Ueno is home to many popular attractions such as Ueno Park and the Tokyo National Museum. It is a hub of recreational activities and you can spend the day visiting the different attractions of the city. As the day gives way to the night, various night activities open up, and the nightlife of Ueno officially starts.
While most people think that the nightlife in Ueno is not as active during the day, then they’re in for a surprise. There are many restaurants and izakaya in the city where people gather to spend the night away while enjoying great food and drinks. Make sure to check out these 10 things to do at night in Ueno for a great experience.
1. Taste long-established Tempura Restaurants
As Ueno is one of the oldest districts in Tokyo, there are many tempura restaurants exists from a long time ago. Taste authentic Tempuras in Ueno!
Tensuzu is a very popular restaurant due to its delicious tempura and traditional Japanese food. In Japan, you will often find exclusive restaurants that specialize in a single dish (ramen, sushi, oden, etc only restaurants). However, in Tensuzu, you can enjoy tempura cooked by a master chef, as well as traditional Japanese cuisines, which is also a specialty of another. This is the reason why Tensuzu is a highly recommended place to dine because of its specialty and practicality. Definitely, a must see in Ueno.
Address: 2-6-7 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Find more tempura restaurants in Ueno: 10 Tempura Restaurants in Ueno for Tempura Lovers
2. Taste long-established Tonkatsu Restaurants
As well as tempura, there are many famous tonkatsu restaurants as well. Taste the Japanese style pork cutlet!
Ponta Honke is said to be the very first restaurant that introduced “Pork Cutlet” in Japan. They have very strict management on how to prepare and cook their food. This much is expected from the restaurant whose founder used to serve the imperial household for Western delicacies. They also have other Western dishes such as beef tongue stew and deep-fried oyster. Both are quite delicious and loved by their customers, both foreigners and locals alike.
Address: 3-23-3 Ueno, Taito-Ku, Tokyo
3. Taste long-established Yoshoku Dishes
Yoshoku is Western dishes arranged into the Japanese version, and famous menus include Omurice, Hamburg, tonkatsu, fried shrimp, etc. There are many famous Yoshoku restaurants in Ueno, and Taimeiken is one of them.
Taimeiken, located on the 3rd floor of Ecute Ueno serve Western-Style dishes. Their most recommended item is none other than their special omurice (omelet rice). The eggs are soft, fluffy, and quite delicious. This is also the reason why this restaurant is very popular, and you can expect a queue of people during peak hours.
Address: Ecute Ueno 3F, 7-1-1 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
4. Have delicious Japanese foods and drinks at Izakaya
Not only long-established restaurants but also many small bars and izakaya gather in the Ueno area. There are many small and cheap places, and some of them are open from the morning! Visit one of them and drink like a local.
Tachinomi Kadokura is just a minute walk from the Ueno Station. It is probably the most popular standing bar near the station, and it serves many specialty dishes like the Hamukatsu (Ham cutlets), which you will not be able to find in other standing bars in the area. If you prefer to enjoy familiar delicacies like sashimi, broiled giblet, and yakitori, then this standing bar is the place you are looking for.
Address: Forum Aji Building 1F, 6-13-1 Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Find more izakayas restaurants in Ueno: 10 Izakaya in Ueno for Great Food and Drinks
5. Explore cheap Izakayas around Ameyoko
As explained in the above paragraph, there are many cheap Izakayas in the Ueno area, especially around the Ameyoko Shopping Sreet. Visit one of two of them and feel the local atmosphere.
Motsuyaki Daitoryo has been around for a very long time and has gained the love and trust of the locals in Ameyoko. Their signature dish is the “Motsu Nikomi” and it is stewed innards generously coated with miso paste. The shop is very popular to the point that it can get very crowded even during the day. Definitely one of the highly recommended izakayas in Ueno.
Address: 6-10 Ueno, Taito-Ku, Tokyo
6. Indulge in art and crafts at night
Ueno is famous for having many museums, especially in Ueno Park. They usually close at 5:00 PM or 6:00 PM but some of them open until late on every Fridays and Saturdays. Check the exhibition and plan your visit ahead because it gets very crowded depending on the exhibitions.
Tokyo National Museum
The Tokyo National Museum is the largest and oldest Museum in Japan. It is a 10-minute walk from Ueno Station. The museum is home to over a hundred thousand artifacts, which also include a hundred national treasures. The museum is divided into six sections, and each of them showcase different types of an exhibit from each other. If you love Japanese culture, then visiting here should be part of your itinerary. The Tokyo National Museum is open until 9:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Address: 13-9 Ueno Park, Taito-Ku, Tokyo
Find more museums in Ueno: 8 Best Museums in Ueno Art and Culture Lovers Must Visit
7. Have some famous ramen bowls
There are many delicious restaurants in Ueno, and ramen is not an exception. Many people visit Ueno just to taste ramens from renowned ramen shops. Kamo to Negi is one of them.
Ramen Kamo to Negi
Kamo to Negi is considered as one of the best restaurants that serve duck soup ramen in Tokyo. It is conveniently located right next to Okachimachi Station. The size of the ramen bowl is just right, and you can see the noodles perfectly aligned, which gives a good visual impact to the ramen. The broth is delicious, and the duck meat perfectly completes the set. It is one of the ramens dishes that not many are able to experience. Make sure to drop by and judge it for yourself.
Address: 6-4-15 Ueno, Taito-Ku, Tokyo
Find more ramen shops in Ueno: 10 Ramen Restaurants in Ueno to Taste Great Ramen
8. Play with cats at Nekomaru Cafe (cat cafe)
Nekomaru Cafe is a haven for those who love cats! The cats are cute, and some of them approach people on their own hoping to be spoiled and petted until they purr in delight. The cats are all clean, very tame, and not aggressive, which is a good thing for those who are planning to bring their kids along. Whether you are a cat lover or not, this cat cafe might just be the place you are looking for.
Address: 8F, 7-2-2, Ueno, Taito-Ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.nekomarucafe.com/access.html#ueno (Japanese Only)
9. Shop at shops open until late at night
Ueno is a major downtown in Tokyo, and there are many shopping malls and department stores. Most of them open until late, so you can enjoy shopping after having dinner as well.
Matsuzakaya Department Store
Matsuzakaya Department Store is one of the oldest department store chains in Japan. This is also the department store where the famous “elevator girls” start to become popular. Most of the stores inside the department store are from well known Japanese brands. They also have other special events such as exhibitions and discount promos on a seasonal basis.
Address: 3-29-5, Ueno, Taitou-Ku, Tokyo
Find more shopping destinations in Ueno: 10 Best Shopping Destinations in Ueno for Different Kinds
10. Relax with a cup of coffee at Gyaran
Gyaran or Coffee Shop Gallant in English is a long-standing coffee shop in Ueno that has a deluxe looking interior that has a very nostalgic feel. They serve fresh fruit parfaits, cheesecakes, cake, and other desserts with drinks such as coffee. Take note that smoking is allowed inside the coffee shop. It is open up to 11:00 pm so for those who are looking for a late night coffee experience, then Gyaran will be ready to keep you company.
Address: 6-14-4 Ueno, Taito-Ku, Tokyo
Find more about Ueno
Data is as of July 2019
Thumbnail is from Flickr