JR Ueno Station is one of the most important stations in Tokyo. Here you can access a number of JR East lines such as the Yamanote Line and Keihin-Tohoku Line, as well as limited express services, and shinkansen services which are bound for northern Japan. Although many of these services can also be boarded at Tokyo Station, JR Ueno Station is a lot more compact than Tokyo Station, it is less crowded, and it is much easier to find your way around.
This article will familiarize you with the general layout of the station; its exits, entrances, ticket gates, and train lines. Transfers to Ueno Subway Station and Keisei Ueno Station are explained at the end of the article.
JR Ueno Station has four ticket gates and nine exits. There are ticket machines and attendants at all gates. The Central Gate and Shinobazu Gate are located on the 1st floor. The Park Gate and Iriya Gate are located on the 3rd floor.
The Central Ticket Gate & Nearby Exits
The main ticket gates are on the 1st floor at the Central Gate. The Central Gate opens onto the main concourse which is called the Grand Concourse.
Directly ahead of the Central Gate is the Hirokoji Exit which is the largest exit from the station building. The Hirokoji Exit is situated on the station’s south side and is directly across from the Marui department store and Ameya-Yokocho shopping street.
Because of its size and location the Hirokoji Exit is the main exit and entry point for the station. However, the official “Main Exit” is located nearby on the southeast side of the station. This exit leads to the station’s taxi rank.
To the left of the Central Gate is the Asakusa Exit. This exit is located on the east side of the station’s 1st floor. This exit also leads to the station taxi rank.
The Shinobazu Gate and Nearby Exits
The Shinobazu Gate is located inside the Atré shopping mall on the south west side of the station.
There are two exits near this gate. The Shinobazu Exit is located directly south of the gate. This exit is convenient for accessing Keisei Ueno Station.
To the right of the Shinobazu Gate on the west side of the station is the Yamashita Exit. This exit opens on the slope that leads to Ueno Park. There are a number of restaurants directly outside this exit and there are more restaurants across the street.
The Park Gate & Park Exit
The Park Gate is located on the 3rd floor of the building.
This ticket gate opens directly in front of the Park Exit. The Park Exit is right across from the entrance to Ueno Park.
The Iriya Gate and Nearby Exits
The Iriya Gate is also located on the 3rd floor of the building but is on the east side of the station.
The closest exit to the Iriya Gate is the Panda Bridge Exit.
The Panda Bridge is a walkway that connects Ueno’s business district with the east and west sides of JR Ueno Station and Ueno Park.
The Iriya Exit is located on 1st floor at the back of the station building on its northeast side. This exit is convenient for some highway bus services and also one of the Megurin sightseeing bus services.
The Higashi-Ueno Exit is located on the east side of the station on the second floor. You can find the station’s Lost & Found Office here.
Ticket machines are located by all the ticket gates. Route maps showing all destinations are located above the ticket machines.
The main ticket office is located beside the Central Gate.
JR Train Lines at Ueno Station
There are 21 platforms in Ueno Station. These are numbered 1-17 for regular JR East services and 19-22 for shinkansen services. Strangely, there is no platform 18. Although there was a Platform 18 in the past, this platform and its track was removed in 1999. Platforms 1-17 are listed below in ascending order from Platform 1 on the west side of the station up to Platform 17. The main train lines they serve and their key destinations are listed with each platform. Click on the links to learn more about each line.
Platforms 1-12 are located on the 2nd floor of the station building.
Platform 1: Boarding for Keihin-Tohoku Line services bound for Akabane, Urawa and Omiya.
Platform 2: Boarding for Yamanote Line services bound for Tabata, Ikebukuro and Shinjuku.
Platform 3: Boarding for Yamanote Line services bound for Tokyo, Shinagawa, and Meguro.
Platform 4: Boarding for Keihin-Tohoku Line services bound for Tokyo, Shinagawa and Yokohama.
Platforms 5-6: Boarding for Takasaki Line services bound for Akabane, Omiya, Gyoda, Kumagaya and Takasaki.
Also boarding for Utsunomiya Line services bound for Akabane, Omiya, and Utsunomiya.
Platform 6: Also boarding for Joban Line services bound for Kashiwa, Tsuchiura, Mito, Iwaki and Narita.
Platforms 7-8: Boarding for Ueno-Tokyo Line services bound for Tokyo, Shinagawa, Yokohama, Odawara and Atami.
Platforms 9-12: Boarding for Boarding for Joban Line services bound for Kashiwa, Tsuchiura, Mito, Iwaki and Narita.
Platform 9: Also boarding for Ueno-Tokyo Line services bound for Tokyo and Shinagawa.
Platforms 13-17 are located on the station’s 1st floor.
Also boarding for Limited Express Kusatsu services bound for Shibukawa, Nakanojo and Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi.
Also boarding for Limited Express Akagi and Swallow Akagi services bound for Kumagaya, Honjo, Takasaki, and Maebashi.
Platforms 19-22 are located in the fourth basement level (B4F) of the station and are for shinkansen services. These platforms can be accessed via the Shinkansen Transfer Gate.
Shinkansen Services at Ueno Station
The transfer gate to the shinkansen services is located inside the ticket gates, on the 1st floor of the station. If you go through the Central Gate, you can see the Shinkansen Transfer Gate on the right hand side.
There is a shinkansen ticket office beside this gate.
Platforms 21-22: All services stopping at these platforms are bound for Tokyo.
Ueno Subway Station is located below JR Ueno Station. Transfers can be made here to the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line and the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line. This subway station has multiple entry points. Just inside the Main Exit there is an escalator leading down to Ueno Subway Station on the east side of the Grand Concourse.
There are also steps leading down to Ueno Subway Station outside both the Main Exit and the Asakusa Exit.
There is also a sloping passage leading down to Ueno Subway Station outside the Shinobazu Exit.
Keisei Ueno Station is a 3 minute walk to the south of JR Ueno Station and the route is clearly signposted. The Shinobazu Exit is the closest exit to Keisei Ueno Station. Transfer at Keisei Ueno Station to the Keisei Skyliner for Narita Airport and to other services on the Keisei Main Line and Narita Sky Access Line.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.