12 Top Things To Do In Ueno: Explore Tokyo's Historic District

things to do in ueno

Ueno has been a prominent cultural and historical hub of Tokyo for centuries now. It's a district that is steeped in tradition while embracing modernity with open arms. Exploring this vibrant district is a journey that takes you through the incredible museums, historic sites, bustling markets, and lush parks. Whether you are a history buff, art lover or foodie, there is something for everyone to enjoy here. So, if you are planning a trip to Tokyo, make Ueno your first stop and embark on a thrilling adventure of discovering the 12 top things to do in this exciting district.

Activity Description
Ueno Park A large public park famous for its cherry blossom trees, pandas, museums, temples, and zoo.
Ameya Yokocho A popular shopping street known for its lively atmosphere and various food shops.
Tokyo National Museum One of Japan's oldest and largest museums with a collection of over 100,000 artifacts and artworks.
Bentendo Temple A picturesque Buddhist temple located on an island in the middle of Shinobazu Pond.
Ueno Zoo A popular zoo featuring various animals including pandas, elephants, tigers, and gorillas.
Kaneiji Temple A historic temple with beautiful gardens and an impressive pagoda.
Ueno Toshogu Shrine A Shinto shrine known for its vivid colors and unique architecture.
Ueno Royal Museum A modern art museum featuring exhibitions by contemporary Japanese and international artists.
Shitamachi Museum A small museum showcasing the lifestyle and culture of Tokyo's traditional working-class neighborhoods.
Ueno no Mori Art Museum A museum dedicated to exhibiting Japanese contemporary art.


Visit the Tokyo National Museum

Source: www.tripsavvy.com

Ueno is a bustling district in Tokyo that is full of cultural institutions, parks, and excellent shopping and dining options. One of the must-visit attractions in the area is the Tokyo National Museum, which offers a fascinating insight into Japan's rich history and art.

The Tokyo National Museum is the oldest and largest museum in Japan, with a collection of over 110,000 objects from Japan and other parts of Asia. The museum is housed in a beautiful red-brick building that was constructed in 1938, and it is divided into several galleries that showcase different aspects of Japanese art and culture.

One of the highlights of the museum is the Gallery of Horyuji Treasures, which features over 300 items from the Horyuji temple complex in Nara. This collection includes some of the oldest Buddhist statues and other religious artifacts in Japan, and it provides a glimpse into the country's early history.

Another interesting gallery is the Japanese Archaeology section, which explores the prehistoric and ancient cultures of Japan, including the Jomon period (14,000-300 BC) and the Yayoi period (300 BC-AD 300).

The museum also has galleries dedicated to Japanese painting, calligraphy, ceramics, and textiles, among other things. There are exhibits on the history of samurai and the decorative arts of the Edo period (1603-1867), as well as displays on the influence of Buddhism and other religions on Japanese art.

Aside from the permanent collections, the museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. These exhibits often highlight specific artists or themes and offer visitors a chance to see rare and unique works of art.

Overall, the Tokyo National Museum is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in Japanese art, culture, and history. The museum's extensive collection and knowledgeable staff make it a fascinating and educational experience for visitors of all ages. So if you're ever in Ueno, be sure to set aside some time to explore this remarkable institution.


Walk around Ueno Park

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Ueno Park, located in the bustling Ueno district of Tokyo, is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations. The park is home to a number of attractions, including Tokyo National Museum, Ueno Zoo and several temples and shrines. But there is plenty to explore just by walking around the park itself.

One of the first things you’ll notice when entering the park is the wide variety of flora. Ueno Park is home to over 8,000 trees, including cherry blossom trees that bloom in the spring, making it a popular spot for hanami (flower viewing) parties. The park also has several ponds and streams which are home to fish, turtles and duck. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy nature in the heart of the city.

If you’re interested in history, a walk around Ueno Park is a great way to learn about Japan’s past. The park has a number of monuments and museums dedicated to important figures and events in Japanese history. One such monument is the statue of Saigo Takamori, a samurai who played a pivotal role in the Meiji Restoration. The monument is located near a pond in the park, and is a popular spot for taking pictures.

