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Ueno Park - Mecca of culture, art and nature

A must see when visiting Tokyo is a stop (or at least a day) at Ueno Park in Tokyo, Japan. A large public park, it is home to an array of museums, shrines, a zoological garden and a popular viewing spot for cherry blossoms in the spring.

 
The Tokyo National Museum was established in 1872 is by far the oldest and has the most extensive collection of over 110,000 objects mostly focusing on Japan. The museum itself consists of 5 main exhibition buildings: Honkan (Japanese Gallery); Toyokan (Asian Gallery); Hyokeikan; Heiseikan; and Horyu-ji Homotsukan (The Gallery of Horyu-ji Treasures). Admission for adults is ¥600; High school/junior/elementary school children are FREE. Hours are from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm.
 
The National Science Museum of Japan opened in 1871. The permanent exhibits are divided into the Japan Gallery and the Global Gallery. Some of the highlights of the Japan Gallery include: Nature of the Japanese Archipelago and Japanese People and Nature. As for the Global Gallery the “Thoughts and works of the people of Japan” is intriguing as it shows how the Japanese people took in foreign cultural influences but still remain rooted in its own culture.
 
The Ueno Zoological Gardens is the oldest zoo in Japan with its establishment in 1882. It is now home for over 2600 animals representing 464 species. Hours are 9:30 am – 5:00 pm (closed on Mondays). Admission is ¥600 for adults with children under 12 free.
 
In the spring, it seems that almost everyone flocks to Ueno Park to view and have hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties. With over 1000 cherry trees, it is not only popular but crowded.
 
Ueno Park, a must see when in Tokyo. A day may not be enough!

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