Zoo in central Tokyo
Exhibiting 500 species of wild animals from all over world
Ueno Zoo is Japan's first zoo, opened in 1882 and marking the 130th anniversary. Divided into the eastern and western parts, the zoo has a population of 3,000 animals, representing some 500 species, on exhibition.
The eastern part features varied displays on the hilly area of Ueno Park. Especially popular are giant pandas becoming a symbol of the 1972 normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China. Adorable Ri Ri (Male) and Shin Shin (Female) now attract visitors. The eastern part also has created living environments similar to natural habitats of animals, such as forests for gorillas, tigers and elephants, hills for bears and others, and sea for polar bears and seals.
The western part captures people for its natural beauty, facing the lotus-clustered Shinobazu Pond 2 kilometers around and 110,000 square kilometers wide. African animals, such as giraffes, hippopotamuses and aye-ayes are kept on the western part of the zoo, which also has houses exhibiting small animals of more than 50 species and amphibian reptiles as well as a park where children can pet farm animals to develop love for animals and nature.
The zoo has many other attractions including historical structures, such as the five-storied pagoda of the old Kan'ei-ji Temple, rebuilt in 1639 and now designated as an important national cultural property, the Kankan-tei tea house built in 1626 and rebuilt in 1878, and the old front gate of a Japanese Versailles-style structure.
Address: 9-83 Ueno Koen, Taito Ward, Tokyo
Hours open to visitors: 9:30 to 17:00 (Entry accepted until 16:00)
Admission Fee: 600 yen for general visitors, 300 yen for seniors older than 65, 200 yen for junior high school students and free for children up to elementary school pupils
Closed: Monday (Following day if Monday is national holiday or Tokyo Citizens Day)
Directions: Walk of 5 to 10 minutes from Ueno Station