ueno Frontier Tower2 PARCO_ya 4th floor: Inujirushi Kaban Seisakusho

“Inujirushi Kaban Seisakusho” was established in Asakusa, Tokyo in 1953. The bags made from sailcloth are all made by craftsmen wholeheartedly, and they have always been loved by customers who understand the goodness of authenticity.

Ueno Frontier Tower3 Matsuzakaya Ueno Store

“A floor for women who enjoy walking around Ueno and its vicinity” is the concept for Matsuzakaya in the 1st basement floor of Ueno Frontier Tower. In the center, an information center has opened that actively publicizes the attraction of the area called “Ueno ga suki (I love Ueno) Station.”

Ueno Frontier Tower4 “Ueno ga suki Station”

Ueno Frontier Tower5 In the center of “Ueno ga suki Station (I love Ueno)” they have set up an “Ueno Annaijo (information desk),” which gives information on the attractions of Ueno. (available in English)

Ueno Frontier Tower6 TOHO Cinemas Ueno

“TOHO Cinemas Ueno” has a sophisticated metropolitan atmosphere. They are scheduled to show a large variety of movies such as Hollywood mega-productions, representative Japanese films, art, Asian films, Anime and more. You will be able to enjoy great sound quality with the combination of “ribbon driver technology” that gives you high-quality sounds and “line array speaker system” that is credited for its high performance.

Ueno Frontier Tower7 There are 8 theaters, 1,440 seats in all. Vive Audio speakers are installed in all 8 screens.

“Ueno Frontier Tower”
●3-24-6, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
●Sale of goods, services/10:00-20:00, food and drinks/11:00-23:00 *depends on the shop
movie theater/9:00-24:30 *depends on screening schedule
https://www.matsuzakaya.co.jp/ueno/shitamachi-front/

Takeya

The well-established Takeya is one of Tokyo's largest discount stores. Aside from the huge main building that is divided into Buildings A and B, they have Ladies Building, Furniture Building, Interior/Decorations Building, and more. From food, clothes and sundries to large goods such as electric appliances and furniture, they sell more than 200,000 products. They have store guides in English, Chinese, Korean, and Thai, putting effort into guidance in foreign languages. There are duty-free goods, and free Wi-Fi is available. The secret to its popularity is that they have many great services for foreigners.

Takeya “Takeya” Okachimachi Main Store's building is an eye-catching purple.

Takeya2 “Takeya” Okachimachi Main Store's building is an eye-catching purple.

Takeya3 Many foreign tourists from abroad specifically go to the popular cosmetics section as they have a wide variety of goods.

Takeya4 The 10th of every month is “Snack Day” at Takeya. You can buy loads of popular snacks that are great for souvenirs at low prices.

Takeya5 If you've bought too many, this is the place to go. They have a wide variety of sizes and colors.

“Takeya” Okachimachi Main Store
●03-3835-7777
●4-33-2, Taito, Taito-ku, Tokyo
●10:00-20:00 (9:30-20:30: 1st floor of Main Buildings A and B, 1st floor of Interior / Decorations Building; 10:00-20:30: 1st floor of Ladies Building, 1st floor of Building 8, 1st floor of Furniture Building, 1st floor of Furniture Annex)
●Open year-round, except for New Year’s Day
https://takeya.co.jp/english/

“Takeya” Ueno Select Store
●03-3834-7345
●2-13-11, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
●11:00-22:00(open until 21:00 on 3rd floor)
●Open year-round, except for New Year’s Day

Ameyoko

“Ameyoko” (official name: Ameyoko Shotengai Rengokai) that now attracts tourists from all over the world as well as Japanese, started out as a black market soon after WWII and is a lively area with bargain sales and barkers. Approximately 400 shops line up in around 500 meters between JR Ueno and JR Okachimachi stations. The side of the camp where all the cheapest items are aligned is exactly “shopping heaven.” Cheap shops such as fashion, cosmetics, medicine and fresh food are on hand.

Ameyoko
There are two theories about the origin of the name “Ameyoko.” One is that soon after WWII, sugar was scarce, so many sweet potato candies (ame) were sold in the area. The other theory is that in the years following WWII, many shops illegally sold items that were from the “Ame”rican occupation forces.

Ameyoko2 Ameyoko's shops line along the guardrail that stretches from Ueno Station to Okachimachi Station. The narrow streets under the elevated bridge are like a maze with small shops lined up, so be careful and don't get lost.

Ameyoko3 Ameyoko has always been a vigorous place, with some shops that give you discounts or a little extra. The warmth of face-to-face selling of each shop has always been loved since after WWII.

Ameyoko4 One other thing you can enjoy is eating while strolling around. There are various unique shops such as one that sells fruit on a skewer.

Ameyoko5
The area is “senbero” (sen =1,000 yen; bero=very drunk, meaning you can get very drunk with just 1,000 yen). There are many bars that open during the day, and a lot of the bars allow you to casually stop by, which is appealing. A lot of the bars become full by the time the sun starts to set, so we recommend you go at a bit of an earlier time. You can go bar hopping looking for cheap but tasty drinks.

“Ameyoko Shopping Street”
●03-3832-5053
●Ameyoko Plaza, 6-10-7, Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
●Business hours differ from shop to shop
●Closed days differ from shop to shop
http://www.ameyoko.net/

*The above information was last updated January 29, 20.18. For further information, please contact the facilities directly.

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