Exploring the Ueno Zoo

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  • Ueno Zoo

    Ueno Zoo is the first and hence the most ancient among the Zoological gardens of Japan. There are more than 500 species of birds and animals in this zoo.

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    The main attraction of this zoo is the Pandas gifted from China. We could hear the sounds of various animals and birds while walking through some parts of the park.

    Main attraction


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    Author’s photo

    There were four of us when we visited the zoo, and the tickets all look different. As we enter inside the park with the ticket that costs JPY 600, we will be seeing the area that houses pigeons and pheasants of various species. From there, we will be entering to the most important part of the zoo, where the Pandas live. These black and white beautiful Giant Pandas with their black decorations around their eyes are truly interesting to look at. When we went there, they were eating some bamboo branches, chewing and spitting the remains upon themselves and hence looked like some lazy creatures. They are named Ri Ri and Shin Shin. It’s interesting to watch them even for a long time. They are kept in the glass cages.



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    From there, we will be walking to the birds area, such as owls, eagles etc. The most interesting among them is the white owl which appears to be as white as snow. Being nocturnal birds, they seem scared of the human visitors and their noises. The big carnivorous animals like lions, tiger, dholes and etc. form the next area of the zoo. The dholes are kept in well planted natural environment. The otters, gibbons, gorillas, bears and such are also present in this part. The bears can be seen from above their houses and we can also enjoy watching them through the glass

    There is a two-story bird house that has a wide variety of bird species living inside of it. The large macaw parrots are kept in big cages and they are making great sounds. Jacana, Redshank, Egyptian plover, Reeve and others can be seen among the seashore birds area. The sacred ibis, blue and green coloured turacos, different types of plover birds and the red crowned cranes are the other important ones among the great attractions of this zoo.


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    The is a special breed of kingfisher of wooden colour kept along with the common one. The slaty woodpecker, the beautiful bearded barbet birds and more can be found on the second floor of this birdhouse. Some Kokabura family white birds can also be found in a cage nearby. The beautiful paradise whydah pair are kept along with the waxbills. There is a cage with beautiful lovebirds chirping in their sweet voice.


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    There is a small ocean for the polar bears and seals, where we could enjoy the sight from behind the underwater glass wall. We could see the polar bears swimming down deep inside and then coming up at greater speed and enjoying their time.


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    The vivarium here has a good collection of reptiles, fishes, amphibians and such. Among them, we could find a Giant salamander which is the special animal present here. There are rats called naked mole rats, with long teeth pushing outwards, running through small pipes set for them. The elephant are has some elephants playing in the mud: taking it and sprinkling it all over their backs and running around, they seem very playful. The monkey hill has Japanese macaques and other monkey species in the area nearby. Here we could see them caring for each other, parents pampering their babies and some others playing around.

    The second part of the zoo


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    After the prairie dogs and other animals, we could cross a bridge within the zoo to reach the Children’s zoo. Here, children could pet animals like oats, rabbits and such, of course, under the supervision of the special staff in the area. Here, you can find penguins, kangaroos, giraffes rhinos, hippos, zebras and more! Red pandas are also present at one side of this bridge. When we looked down from the bridge, we could see the Pandas sleeping calm on the tree branches.


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    There is a pond with pelicans, geese and other water birds in it, and it is the same Shinobazu pond surrounding the Benten Hall. After crossing the bridge we will be walking towards the zoo exit, visiting the squirrels, Japanese birds, Flamingos, Deer and Cranes. We could see the five storeyed pagoda of the ancient Kaneji temple on the way. It is now situated within the zoo area.

    Ueno Zoo website

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