You can now see baby panda Xiang Xiang at Ueno Zoo. The six month old cub made her public debut this week together with her mother Shin Shin. On her first day out, Xiang Xiang was seen playing, trying to climb, suckling on her mother, and taking naps.
At the moment, visitors to Ueno Zoo can see the panda cub during 2 1/2 hours per day. If Xiang Xiang gets used to the crowds, she will then be out wth her mother for longer from February 2018. At the moment, zoo visitors who want to attend one of the daily sessions for seeing Xiang Xiang need to apply for the lottery to win one of 2000 viewing slots per day. Please check the zoo’s website for details.
You can also watch live video from the pandas on the zoo’s new panda website http://www.ueno-panda-live.jp here. Switch between the different cameras by clicking the numbered buttons below the video. The green buttons are for cameras in Ri Ri’s areas, Xiang Xiang’s father. The orange buttons are for cameras showing the area of Xiang Xiang and her mother Shin Shin. The video shows a live stream when the zoo is open, usually between 9:30 and 17:00. After that you can watch 3 hours of the most recent footage from each camera until live video resumes again in the morning.
Xiang Xiang is already famous in Japan and her debut was reported on the national news. The baby panda has been called a new treasure for Tokyo. At the “Hagoita-Ichi” Fair last weekend at Senso-ji Temple, some of the ornamental battledores sold as good-luck charms were decorated with the panda cub and her mother. The hagoita sold here for the new year are always highly decorated and many traditional ones show Kabuki actors in Edo style costumes and kimono. Other designs pick up on current events and show currently popular celebrities and personalities. So it comes as no surprise that Xiang Xiang could also be found here.
Ueno Zoo’s pandas have inspired a whole range of art, goods, and foods. And you can find a lot of them in the Ueno area. If you take the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line to Ueno you can already see the first panda pictures along the platform. Keep your eyes open to spot more panda themed offerings. Some bakeries for example make sweet panda breads and cupcakes. The Ueno Information Center can point you to more places offering panda themed goods and help you find your way around Ueno Park and Ueno Zoo.