A plan is under way to designate Tokyo's Ueno Park area, with its concentration of museums and galleries, as a "cultural forest" and promote it to the world as an international cultural hub leading up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
"We want to use 2020 as an opportunity to make Ueno the best place in the world", said Ryohei Miyata, one of the leaders of the plan and president of Tokyo University of the Arts, which is adjacent to Ueno Zoo. He was speaking at the opening of the executive committee's office on Sept. 2 while hanging the committee's signboard at the entrance of the building.
Foreign tourists will be crucial in reaching the committee's target of 30 million visitors. Many areas abroad with high concentrations of museums are popular tourist destinations, such as the National Mall in Washington, where the Smithsonian museums are located; the Louvre museum area in Paris; and Museum Island in Berlin, where five museums are located on an island in the Spree River.
Ueno Park has great potential. It is home to the Tokyo National Museum, the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, and the National Museum of Western Art, in addition to the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, the University Art Museum at Tokyo University of the Arts, and the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan.
The area boasts easy access from Narita Airport and is close to both the Asakusa and Akihabara districts, which are popular with foreign tourists.
The plan, in which both the government and private sector is participating, is being reviewed by the Cultural Affairs Agency, the Tokyo metropolitan government, the area's museums and galleries, and other local organizations.
source by newsonjapan