Ueno Station 上野駅
A bustling station and visitors' heaven
Ueno Station is located in Taito Ward, in the northern part of Tokyo. Served by the Yamanote line, it provides access to many tourist sites, such as Ueno Park and its many museums, the zoo, and the Ameya-Yokocho shopping district!
Inaugurated in 1883, Ueno station has known many vicissitudes. It was first destroyed by terrible fires due to the earthquake of 1923 and then badly damaged by American bombardments during the Second World War. Today, it is one of the capital's main rail hubs.
A full story
Ueno Station was born in the Meiji era (1869-1912), when the district of the same name had become the cultural and artistic center of the capital, thanks to its historical monuments, the construction of numerous museums, and the Tokyo School of Fine Arts.
After the war, the Ameya-Yokocho shopping district, a stone's throw from Ueno Station, became a hotspot for the black market.
From the mid-1950s, Ueno Station became the gateway for residents leaving the arid lands of the Hokuriku and Tohoku regions (north of Honshu Island) to seek work in the capital city.
A memorial, "Ah, Ueno Station", bearing the text of a song conveying the hopes but also the loneliness of these rural youths, was erected at the Ueno Hirokoji exit.
In 1982, the Tohoku Shinkansen line was opened. It connects the cities of Omiya and Morioka, then Omiya and Ueno in 1985, giving rise to the construction of the underground Shinkansen station, and will finally connect Ueno to Tokyo station in 1991.
From that date, Ueno Station lost its importance but remained the "Gateway to the North".
At the time of the "economic bubble" (1986-1990), the station again poured in its flood of workers from the northern regions.
Even today, this popular district is also home to many homeless people. Ueno Park was also the setting for the novel by Japanese writer Yu Miri released in 2015 and based on the true story of a homeless man from the Fukushima region living in the park: "Exit to the park, station of Ueno".
Ueno Station today
Besides the Yamanote Line, ten other lines, including 5 Shinkansen lines, serve this major station. Two metro lines are added: those of Ginza and Hibiya. Every day, Ueno Station sees about 350,000 passengers pass through.
The station is built on three floors and includes four underground levels. The main entrance is on the first floor. It is surmounted by a mural by the Japanese painter Genichiro Inokuma entitled “Freedom”. You get there after crossing a long hall lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. Except for the Tohoku Shinkansen trains and those of the Utsunomiya and Takasaki lines, all other trains arrive at the platforms located on the second floor.
At each outing, its atmosphere
On the first floor, not far from the central entrance, is the Shinobazu exit which gives access to Ameya-Yokocho, the shopping district. Hundreds of shops but also restaurants welcome customers in an incessant hubbub and a popular atmosphere.
- Read: Ameya-Yokocho
On the third floor, the " Panda Bashi " passage, (the panda bridge), connects the station to Ueno Park (take the Iriya exit) with its museums and zoo. Here, we discover a part of the artistic life of the capital and its history thanks to the temples and historical monuments that mark the park. But the park is popular during sakura season when thousands of people come happily and noisily to picnic under the cherry blossoms.
The exit named "Park Gate" also leads to the park. In front of this exit, inside the station, there is an information office and very close there is a point of sale of entrance tickets for the various museums located in Ueno Park, which allows you to avoid the lines at the museum ticket offices.
In another building, 50 meters from JR Station is Keisei Ueno Station, which provides access to the Skyliner train that runs to Narita Airport.
Discover the Yamanote, Tokyo's iconic subway line: