Zone: The Old Districts

If you enjoy walking around the old streets of Tokyo, then the neighbourhood of Ueno is definitely for you! The name 'Ueno' translates as 'upper fields' or 'higher up' – and the district is 20 metres above sea level. At the beginning of the Edo period, the sea had come right up to the hill. However, due to land development and drainage programs, only the artificial pond of Sinobadzu was left – everything else around was now dry land. The seventeenth century was a period when the Shogun military leaders siezed effective political power in Japan – marginalising the emperors into a nominal role as merely religious leaders with no effective power. During the 17th century, the Shogun, or military leader of Japan, Tokugawa Ieyasu, built a Kanji temple here – intended to protect the royal palace from evil forces. The supposition was that Ueno Hill was to the northeast of the city – the direction from which, according to Buddhist belief, supernaturally evil forces might strike. Somewhat later, a number of Buddhist and Shinto temples were built in the district. Today, some of Tokyo's best museums are located here – including the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, the National Science Museum, and the Sitimati Museum – the Museum of Life in the Lower City. Also here is the oldest zoo in Japan, whose history stretches back for over a century.
  • Japan
  • Tokyo
  • 13 stops
  • 01:30
  • 3037 m.
  • English
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The Old Districts