Ueno Park in Tokyo
I would not call Ueno Park a bust, but I would say it was the WRONG season, once again, to be sight-seeing in Tokyo. I had a FAB time, but as you know on my last post about the Imperial Palace, March is the low season, and because of the weather and lack of tourists, they take this time to perform construction. It’s just the wrong season, folks!
Ueno Park is where you would go to see the Cherry Blossoms bloom in April. It is a giant park with streets lined with beautiful cherry trees. The park must be remarkable in April! There are so many trees! I can imagine it being stunning, but in March, it’s a little…bare…a nice walk, but certainly not the same effect.
Aside from the cherry tree walk, one of the major sights in Ueno Park is the Benzaiten Shrine that is surrounded by a lotus pond. In the summer the surrounding lake is filled with lotuses, and it is suppose to be quite a sight. We knew the lotus pond wouldn’t be much of an attraction because it was March, but unfortunately the shrine was under construction too!
This was the case with many of the major shrines in Ueno Park. The grounds are very beautiful at Tosho gu shrine, but the shrine was SO closed, there was a giant tarp with the picture of the shrine draped over it! Bummer.
The one reason you SHOULD visit Ueno Park in March is because the area is home to many of the museums in Tokyo. Their Natural Museum of History museum is there, as well as several art museums. We most wanted to see the Tokyo National Museum, so we hit that up after our walk in the park.
The main part of the Museum is surprisingly small, it’s certainly nothing like the Met, which is surprising because it’s the largest and oldest museum in Japan! The main building is home to some amazing Japanese artifacts, and there are several surrounding buildings that are considered to be a part of the museum.
Overall, if you are big into museums, going to Ueno Park is worth the subway ride. If not, wait until the blossoms are blooming- because chances are if the flowers are still closed, so is everything else!