Ueno Zoo

In my previous post about Ueno Park, I mentioned that within this expansive 133-acre park lies a great number of attractions and activities, including several museums, various temples and shrines, art galleries, theater halls, and a 35-acre zoo — the Ueno Zoo, which you will see more of in this blog post!

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A merry-go-round by the entrance of Ueno Zoo

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Founded in 1882, the Ueno Zoo is the oldest zoo in Japan. This mammoth of a zoo houses over 2,600 animals.

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One of the most popular attractions in Ueno Zoo are none other than the pandas. It was said that in 2008, the zoo’s giant panda named Ling Ling passed away so the zoo was without a panda for quite some time, until the arrival of two new baby pandas from China in 2o11 — Li Li and Shin Shin.¹

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The pandas were definitely scene stealers! Everyone fawned over these cute creatures and watched them eat, eat, and eat!

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A cute baby panda munching away on his own loft
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Save the panda!
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What’s cuter than pandas? Little Japanese children wearing panda hats!
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Panda love

While walking around, we stumbled upon two interesting structures.

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A beautiful golden Thai pavillion in the middle of the zoo
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Takatora Todo’s Tea Ceremony House.

The sign explains who Takatora Todo is and what the house was for:

“Takatora Todo, a military commander, was ranked high by Hideyoshi Toyotomi and Ieyasu Tokugawa. This tea ceremony house was built about 350 years ago and used for the reception of shoguns who paid a visit to the the Toshogu Shrine for Worship. It was erected in memory of Ieyasu Tokugawa, the founder of the Tokugawas Shogunate. Now a trace of its former elegant appearance still remains.”

More than just pandas, there are a lot (and I do mean A LOT) of interesting and amusing animals to keep an eye out for, such as the different species of birds.

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I wonder if these crows are anything like the ones in Game of Thrones…
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It’s Hedwig from Harry Potter!
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Hello, Mr. Owl!
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Such a serious owl…
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Owl: “What are you staring at?”

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And of course… all hail the queen! (The queen lioness, that is)

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Look at that lioness, looking all regal on top of her throne!

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Such a beauty!

We went inside what looked like a small cave and saw more of our fascinating friends from the animal kingdom.

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This pretty much depicts what happens when you feed the monkeys

We entered the planet of the apes and saw some playful primates.

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“Who you calling a baboon?!”
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A black gibbon
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These two look like they’re engaging in some serious monkey business
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Oh wait! One of them is holding a flower, which was probably given to her by the other monkey. Hmmm… But look at the guilty look on her face! I have a feeling there’s some kind of secret love affair going on around here…
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Meanwhile, this gorilla is too busy sniffing his grass
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while this one is busy admiring his food with a “my preciousss” look on his face…
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..before actually eating it!
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Mike took this shot of the gorilla’s tush
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And of course, there HAD TO BE a close-up shot. Nice one, Mike!

Up next were the tigers. Tigers are usually seen as ferocious wild beasts, ready to attack anytime. But the infographics on the state of extinction of tigers posted on Ueno Zoo’s walls are so heartbreaking that it made me see tigers as these fragile beings.

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These made me feel really sad.

But at least there is comfort in knowing that this tiger is safe and taken care of at Ueno Zoo.

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We saw more kinds of birds! The assortment of these feathered friends is so huge at Ueno Zoo. Bird lovers will surely be thrilled to see all of them here!

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I don’t know what kind of bird this is so Mike just named it “The Shaniqua Bird” coz… she looks like a Shaniqua. Guuurl!
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This cockatoo looks like he is giving a lecture

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After checking out the birds, we went out and saw this sign, and the first thing I asked Mike was:

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“What’s a D-hole?”

So THIS is a dhole:

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Yes, it’s “dhole” and not “D-hole.” I just have a dirty mind. Haha!
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Other names for the dhole are: Asiatic wild dog, Indian wild dog, whistling dog, red wolf, red dog, and mountain wolf. Those names are more badass than d-hole! I mean dhole!

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We visited the zoo in November so it was the autumn season at that time. However, there were some beautiful and brightly-colored flowers in one of the parts of the zoo so it suddenly felt like spring time!

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Pretty spring flowers in the middle of fall
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I made sure I looked fashionable enough for the animals in the zoo!

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There are lots of cute animals at the zoo and also lots of cute kids and babies, like this one:

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There I am with my maternal instincts getting all fired up
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I made him smile! Awww… such a cute baby!

Here are some more animals that we encountered at Ueno Zoo:

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It’s a kookaburra, a bird that is native to Australia
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A toucan
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The toucan’s large and brightly-hued beak is what makes it so distinct
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A tapir at the zoo. A lot of these tapirs are classified to be endangered.
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What a funny face!
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You can find Japanese macaques at the Monkey Mountain
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How many monkeys do you see?

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The animals that we saw next made me squeal like a little girl.

