Ueno Zoo - Tokyo's little big Zoo

Ueno Zoo
Ueno park is most famous because of its zoo. Outside the park you will already find a reference to the zoo and its most famous residents; The panda’s. However, this is only where the fun starts.
Ueno Zoo is the oldest zoo of Japan and has been built in 1882. It is located in the center of Tokyo. You might feel like there would be limited space to build a zoo inside such a big city and that might be the case, but once inside, the zoo feels very spacious.
 After paying the 600 yen entrance fee (which is ridiculously cheap in my opinion) or less (if you are a senior, student or child)  you are welcomed by a big panda statue. And nearby is the main attraction of the zoo: The giant pandas.
At the end, you get an opportunity to take a picture with another giant panda statue wearing panda ears. For all the girls (and maybe even guys) this is an absolutely lovely souvenir to take with you. The staff takes a picture of you with their own camera, but take a second one with your own camera if you want to (how sweet!) so you do not have to pay for the ‘professional’ picture taken. However, you will get a very cute folder to go with your photo so I bought it anyways (If I recall correctly, the photo was about 1000 yen).
 As I said before, the zoo looks very big once inside and there are a lot of exotic animals to see, especially if you are not from Asia, you might have seen a lot of animals for the first time in your life. The zoo is divided in an East and a West area which lots of animals to see. You may feel like spending the entire day here.
What I also love about the zoo is the amazingly cute food you are able to buy once inside. The main star of the zoo, the panda is exposed everywhere. So, make sure to buy a panda themed lunch instead of a normal sandwich to make the experience even more special.
 For foreign visitors only
When you are a foreigner visiting Ueno zoo, you will be asked to fill in a form upon entering the zoo. This form will ask you questions about your homecountry, your name and your age. It will also ask you the way you got to know about Ueno park.
Seems fair right and not much work? Well, it gets better!
After filling in the form you will receive a free souvenir from Ueno zoo, including a button of the zoo and some postcards with animals from the zoo on them… Lovely souvenirs for Free!
Practical information
Opening hours: 9:30-17:00, closed on Mondays
Admission: 600 yen
You will easily spend an afternoon, or even an entire day inside the Ueno zoo, gazing over the magnificent animals you might not have known existed. And do not forget the Panda’s, because how often will you get a chance to see a real Panda!
For 600 yen this is definitely a very nice day spend in Japan, away from the busy streets and metropolitan area and you will forget that you are in Tokyo metropolitan!

Miki P