Shin-Uguisu Tei in Ueno Park

A lovely Japanese sweets cafe

By Sleiman Azizi    - 2 min read

Tucked away in Ueno Park lies a little piece of sweet tooth heaven. Opened in 1915, Shin-Uguisu Tei is a traditionally-minded cafe known for its uguisu dango.

Dango is basically a sweet dumpling made from rice flour (mochiku) and uguisu dango is one of its many varieties.

Named after the Japanese bush warbler (uguisu) whose melodic cry is famous when spring starts, uguisu dango comprises three dumplings of differing colours - green, red and white. Sweet red bean (azuki) or white bean (shiro-an) pastes are used as fillings.

Uguisu dango, nice texture, nice flavours
Uguisu dango, nice texture, nice flavours

For ¥550, a set of three dumplings will be served with a perfectly matched cup of green tea. It's quite the quintessential Japanese culinary experience, especially when surrounded by the spring cherry blossoms.

Cherry blossoms on the way to the cafe
Cherry blossoms on the way to the cafe (Photo: Hetarllen Mumriken / CC BY-SA 2.0)

The approach to the cafe is a picturesque leafy pathway where you'll have the choice of dining indoors or out. Go with whichever tickles your fancy; they're both fine.

Hand drawn menus also feature. Charming doesn't do them justice; they really are lovely. Don’t worry if you can't read Japanese, as there is an English menu to help you get by.

Curiously, while Shin-Uguisu Tei's signature dish is a delicate sweet, for ¥800 they also offer a warm-your-belly bowl of oden, a Japanese hot pot of varying ingredients stewed in a light dashi broth that is great during the cooler months.

Next time you visit Ueno Park, do yourself a favour and make your way to Shin-Uguisu Tei. With delicate flavours and an understated ambience, you can't go wrong.

Getting there

Shin-Uguisu Tei is an easy five-minute walk from the Park Exit of JR Ueno Station. From the exit, head towards the zoo, and turn down the left lane once you reach the entrance. You'll see the cafe at the end of the lane, just past some street stalls. Don't fret, it's really very easy to find. It's open from 10:00am to 5:00pm, daily except Mondays.

More info

Find out more about Ueno Park.

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Sleiman Azizi

Sleiman Azizi @sleiman.azizi

I'm a Japanese Permanent Resident with over 600 published articles on Japan as well as 5 English language books inspired by traditional Japanese literature.I'm also the Regional Partner for Tokyo, so if you've anything to say about Japan's never ending capital - or just Japan in general - don't be shy and contact with me via sleiman.azizi@japantravel.com

Join the discussion

Elizabeth S a week ago
I don't know how many times I've passed the little cafes and shokudos at Ueno Park and never went in. Next time!
Sleiman Azizi Author a week ago
Love the place. It's a little tradition for us to visit when we are in the area.
Elena Lisina 2 years ago
Many times visited Ueno, but never the zoo direction! I like Japanese sweets for being not too sweet. :P
Elena Lisina 2 years ago
Next time I'll check it, too!
Kim 2 years ago
Can't believe I never knew about this place! I'll have to check it out the next time I'm in Tokyo!
Sleiman Azizi Author 2 years ago
Happens to the best of us.. hehe