Ueno park is a large park known for the statue of Saigo Takamori standing at the park’s south entrance. He played an important role in Meiji Restoration and called the last Samurai. Covering 532,000 square meters, Ueno park is one of cherry blossom viewing site and includes Tokyo National Museum, National Museum of Western Art and Ueno zoo, the oldest zoo in Japan.
The park grounds were originally part of Kan-eiji temple, one of the city’s largest temples of Tokugawa family during Edo period. At Meiji Restoration in 1868 the temple was destroyed in a battle between the Meiji government and loyalists of the overthrown Shogunate.
Statue of Dr. Bauduin
In the modernization of Japan the desolate temple grounds was later proposed to be a hospital. But Holland Doctor Bauduin insisted that the site should be opened to the public as a park since many modernized countries have the public park.
Ueno Toshogu shrine
Dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of Tokugawa Shogunate Ueno Toshogu shrine was built in 1651 and now is designated as a national important cultural property. Its interior called “Golden shrine” is closed to the public.
Kiyomizu Kan-no Do
Modeled after Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto, Kiyomizu Kan-non Do was built in 1631 and survived the battle.
Through the ring of Tsuki no Matsu we can see Bentendo standing in center of Shinobazu pond. Stand on the temple and enjoy the view as Shogun used to do in Edo period.
Ueno Daibutsu, Buddha
The other parts of Buddha statue were supplied as metal for the WWⅡ and only face remains. Many students visit here to pray for school success as the Buddha survived many difficulties.
National Museum of Western Art
The National Museum of Western Art was established in 1959. Its Main Building is the work of the French architect Le Corbusier who also worked on the design of the UN Headquarters building. The National Museum of Western Art’s collection covers Western paintings and drawings from the 15th to 20th centuries with the emphasis on France and French art, especially Impressionism. The National Museum of Western Art building is part of the transnational UNESCO World Heritage Site of “The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier.
Tokyo National Museum
With over 110,000 items in its collection the Tokyo National Museum is Japan’s oldest museum. The museum includes Honkan, Toyokan and Hyokeikan. Designed by well known architects in japan, any of them could be a museum of its own.
Main gallery, Honkan
Designed in Emperor’s crown style by Watanabe Jin the Main Gallery was opened in 1938. It contains 23 exhibition rooms on two floors : “Highlights of Japanese Art” chronological exhibitions from 10,000 B.C. to the late 19th century on the second floor,
Exhibitions of each type of art, such as ceramics, swords, thematic exhibitions on the first floor.
Designed by Tanifuchi Yoshiro, Toyokan was built in 1968 and refurbished in 2013. The galleries feature art and artifacts from China, Korea, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, India and Egypt.
Built in honor of wedding of the Taisho crown prince Hyokei kan means “to express congratulations”. The building is designated an Important Cultural Property as a representative example of Western style architecture of the late Meiji period.
Statue of Noguchi Hideyo
The statue of bacteriologist, Hideyo Noguchi stands in front of the National museum of Nature and Science in Ueno Park.