1-Day Itinerary in Ueno

Updated November 4, 2019, by C. Thiele, 23 year veteran of Tokyo.

Morning

We’re going to start our morning off with breakfast inside the train station at either Wired Café Atre or at Andersen. Both are quick places for a coffee and something to get you started. Once you are ready to go, we will head out to Ueno Park.

At this point, there really could be two separate itineraries, one for adults and one for people with smaller children.

We are going to start off visiting all three Museums, but if you have little ones, I would recommend skipping the museums and going straight to the zoo.

If you don’t have kids, you might want to spend your time in the museums and skip the zoo. Or do both…your choice.

The first museum we’ll visit will be the National Museum of Western Art. On the way over, take the time to stop and see the different shrines, statues, and lanterns along the way.

After you have visited the Western Art Museum, we will go next door to the National Museum of Nature and Science, and then on to the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum.

At this point, if you have spent most of the morning at the museum and are ready for lunch, I recommend Restaurant Muse inside the Metropolitan Art Museum.

But if you just kind of browsed through and it’s still pretty early, then we’ll head for the Ueno Zoo.

The zoo has many animal areas to visit, like the giant panda, but also make sure to visit the Toshogu Shrine, Five-Storied Pagoda of Kan’ei-ji, Shinobazuno Pond, Bentendo Temple, and Ueno Toshogu Shrine.


Afternoon

If you didn’t eat lunch yet, then I highly recommend grabbing lunch at Ueno 3153 or Ueno Bamboo Garden. After you have eaten, it’s time for some shopping! One of the most popular shopping destinations is Ameyoko street.

While there, make sure to grab something sweet from any of the crowd-pleasing dessert stands along the way.

Ueno Marui is right around the corner and offers a more typical indoor mall experience if you are still up for some more shopping.


Evening

Shopping definitely works up an appetite, so if you are ready for dinner, I would recommend Smoke and Cheese Haze. You have so many delicious options to choose from, but this one is one of my personal favorites.

Although, if cheese isn’t your thing and you want something that’s not so touristy, then you have to try Kazu Taste.  It’s a favorite among the locals and serves traditional Japanese cuisine.

After dinner, head over to Bar Samurai or Cocktail Works for a perfect nightcap.

Me personally, I prefer to combine my dinner with my nightcap, and for that reason, I recommend The Warrior Celt or World End Irish Pub. Both offer excellent pub food, ice-cold beer, and have a high-spirited atmosphere that is perfect for sending you off with great memories to share.