History of Ueno Zoo
The Ueno Zoo opened in 1882 and is considered the oldest zoo in Japan. It is home to more than 500 species and about 3,000 animals from all over the world like the Sumatran tigers, king penguins, white-tailed eagles, ostriches, zebras, and llamas.
The zoo provides the animals a place similar to their natural habitats: forests for gorillas, tigers, and elephants; hills for bears; and pools for polar bears and seals.
Ueno Zoo’s biggest stars are their pandas. The zoo’s first pair of pandas was lent by China in 1972, as the two nations reopened diplomatic relations.
Plenty to see and do
The 14.3-hectare zoo divided into two sections: the eastern section and the western section has plenty of attractions to offer. Visitors can enjoy ponds, a pagoda, and a petting zoo in the western side of the zoo for small children.
The Shinobazu Pond in the western section of the zoo serves as a habitat for many animals and migratory birds as well as lotuses come late July to August.
Animals and architecture
Historical architecture can also be found in Ueno Zoo and it is underappreciated. Some of these are the old front gate of a Versailles-style building, Kankan-tei tea house, and the Kan’ei-ji Temple.
The Kankan-tei tea house was first built in 1626 and was rebuilt in 1878. The traditional tea house together with the old front gate is reminiscent of the time the zoo first opened. The five-storey pagoda of Kan’ei-ji Temple on the other hand, was rebuilt in 1639 and is now designated as an Important Cultural Property.
9-83 Uenokoen, Taito-ku, Tokyo-to