Another historical spot is the Ueno Toshogu Shrine, which is dedicated to the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. The shrine was built in the early 1600s, and is one of the few remaining examples of Edo period architecture in Tokyo. The shrine’s elaborate decorations include wood carvings, gold leaf and colorful paintings.

For a more modern experience, check out the street performers and artists who often gather in the park. You’ll find musicians, jugglers and other performers entertaining the crowds, as well as artists selling their work. There are also plenty of food vendors selling snacks and treats, like takoyaki (octopus balls) and yakisoba (fried noodles).

Finally, no trip to Ueno Park would be complete without a visit to the fountain. The fountain is located near the park’s main entrance, and is a popular spot for taking photos and cooling off on hot summer days. The fountain is especially beautiful at night, when it’s illuminated with colorful lights.

As you can see, there’s plenty to see and do just by walking around Ueno Park. Whether you’re interested in history, nature or entertainment, a walk through this beautiful park is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Tokyo.


Explore the Ameyoko Shopping Street

Source: wattention.com

If you want to experience the true hustle and bustle of Tokyo, then you should definitely check out the Ameyoko Shopping Street in the Ueno district. This popular shopping district has been around since the post-war era and has become a staple among locals and tourists alike.

The Ameyoko Shopping Street is located near Ueno Station and offers a wide range of goods, from clothing to Japanese traditional snacks. The name "Ameyoko" (literally meaning "candy alley") has an interesting story behind it. After the war, black market traders who sold sweets and candies would often scatter and run away when the police showed up. This resulted in the street being called "Ameyoko", which eventually became synonymous with the whole area.

Today, the Ameyoko Shopping Street is one of Tokyo's busiest shopping areas, where you can find a diverse mix of stores selling everything from famous Japanese sweets and snacks to fashion items like sneakers, clothes, cosmetics, and electronic gadgets. This stretch of road is always packed with people, so you'll want to keep an eye on your belongings and prepare to jostle with the crowds.

If you're looking for some delicious Japanese food, then the Ameyoko Shopping Street is the right place to be. From street food vendors to small restaurants, there's something for every food lover here. You can try various types of curry rice, takoyaki (octopus balls), yakitori (grilled chicken), and many other Japanese delicacies.

In addition to shopping and eating, the Ameyoko Shopping Street is also a great opportunity to experience the vibrant local culture. You can witness the unique atmosphere of a traditional Japanese street market and observe locals going about their daily lives. The energy and excitement of the area are contagious, and it's an experience you won't forget.

Overall, the Ameyoko Shopping Street is a bustling and vibrant district that truly captures the authentic spirit of Tokyo. So, if you're looking to experience the rich culture, indulge in delicious food or go shopping in Japan's vibrant capital, this is a must-visit destination.


Admire the cherry blossoms at Ueno Zoo

Source: jw-webmagazine.com
Characteristic Description
NameUeno Zoo
TypeZoo in the special wards of Tokyo, Japan
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.3 / 30,210
Address9-83 Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-8711, Japan
Phone+81 3-3828-5171
HoursTuesday - 9:30 AM–5 PM
Wednesday - 9:30 AM–5 PM
Thursday - 9:30 AM–5 PM
Friday - 9:30 AM–5 PM
Saturday - 9:30 AM–5 PM
Sunday - 9:30 AM–5 PM
Monday - 9:30 AM–5 PM

Ueno Zoo, situated in the bustling city of Tokyo, is a must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. However, during the spring season, Ueno Zoo transforms into a picturesque wonderland with the blooming of its cherry blossoms. The cherry blossoms, also known as sakura, provide a breathtaking sight to admire while strolling through the zoo.

The zoo, established in 1882, is one of Japan's oldest and most significant zoos. It is home to more than 3,000 animals, including giant pandas, elephants, polar bears, and many other species. While the zoo comprises vast lands, the real attraction of the zoo during the spring season is its numerous cherry blossom trees lining its pathways, bridges, and open spaces. The Japanese Cherry Blossom festival, otherwise known as Sakura Matsuri, is held in the zoo during the blooming season of cherry blossoms, and it attracts thousands of tourists worldwide.

