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Ueno Zoological Gardens, one of Japan's leading zoos

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2021.09.09 (Thu)

By Charlotte, long-term Tokyo resident & history-loving traveler

September has arrived, and the weather has become cooler. Many of you may feel that it has become a comfortable season to be outside. Today, I'd like to introduce "Ueno Zoological Gardens (Ueno Zoo)," a place to go in Taito City that is perfect for this time of year.

Ueno Zoo was the first zoo in Japan and opened in 1882 as an auxiliary facility of the museum in Ueno Park. Since the zoo was managed by the national government when it first opened, it has played an important role in the country's diplomatic activities, such as displaying animals presented to the Japanese Imperial Family from overseas. In 1972 (although the zoo was already under the jurisdiction of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government that year), two giant pandas were presented to Ueno Zoo from China to commemorate the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China. Today, as one of Japan's representative zoos, Ueno Zoo continues to breed, raise, and exhibit a variety of animals in order to convey the importance of wildlife conservation while allowing visitors to become familiar with the animals.

Although Ueno Zoo is located in the heart of the city with convenient access, each exhibition zone reproduces an area where animals actually live, allowing visitors to enjoy both the scenery and the animals. More than 3,000 animals of about 300 species are kept in a variety of facilities, including the "Gorilla Woods and Tiger Forest," where the environment is prepared according to the habitats of gorillas and tigers, and the "Panda Forest," a facility modeled on the ecosystem of Sichuan Province in China. In June this year, Ueno Zoo's giant panda, "Shin Shin," became the center of attention after she gave birth to very cute baby twins. In late August, a public contest was held to name the twins, and the names chosen from the public contest will be announced in mid-October. I'm looking forward to it!

Currently, to enter Ueno Zoo, you need to get a numbered ticket in advance. If you want to know more about Ueno Zoo, including information on numbered tickets, please visit the following URL!
https://www.tokyo-zoo.net/english/ueno/index.html

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