A magical place to meet various animals within central Tokyo
Ueno Zoological Gardens, japan‘s oldest and most visited zoo, is a magical place where visitors can encounter a wide variety of animals right in the heart of Tokyo. With its rich history and commitment to wildlife conservation, the zoo offers a unique and educational experience for people of all ages.
Established in 1882, Ueno Zoological Gardens holds the distinction of being Japan’s first zoo. Over the years, it has become a beloved institution and a symbol of Tokyo’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage. The zoo is home to over 3,000 animals, representing around 300 different species. From majestic elephants to playful monkeys, visitors can observe and learn about a diverse array of creatures from around the world.
One of the zoo’s most famous attractions is its pair of giant pandas, which can be seen at only three locations in Japan. These incredible animals, known for their distinctive black and white markings, are native to China and are considered a national treasure. Ueno Zoological Gardens has been successful in breeding giant pandas, and visitors have the opportunity to see these magnificent creatures up close.
In addition to the giant pandas, the zoo is also home to other rare and exotic animals. The okapi, also known as the “forest giraffe,” is a particularly unique species found in the jungles of Central Africa and Zaire. Ueno Zoological Gardens is one of the few places outside of Africa where visitors can see okapis. This highlights the zoo’s commitment to showcasing animals that are not commonly found in Japan.
To make the most of your visit to Ueno Zoological Gardens, it is recommended to spend the whole day exploring the various exhibits and observing the animals. The zoo is divided into two sections: the East Gardens and the West Gardens. The East Gardens are home to elephants, gorillas, tigers, and a variety of native Japanese animals. Visitors can also witness the lively monkeys living in the “Saruyama – Monkey Mountain.” The West Gardens house giraffes, kangaroos, hippos, and other fascinating creatures. The Vivarium and Small Mammal House are also located in this area, providing visitors with the opportunity to observe reptiles, amphibians, and nocturnal animals.
However, the main attraction for many visitors remains the giant pandas. Since the birth of twin panda cubs in June 2021, people from all over Japan have flocked to Ueno Zoological Gardens to catch a glimpse of these adorable creatures. The pandas have captured the hearts of both children and adults alike, and their presence adds an extra layer of excitement to the zoo experience.
The Ueno Onshi Park, where the zoo is located, is an expansive 53-hectare (131-acre) green space in the heart of Tokyo. In addition to the zoo, visitors can also explore the park’s other attractions, including the science, history, and art museums. The park is also home to the scenic Shinobazu Pond, offering a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.
To reach Ueno Zoological Gardens, the nearest station is JR and Tokyo Metro Ueno Station. From there, it is just a five-minute walk to the zoo. The park itself has three gates, providing easy access for visitors.
When planning your visit, it is important to note that the Ueno Zoological Gardens has a long history and has undergone significant changes over the years. Therefore, it is advisable to check the official website before visiting to ensure that all attractions are open and operating as usual.
Visiting the Ueno Zoological Gardens is not only a fun and entertaining experience but also an opportunity to learn about wildlife conservation and the importance of preserving our natural heritage. The zoo actively participates in breeding programs for endangered animals and collaborates with domestic and international agencies to raise public awareness about the need for conservation.
In addition to the zoo, Ueno offers a wealth of other cultural and historical attractions. Within the park itself, visitors can explore the National Museum of Nature and Science, where they can learn about the origins of Japan and the latest scientific advancements. The Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and the National Museum of Western Art are also nearby, offering a chance to appreciate masterpieces from around the world. For those looking for a bit of shopping and delicious food, Ameyoko is a vibrant market located close to the zoo.
Whether you are a nature lover, an animal enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique experience in Tokyo, a visit to Ueno Zoological Gardens is a must. It offers a glimpse into the fascinating world of animals and provides a valuable opportunity to appreciate and protect the diverse wildlife that inhabits our planet. So, make sure to include Ueno Zoological Gardens in your itinerary and prepare to be amazed by the wonders of the animal kingdom.
Address And Maps Location:
9-83 Uenokoen, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to