The cherry blossom season at Ueno Zoo usually starts from late March and lasts until early April. During this time, the zoo's daily operations schedule extends so that visitors can enjoy the beauty of the blossoms at different times of the day. The city's famous park, Ueno Park, is situated right next to the zoo and is one of the most popular places to view cherry blossoms during the spring season. The cherry blossom trees in Ueno Park and the zoo were planted in the early 20th century and have since become iconic symbols.

Visitors can experience the cherry blossom season at Ueno Zoo by strolling through the cherry blossom-lined paths, taking part in picnics under the trees, riding the monorail through the area, or even taking a boat ride through the park's waterways. There are also various food and beverage stalls providing visitors with an authentic taste of Japanese cuisine.

In conclusion, Ueno Zoo is not just an animal attraction, but it is also a perfect spot to enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms during the spring season. Visitors can enjoy a mix of nature, wildlife, and culture all in one place. Therefore, if you're planning to visit Tokyo during the spring season, make sure to drop by Ueno Zoo to witness the beauty of cherry blossoms in full bloom.


Enjoy traditional Japanese tea at Ueno Toshogu Shrine

Source: youinjapan.net
Characteristic Description
NameUeno Toshogu Shrine
TypeShinto shrine in the special wards of Tokyo, Japan
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.3 / 3,098
Address9-88 Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan
Phone+81 3-3822-3455
HoursTuesday - 9 AM–5:30 PM
Wednesday - 9 AM–5:30 PM
Thursday - 9 AM–5:30 PM
Friday - 9 AM–5:30 PM
Saturday - 9 AM–5:30 PM
Sunday - 9 AM–5:30 PM
Monday - 9 AM–5:30 PM

Ueno is a district in Tokyo that is famous for its historical and cultural sites. One of the most popular attractions in Ueno is the Ueno Toshogu Shrine, a Shinto shrine that was built to honor the memory of the great Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Aside from its impressive architecture and intricate carvings, the Ueno Toshogu Shrine is also known for its traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Visitors can experience this unique cultural practice by joining a tea ceremony session which is held at the shrine's tea house.

During the tea ceremony, guests are guided through every step of the process, from the proper way of sitting and bowing to the correct way of handling the tea utensils. The ceremony is also accompanied by the soothing sounds of an ancient Japanese instrument called a shamisen, which adds to the peaceful and meditative atmosphere.

The highlight of the tea ceremony is, of course, the tea itself. The tea that is served during the ceremony is not your ordinary loose leaf tea – it is a special Japanese green tea called matcha. This powdered tea is whisked with hot water to create a frothy and smooth liquid that has a distinctive, slightly bitter taste.

The tea ceremony at Ueno Toshogu Shrine is not only a great way to experience Japanese culture but it is also a way to relax, reflect, and appreciate the beauty of simplicity. Whether you are a tea lover or not, this ceremony is a must-try for anyone visiting Ueno. Make sure to book your session ahead of time as spaces are limited.


Visit the Shitamachi Museum

Source: en.wikipedia.org
Characteristic Description
NameShitamachi Museum
TypeMuseum in the special wards of Tokyo, Japan
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.1 / 1,369
Address2-1 Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan
Phone+81 3-3823-7451

If you're looking to experience the "old Tokyo," a trip to the Ueno district is a must, and the Shitamachi Museum should definitely be at the top of your list of places to visit. Located in the heart of Ueno, this museum offers a glimpse into the traditional working-class neighborhoods of Tokyo.

The Shitamachi Museum is modeled after a typical mid-20th-century Japanese neighborhood, and it's one of the best places in Tokyo to learn about the lives of ordinary people during this time period. The museum features a recreated street scene from the 1940s and 50s, complete with small shops, a traditional Japanese tea house, an old-fashioned sento (public bath), and even a small shrine. The exhibits in each of these places provide visitors with a vivid understanding of what life was like for Tokyo residents at that time.