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Penguins!!! (squeals)

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I wanted to hug them and squeeze them tight!
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Oh, this cute little swimmer!

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Can I please bring one home???
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Not to be upstaged by the penguins is this adorable sea lion
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Pink is my favorite color so seeing these pink flamingos made my day!
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They are so pretty! Now all I need are a piña colada and a beach as a background

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Mike and our friend Eric, being fish fans and enthusiasts of the marine life, felt the same kind of giddiness that I felt when I saw the cute animals when they stepped inside the vivarium where they keep these sea creatures. Here, they also saw reptiles like crocodiles, turtles, snakes, and frogs.

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Fish friends
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Camouflage
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The turtle has an innocent and curious face

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Relaxing
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Um, gross
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A chameleon perched on a branch
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Mike: “Can I have one?” Me: “No.”
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I really don’t understand why Mike thinks chameleons are cute
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Some kind of snake

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Ribbit!
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A frog that looks stoned
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Peeking frog
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Gooey-looking green frogs
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Comfy-looking croc

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I didn’t know our friend Eric had a child. Same color of outfit, same enthusiasm for fish, and I have a feeling they look alike too

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Almost time to go, but before we headed out, we had a chance meeting with…

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Puffins!

I call Mike “Puffy” (and variations of “Puffy” such as “Puff,” “Pufferfish,” “Puffycake,” “Puffin,” etc.) and he was finally reunited with his spirit animal.

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And look, they’re both in blue!
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Mike’s crew (aka the puffins) resting on the tree’s branches.
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“I’m the real puffin!”

To give you an idea of how large Ueno Zoo is and how many animals you can expect to see, here is a map of the entire zoo:

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Credit: http://www.zoos.mono.net/17755/Tokyo%20Ueno%20**

You can also click here for a printable PDF of the map.

The Ueno Zoo is really a colorful and exciting world filled with all sorts of animals — the docile, the wild, the exotic, the playful, the sweet, and the rare. Because of its diversity and beauty, it is a place that can be enjoyed and appreciated by all kinds of people, whether young or old.

Ueno Zoo
Address: Ueno Zoo, 9-83, Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-8711, Japan
Phone: 03-3828-5171
Website: https://www.tokyo-zoo.net/english/ueno/
For information on opening hours, admission fees, etc., visit Ueno Zoo’s website

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19 Comment

  1. Lovely photos! I’m dreaming to see a real life panda! Soooo cute!!

  2. How interesting to visit a zoo in another country! This zoo looks beautiful and well-kept. The puffins and penguins are so cute (and pandas too!), but those snakes are strange looking! Looks like a fun day at the zoo 🙂

    1. It was surely a fun day at the zoo! I felt like a kid all over again. Everyone seems to love the puffins, penguins, and pandas! 🙂

  3. OmniyaFareed Shafik says: Reply

    too bad I missed this place when I visited Japan and the Ueno area last year. Will definitely be checking it out if I come back! awesome pics too 🙂

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I hope you get to go!

  4. A lot of interesting animals in the oldest zoo of Japan. Im loving the birds and of course the Pandas! Omg, those are totally stealing the show. Haha! I haven’t see a real one and I hope I can see a live one like you. 🙂
    Kris recently posted…Larena Triad Coffee ShopMy Profile

    1. It’s just too bad we couldn’t touch the pandas! That would be so great if we could play with them! 🙂

  5. Wow the park looks really huge and so much of animals to meet. Many of the ones you featured in the photos are strangers to me. The puffin looks so cute. 🙂
    Jan Michael De Guzman recently posted…How To Transfer From Kalibo Airport To BoracayMy Profile

    1. Same here! Some of those animals were quite new to me too. Yeah, the puffins were adorable! 🙂

  6. Looks like a great zoo. Lots of different animals to see. I would be spending my time either seeing the pandas or the penguins 🙂

    1. Good choice! 🙂 It’s hard to choose though coz all of them are so interesting!

  7. I love pandas! They’re such fascinating and dorky creatures haha. That’s good that Li Li and Shin Shin have each other’s company 🙂 And Hedwig too! Along with Toucan Sam from Froot Loops! man this zoo is just full of celebs haha
    Ivy recently posted…Comment on Don’t forget – Mostar by IvyMy Profile

    1. Hahaha! It really is a star-studded zoo! They’re all so cute 🙂

  8. Pandas are the cutest animals ever. Never seen one in real yet. And the number of species there – wow they are a lot. If i make it to Japan, this is one place I definitely want to go to. Are you based in Japan?

    1. I’m not based in Japan but I sure wish I was! 🙂 Pandas are the sweetest! I wanted to take home one!

  9. That zoo looks massive! There’s such a wide variety of animals there. Do you know if the zoo is involved in a lot of conservation work?

    1. Yes, I believe the zoo is involved in conservation work. 🙂 You’re right, the variety is huge! I saw animals there that I have never seen or heard of before.

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