In Japan today there are many national parks and one of the first to be founded is located in the Taito district in the capital city of Tokyo.
The park is called "Ueno Koen" and was founded in 1873 when Japan was at the beginning of the Meiji era. At that time, the government of Japan was looking to assimilate Western culture, and something very common in Western countries are national parks.
Before the government of Japan founded the park, this area was part of a Buddhist temple and also of the "Ueno Tosho-Gu" (Shinto shrine in honor of Tokugawa Ieyasu). The shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu always wanted to protect the areas that he considered important for the protection of the city, therefore he ordered to put temples and sanctuaries in the places so that they did not populate or destroy them. Unfortunately, during the Boshin War (1868), the Meiji government forces and the Shogutan forces had a very hard battle in the Ueno area, and most of the temple structures were destroyed. Today there is a memorial in the park remembering that hard battle.
At the end of the war Boshin and the Meiji government took hold in power, the government of Tokyo took the temple precinct and began to remodel it and then found the first national park in Japan in 1873. Once again, the park gained more prestige when it was presented by Emperor Taisho, son of Emperor Meiji, to the city to celebrate the wedding of Emperor Hirohito.
In the park there are many temples and museums, such as the National Museum of Western Works, where there is a vast collection of paintings mostly from France.
The Tokyo National Museum is located in Ueno Park, constantly having new exhibits of objects or works of art brought from all over Japan or even famous paintings such as "The Scream".
Other interesting museums that are Ueno Park are:
Museum of Nature and Science.
Shitamachi Museum (Name that was used before to name the area where Ueno and Asakusa are located)
Museum of Metropolitan Art.
Museum of the University of the Arts.
The park also has various Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples.
Some of the most recognized are;
Shinobazuike Bentendo, Buddhist temple in honor of the goddess Benzaiten.
Ueno Tosho-Gu, Shinto shrine in honor of shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Gojoten Jinja, Shinto shrine dedicated to the god Inari.
Kan'ei-Ji, Buddhist temple of great importance since in ancient times the temple occupied all the space of the Ueno Park that we know today. The burial of six of the fifteen Tokugawa shoguns occurred there. In the park there is a statue of Saigo Takemori, now better known as the last Samurai. More than 8,000 trees of different kinds make up the park, and in the cherry season this place attracts about ten million tourists each year to see the typical flower of Japan bloom at its peak. The Ueno Zoo is located right on Lake Shinobazuike. Inside the zoo is the famous panda that attracts thousands of visitors to greet him.
For these and many more reasons, Ueno Park is a point of attraction that cannot be missing in your list of visits.