One of the highlights of the Shitamachi Museum is the nostalgic atmosphere it creates. From the fragrant aroma of incense from the small shrine, to the sound of running water in the sento (public bath), you really feel as though you've been transported back to an era long gone.

In addition to the outdoor exhibits, there is also an indoor exhibition space where visitors can learn about the history and culture of the shitamachi (literally, "low city"), a term used to describe the traditional working-class neighborhoods of Tokyo. The exhibition features photographs and artifacts that offer a deeper understanding of this world, giving visitors a glimpse into the everyday lives of ordinary Tokyo residents.

The museum is open every day except for Mondays and national holidays, and admission is only 300 yen (about $3 USD), making it an affordable and educational destination for travelers. Additionally, the museum is conveniently located near many other popular attractions in Ueno Park, including the Tokyo National Museum and the Ueno Zoo.

Overall, the Shitamachi Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in Japanese history and culture. Its authentic atmosphere, combined with its wealth of educational resources, makes it a truly unique and memorable destination.


Stroll through Yanaka Cemetery

Source: en.wikipedia.org

Ueno is a beautiful place to explore in Tokyo, Japan. While there are many popular attractions to see, like the Ueno Zoo and the Tokyo National Museum, one of the most unique and peaceful places to visit is Yanaka Cemetery.

Located within Yanaka neighborhood, near Ueno Park, Yanaka Cemetery is a serene and tranquil spot amidst the bustling city. At first glance, it may seem like a strange place to visit, but it has a rich history and a serene atmosphere that makes it a perfect place to relax and take a stroll.

The cemetery dates back to the Edo period, and is the final resting place of many famous figures from Japan's history. There are over 7,000 graves within the cemetery grounds, each with their own unique story and significance. Some of the most notable graves include those of Kyoshi Takahama, a famous haiku poet, and Shinobu Hashimoto, a famous screenwriter.

Walking through the cemetery, you'll find a variety of different grave styles and designs, from grand, elaborate graves to simple, understated ones. Some of the graves are adorned with fragrant flowers or colorful decorations, while others are more plain and simplistic. The cemetery is also home to a large number of cherry blossom trees, making it a popular spot in the spring when they are in full bloom.

One of the things that makes Yanaka Cemetery such a special place to visit is the peaceful atmosphere. Despite being located in the heart of Tokyo, you'll find that it's a quiet and serene spot, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Walking through the cemetery, you'll hear nothing but the gentle rustling of leaves and the occasional chirping of birds.

Overall, Yanaka Cemetery is a unique and peaceful spot to visit while in Ueno, Tokyo. Whether you're looking to learn more about Japan's history, take a peaceful stroll, or simply escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a little while, it's definitely worth a visit.

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Shop at the Ueno Antique Street

Source: www.tripadvisor.com

Ueno is one of the most popular areas in Tokyo, known for its museums, parks, and shopping streets. One such street is the Ueno Antique Street, also known as Ameyoko Antique Flea Market. This street is a must-visit for all antique lovers and collectors.

The Ueno Antique Street is a two-block-long alley filled with over 200 shops and stalls selling antiques, vintage goods, and collectibles. The street is open every day, but the best time to visit is over the weekends when the market is in full swing. The atmosphere is electric, with vendors shouting out deals and haggling with customers.

Visitors can find a vast range of goods on the street, including Japanese ceramics, antique textiles, vintage clothing, old books, traditional furniture, and many other unique items. Some shops specialize in rarities, such as Edo-period kimonos, samurai swords, and antique coins. The prices of these items can be high, but don't let that put you off. There are plenty of bargains to be found if you know how to haggle.

Aside from the antiques, the street is also a great place to sample some delicious street food. Many vendors sell snacks and drinks such as takoyaki, yakitori, and saké. There are also many small restaurants and bars along the street if you need a break from your shopping.

If you want to purchase something heavy or large, don't fret. Many shops offer international shipping to anywhere in the world. The process can be arranged at the store, and you can expect your goods to arrive at your doorstep within a few weeks.

