Ueno Station is a major transport hub in Tokyo including direct rapid train service to Narita Airport. As the nearest station to destinations including Ueno Zoo, the Tokyo National Museum, the University of Tokyo and dining and entertainment precincts of Ueno, the station is always busy with the surrounding area offering lots of entertainment and accommodation. On this page you will find the following information:
It is important to note that the following information is intended for visitors coming through Ueno Station on enroute to Nagano and Central Japan. It only touches the surface of everything we could cover about the station and does not include detailed information about train lines running to other regions, but for visitors heading to and from our home region of Central Japan, we hope it assists in making your transfer there, as easy and smooth as possible.
For visitors heading to Central Japan, Ueno Station is a stop on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line heading to Nagano and onto Kanazawa, while also connected to Narita Airport by the Keisei Skyliner via nearby Keisei-Ueno Station. Rather than head to Tokyo Station, you can use the Keisei Skyliner to access Ueno Station and once there, transfer to the shinkansen service bound for Nagano or many other destinations.
TRAIN LINES / SERVICES TO UENO STATION
As one of the largest train stations in Japan, Ueno is serviced by many rapid and inner-city trains. Importantly for international visitors, Ueno Station is a stop on multiple ‘Shinkanksen’ (Bullet Train) lines making it a convenient launching point from where to head-out of Tokyo including:
— HOKURIKU: to Kanazawa via Nagano Station
— JOETSU: to Niigata via Echigo-Yuzawa
— TOHOKU: to Aomori (connects to the Hokkaido Shinkansen)
— YAMAGATA: to Yamagata (connects to Tohoku Shinkansen)
— AKITA: to Akita (connects to Tohoku Shinkansen)
For travellers heading to Nagano and other regions in Central Japan, the first two shinkansen lines listed above – Hokuriku and Joetsu and – operate from Ueno Station to different station in our region. As such, we have provided further detail below about how to use them. The Tokaido Shinkansen runs west toward Nagoya – the largest city in Central Japan – however this service does not operate from Ueno Station. To use the Tokaido Shinkansen, head to nearby Tokyo Station. For shinkansen lines servicing other regions of Japan – Tohoku, Yamagata and Akita – click on the links above for further information.
As the map above shows, there are no shinkansen lines running south to north / north to south through the region however several rapid/limited express services run from the following stations and in doing so, connect the Hokuriku and Tokaido lines: 1. Limited Express Shinano from Nagano to Nagoya via Matsumoto; 2. Limited Express Hida from Toyama to Nagoya via Takayama; and 3. Limited Express Thunderbird from Kanazawa to Kyoto and Osaka via Fukui.
Running from Tokyo to Kanazawa via Ueno, the Hokuriku Shinkansen runs to the north-northwest of the capital and stops at stations including:
Tokyo / Ueno / Omiya / Kumagaya / Honjo-Waseda / Takasaki / Annaka-Haruna / Karuizawa / Sakudaira / Ueda / Nagano / Iiyama / Joetsu-Myoko / Itoigawa / Kurobe-Unazukionsen / Toyama / Shin-Takaoka / Kanazawa
Two services – the Kagayaki and Hakutaka – operate from Tokyo all the way to Kanazawa via Ueno. The Kagayaki is reservation-only and stops at Ueno, Omiya, Nagano and Toyama before terminating at Kanazawa. The journey from Ueno to Kanazawa takes 150 minutes and Ueno to Nagano takes 80 minutes. The Hakutaka included both reserved and non-reserved carriages and stops at a great number of stations. It takes between 180 to 200 minutes (depending on the stations included in the specific service) to travel from Ueno to Kanazawa and 90 to 95 minutes to travel from Ueno to Nagano. A third service – Asama – is only available from Ueno to Nagano. It includes both reserved and non-reserved carriages and stops at all stations between Ueno and Nagano, taking between 100 to 110 minutes. A fourth service – Tsurugi – is also available on the Hokuriku Shinkansen but only between Toyama and Kanazawa and does not service Ueno Station. Information regarding how to book a ticket can also be found on our ‘How To: Shinkansen Reservations to Nagano’ page. The Hokuriku Shinkansen is covered by the Japan Rail (JR) Pass, JR East Pass and JR Hokuriku Pass. For further details, please see below.
The Joetsu Shinkansen runs from Tokyo to Niigata and services Echigo-Yuzawa, located approximately at the mid-point of the line, and the surrounding ski resorts. The following stations are on the Joetsu line:
*In winter, some shinkansen services continue onto a winter-only stop at Gala-Yuzawa, directly underneath the ski resort of the same name.
Refer to our ‘Joetsu Shinkansen Timetable’ page for daily train schedules to and from Tokyo. There are two services on the line – the Toki and Tanigawa. The Toki (including Max Toki) is the fastest. Stopping at only a limited number of stations it takes around 80 minutes to reach Echigo-Yuzaawa and 130 minutes to reach Niigata. The Tanigawa (including Max Tanigawa) does not operate all the way to Niigata and mainly runs in the morning and evening to cover peak periods. Stopping all stations between Tokyo and its final destination, the Tanigawa takes around 80 to 90 minutes to reach Echigo-Yuzawa. All services on the Hokuriku Shinkansen are covered by the Japan Rail (JR) Pass and JR East Pass – see below for details.