In conclusion, the Ueno Antique Street is a unique and exciting shopping destination that should not be missed. Whether you're a collector or just looking for some interesting souvenirs, you're sure to find something to love on this street. So next time you're in Tokyo, head to Ueno and discover the treasures waiting for you on the Ueno Antique Street.


See the Bentendo Temple on an island in Shinobazu Pond

Source: www.tripadvisor.com
Characteristic Description
NameShinobazunoike Benten-do
TypeBuddhist temple in the special wards of Tokyo, Japan
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.2 / 2,389
Address2-1 Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan
Phone+81 3-3821-4638
HoursTuesday - 9 AM–5 PM
Wednesday - 9 AM–5 PM
Thursday - 9 AM–5 PM
Friday - 9 AM–5 PM
Saturday - 9 AM–5 PM
Sunday - 9 AM–5 PM
Monday - 9 AM–5 PM

Located in the Ueno Park of Tokyo, the Bentendo Temple is a must-see attraction for tourists and locals alike. One of the major reasons behind its popularity is its location – the temple is built on an island situated in the middle of the Shinobazu Pond. Visitors can admire the temple's beauty and serenity from the banks of the pond, or take a boat ride to the island to explore the temple up close.

The Bentendo Temple, also known as the Overflowing Spring Temple, is dedicated to the goddess Benzaiten, who is believed to bless people with good fortune, wisdom, and artistic talent. The temple's architecture is unique, characterized by its circular shape and its distinctive red and white color scheme. The interior of the temple is decorated with intricate carvings and beautiful paintings that are sure to mesmerize visitors.

Visitors can access the temple via a wooden bridge that leads to the island. As they walk along the path, they can enjoy the serene surroundings and take in the sights and sounds of the pond. The views of the temple from the bridge are breathtaking and offer an ideal opportunity for some memorable photographs. Once visitors reach the island, they can take their time exploring the temple, its pagoda, and the surrounding gardens.

One of the best times to visit the Bentendo Temple is during the annual Shinobazu no Ike Kootai festival, held on the third Sunday of April. The festival features traditional Japanese music and dance performances, tea ceremonies, and food stalls that offer a variety of local delicacies. During the festival, the temple and the surrounding gardens are decorated with lanterns, creating a magical atmosphere that is sure to leave visitors spellbound.

In conclusion, the Bentendo Temple is a beautiful and serene attraction located in the heart of Tokyo. Whether you're a history buff, a photography enthusiast, or someone looking to enjoy a peaceful oasis in the middle of a bustling city, the temple is worth a visit. Be sure to plan your trip accordingly so that you can experience its beauty and serenity to the fullest.

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Visit the Ueno Royal Museum

Source: www.gotokyo.org
Characteristic Description
NameThe Ueno Royal Museum
TypeMuseum in the special wards of Tokyo, Japan
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.1 / 4,491
Address1-2 Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan
Phone+81 3-3833-4191
HoursTuesday - 10 AM–5 PM
Wednesday - Closed
Thursday - Closed
Friday - Closed
Saturday - Closed
Sunday - Closed
Monday - Closed

The Ueno district of Tokyo, Japan is known for its museums, parks, and cultural attractions. One of these museums, the Ueno Royal Museum, is a must-visit for art lovers and those interested in Japanese culture.

The Ueno Royal Museum was established in 1972 and is located inside Ueno Park, which also houses the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Nature and Science, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. The museum's collection consists mainly of Japanese art, including paintings, ceramics, lacquerware, textiles, and sculptures.

Visitors can expect to see works by famous artists such as Ito Jakuchu, Ogata Korin, and Katsushika Hokusai, as well as lesser-known but equally impressive pieces. The museum is dedicated to showcasing both traditional and contemporary Japanese art, and special exhibitions are periodically held to highlight specific themes or artists.

One of the highlights of the Ueno Royal Museum is its location. Ueno Park is a beautiful area in which to stroll, and the museum is within walking distance of the bustling shopping and dining district of Ameyokocho. After a long day of exploring the museum, visitors can grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants and food stalls in the area.

Overall, a visit to the Ueno Royal Museum is a must for anyone interested in Japanese art and culture. With its impressive collection, beautiful location, and proximity to other attractions, the museum is not to be missed.