TRAIN LINES TO NARITA & HANEDA AIRPORTS
Tokyo is serviced by two international airports – Narita and Haneda. Narita is substantially further from the city than Haneda, however a rapid train service makes the journey quick and easy. From Ueno Station, Narita Airport is accessible using the rapid Keisei Skyliner service from Keisei-Ueno Station (nearby Ueno Station) while Haneda Airport is accessible using the Tokyo Monorail (via Hamamatsucho Station).
TO NARITA: KEISEI SKYLINER
The Keisei Skyliner operates to and from Keisei-Ueno Station, a short walk from the Central Entrance / Exit of Ueno Station. This rapid service train connects Ueno to Narita Airport with stops at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. The Keisei Skyliner takes between 40 to 55 minutes to travel from Keisei Ueno Station to the airport (depending on which service and terminal you are using), also stopping at Nippori Station – around 35 minutes – enroute to the airport.
The earliest service departs Keisei Ueno Station at 05:58 and arrives at Narita at 06:42. The latest service departs Keisei Ueno Station at 18:20 and arrives at Narita at 19:06. Both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 have a Skyliner & Keisei Information Center, open daily from 07:00 until 21:00. For daily train schedules, see our ‘Keisei Skyliner Timetable’ page. Foreign language-speaking staff – including English, Chinese and Korean – are usually on-hand to assist. Tickets are available using the ticket machines or service windows at the station and airport terminals. All seats on the Skyliner are reserved and cost JPY2520 per adult and JPY1270 per child from Keisei-Ueno Station to Narita. It is important to note that the Keisei Skyliner is not covered by any Japan Rail (JR) Pass.
TO HANEDA AIRPORT: TOKYO MONORAIL via HAMAMATSUCHO STATION
Servicing Haneda Airport, the Tokyo Monorail connects the airport to Ueno Station via Hamamatsucho Station in around 35 to 40 minutes. Overall, Haneda is the busier of the two airports handles fewer international flights than Narita. Most international services from Haneda arrive and depart at Terminal 3. The Tokyo Monorail is used by many people going about their daily lives. Designed for general commuters it is not as comfortable or spacious as the Skyliner and navigating your way on and off with luggage at peak hour ca be a little challenging. Nevertheless, the monorail makes the journey to and from Haneda Airport quick and relatively smooth. From Ueno Station, take the JR Yamanote Line bound for Osaki or JR Keihin-Tohoku/Negishi Line Rapid bound for Ofuna and disembark at Hamamatsucho Station (12-15 min/JPY170). At Hamamatsucho, transfer to the Tokyo Monorail bound for Haneda Airport (20 min/JPY500). The Tokyo Monorail is covered by the JR Pass, JR East Pass and JR Hokuriku Arch Pass. These are regular inner-city services and as such, advanced bookings are not required/possible.
TRANSFER FROM AIRPORT LINES TO THE SHINKANSEN
This is quite a straightforward process. Once you arrive at Keisei-Ueno Station follow the signs to the Main Exit. As you depart the station turn left and walk straight. Ueno Station is directly in front of you, only a couple of minutes walk. Enter Ueno Station and follow the signs to the shinkansen ticket office and platforms (on your right). It really is quite simple.
RAIL PASSES COVERING TRAVEL TO NAGANO
There is no escaping the fact that travel using the shinkansen is expensive. Given the speed and distances covered by these trains, travelers should think of them much like taking a flight, with tickets accordingly priced. International visitors to Japan have the option of purchasing one of several passes which allow for unlimited use of the Hokuriku along with other services:
JAPAN RAIL (JR) PASS
Covering all 9 shinkansen lines in Japan and many other train services, the JR Pass is a great option for visitors planning to use the shinkansen more than a handful of times and/or travel large distances. Travelers have the option of 7, 14 and 21-day passes covering either Ordinary or Ordinary and Green Cars. The JR Pass allows for use of almost any service on the shinkansen lines at no additional cost but noting that should holders wish to have a reserved seat, they are still required to book a seat at the ticket office (at no additional cost).
JAPAN RAIL (JR) EAST PASS / NAGANO & NIIGATA
This pass covers the Hokuriku and Joetsu Shinkansen lines serving Nagano and Niigata, along with other regional services. There is only one option of pass, covering 5 days of use within a 14-day period from its date of activation. Notably cheaper than the JR Pass, this is a great option for visitors staying within Nagano and Niigata. Much like the JR Pass, it allows for use of any service on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line at no additional cost but noting that should holders wish to have a reserved seat, they are still required to book a seat at the ticket office (at no additional cost).
HOKURIKU ARCH PASS
Valid for 7 consecutive days from date of activation, the Hokuriku Arch Pass covers train services from Tokyo – including trains from both Narita and Haneda Airports – to Nagano and Kanazawa and then onto Kyoto, Osaka and Kansai Airport. For many international visitors, this pass covers the majority of their intended destinations as the they follow the most popular tourist route from Tokyo to Kanazawa and onto Kyoto and Osaka. Notably cheaper than the full JR Pass, the Hokuriku Arch Pass offers fantastic convenience and savings
PURCHASING & ACTIVATING A JR PASS
Passes can be purchased via the official website or via a JR-affiliated sales office. Once you completed payment, you will receive an exchange order. This is a proof of payment and looks almost like a flight ticket with your personal details, type of Pass, and validity (three months from the date of issue). It is important to note that the exchange order is not your actual pass and will need to be exchanged for your pass once in Japan. Whatever you do, do not lose the exchange order and prioritise exchanging it for your pass when you arrive.
Once in Japan and prior to using your pass, you must actually get your hands on it by exchanging the order/proof of purchase you received online. This can be done a numerous JR Pass Exchange Offices found at any major train station or airport, including Narita and Haneda Airports. If you have time to do so before leaving the airport, you can use the pass immediately. Alternatively, passes can be exchanged/activated at Ueno Station at:
— JR East Travel Service Center: 08:30 to 19:00 (18:00 on weekends & holidays)
To exchange/activate your pass you will need your exchange order and passport. Make sure you allow adequate time to exchange and activate your pass if you are intending to use it on the same day or do so a day or two before you plan to start using it (you can always nominate a later activation date). Once you have your activated pass you are free to ride however you can’t insert your pass into the ticket gates. Simply walk through the side booth (permanently attended by station staff) and show your pass. You will be waved through and you can make your way to the platform.
PRIVATE CHARTERS TO / FROM UENO STATION
Based in Nagano, we are the region’s No.1-rated tour and charter operator. Operating all year round, we can provide charters to any destination in Central Japan, with customised itineraries to suit your travel needs and interests. We have the expertise and experience to help you get the most out of your time in the region, including transport to and from any regional destination. Our drivers and vehicles are fully certified, allowing us to transport you to and from your preferred destinations, in combination with any activity that suits your interests and schedule. All vehicles are fitted with a protective screen – separating the driver from passenger and luggage area – and our drivers wear protective masks, allowing you to move between your destinations in comfort and safety.
Why choose us?
Awarded a 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – recognised as one of the Top 10 Experiences in Japan – we have the local knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your time in Central Japan.
Got a question about visiting Nagano and Central Japan from Ueno? Head to our ‘Charters’ main page or click on the INQUIRY button below, let us know what you need, and we’ll get back to you with a quote.
UENO STATION TOURIST INFORMATION
The Tokyo Tourist Information Center is located inside Keisei-Ueno Station and open daily from 08:00 to 18:30. Full-time English, Chinese and Korean-speaking staff are on-hand to provide general information including accommodation and transportation and other services.
ACCOMMODATION IN & AROUND THE STATION
Ueno Station is one of Tokyo’s major transport hubs with lots to see and enjoy in the immediate vicinity, making it a popular choice when choosing accommodation in the capital. The area around the station is known for its range of mid-range to budget hotel, plenty of nightlife and restaurants, and popular attractions including Ueno Zoo and multiple museums including the Tokyo National Museum – all within walking distance of the station. For accommodation listings in the area, see our ‘Ueno Station Area’ hotel page.
WHERE TO STAY IN TOKYO?
Not just the largest city in Japan but also the largest city in the world, Tokyo is a sprawling giant that must be experienced at least once. Knowing where to stay when visiting Tokyo can make a huge difference when it comes to getting around the city and ultimately, getting the most out of your time there. Our ‘Where To Stay In Tokyo?’ page breakdowns the best areas to stay including accommodation listings.
HOW TO GET TO TOKYO
As Japan’s sprawling capital, Tokyo is the start and end point of numerous train lines and express bus services making it easy to reach from all over the country. Our ‘How To Get To Tokyo’ page includes detailed information about just how to get there from popular starting points including Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagano and beyond.
30 DAY-TRIPS & GETAWAYS NEAR TOKYO
While Tokyo has more than enough to keep you entertained for your entire visit, it is also an ideal base from where to escape the city and explore our home region of Central Japan. Boasting the majority of Japan’s tallest mountains, verdant forests, open spaces, ancient temples and a slower way of life, it is everything that Tokyo is not. Our ’30 Things To Do Near Tokyo: Best Day-Trips & Overnight Getaways’ page includes some fantastic tips and suggestions of what’s on offer. We hope it tempts you to visit!
PLAN YOUR VISIT TO JAPAN
Ueno Station is just one part of Japan’s fantastic rail network. Unfathomable in its size and efficiency, moving around the country by train is easy and comfortable opening-up all regions of Japan for exploration. Our ‘Plan Your Visit’ page has everything you need to know about visiting Japan – from tips on the best time to travel, times to avoid, entering and exiting the country, money matters, staying connected, accommodation, staying safe and healthy and plenty more to ensure that you get the most out of your time here.