Discover Japanese art at the Sato Sakura Museum

Source: www.timeout.com

Ueno is a district of Tokyo famous for its many museums, galleries, and parks. One of the must-visit spots for art lovers in Ueno is the Sato Sakura Museum, which has a wonderful collection of traditional Japanese paintings.

The museum opened in 1987 and is named after its founder, Sato Saburo. He was a wealthy businessman who had a passion for collecting art since his youth. He established the museum to share his love for Japanese paintings with the world and to preserve this unique cultural heritage.

The museum's collection includes more than 2,000 pieces of Japanese art from the Edo period (1603-1867) to the present day. The artwork is displayed on rotation in several exhibitions throughout the year, so visitors can see different styles and themes with each visit.

One of the most significant collections is the paintings of the Rimpa school, a popular school of Japanese painting that started in the 17th century. The Rimpa school has a distinct style, which often depicts nature and elegant, flowery motifs. The Sato Sakura Museum has an extensive collection of Rimpa paintings, including works by famous artists like Ogata Korin and Sakai Hoitsu.

Besides the Rimpa school, the museum also has impressive collections of paintings from other schools like Kano, Tosa, and Ukiyo-e. Visitors can admire these works and learn more about the techniques and styles used by the artists at the museum's various exhibitions.

In addition to the collections, the museum also offers guided tours, workshops, and lectures to help visitors learn more about Japanese art and culture. Furthermore, there are English audio guides that explain the important features of the paintings and the artists who created them.

The museum is located in a quiet residential area and has a beautiful Japanese garden. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful walk through the garden before and after exploring the exhibitions. The museum also has a small gift shop where visitors can buy prints and other souvenirs related to the exhibitions.

In conclusion, the Sato Sakura Museum in Ueno is a must-visit destination for all lovers of Japanese art. Featuring a vast collection of traditional paintings and an array of events and activities, it offers a unique and enriching experience for visitors from all around the world.


Admire the Buddhist art at the Museum of Buddhist Art

Source: www.metmuseum.org

The Ueno area of Tokyo, Japan is known for many things, including the famous Ueno Park, Ueno Zoo, and the Tokyo National Museum. However, tucked away in a less well-known corner of the park is a true gem for art enthusiasts and spiritual seekers alike: the Museum of Buddhist Art.

This small museum houses a stunning collection of Buddhist art and artifacts from Japan and other Asian countries, ranging from ancient statues and paintings to intricate mandalas and calligraphy. Visitors can admire the delicate brushstrokes and rich colors of these works of art, as well as the deep symbolism and history behind them.

One highlight of the museum is the collection of Kamakura-Period Buddhist sculptures, which dates back over 700 years and offers a fascinating glimpse into the religious and artistic practices of that time. Another notable piece is the Yakushi Nyorai triptych, a magnificent work of three panels showing the deity of healing in intricate detail.

In addition to the permanent collection, the museum also features temporary exhibitions that highlight different aspects of Buddhist art and history. Recent exhibits have explored the connections between Buddhism and modern art, as well as the role of Buddhism in Japanese culture and society today.

Visitors to the Museum of Buddhist Art can also participate in guided tours and hands-on workshops, allowing them to further explore and appreciate the art and teachings of Buddhism. Whether you are a practicing Buddhist or simply appreciate the beauty and history of religious art, this museum is a must-visit attraction in Ueno.

Frequently asked questions

Some of the must-see attractions in Ueno include the Ueno Park and Zoo, the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Western Art, and the Keisei Ueno Station.

Ueno offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy, such as visiting temples and shrines, strolling through the park, exploring museums and galleries, shopping in the Ameyoko market, and enjoying culinary delights at the many restaurants and izakayas in the area.

The best time to visit Ueno is during the cherry blossom season, which typically occurs in late March to early April. This is when the park is filled with beautiful cherry blossoms, and it is the perfect time to enjoy a hanami (flower viewing) party. Alternatively, Ueno is also a great place to visit in the autumn when the leaves change color and the weather is cool and comfortable.

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