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Go And See Some Of The Natural Treasures Of Japan At Ueno Zoo!

Go And See Some Of The Natural Treasures Of Japan At Ueno Zoo!

Translated by Satomi Ohba

Written by Takuro Komatsuzaki

Tokyo 2014.05.08 Bookmark

Ueno Zoo is home to an incredible number of animals, including many that are entirely unique to Japan. In this article, we take a closer look at some of these creatures.

Does the phrase “Japanese wild animals” make you think of Japanese monkeys in hot spring ? Here at Ueno Zoo you can see animals specified as special natural treasures, the world’s rarest three animals, and of course Japanese monkeys as well.


Where is the Ueno Zoo?

The Ueno Zoo is located in Ueno Onshi Park, a 5 minute walk from JR Ueno Station's park exit.

The zoo was established in 1892. It stands as a zoo with history, conserving nature and its landscape despite its location in the middle of downtown Tokyo.


Over 3000 animals of 500 species are kept in this zoo. You can see many popular animals such as the idol of the zoo: the giant panda, polar bears, gorillas and tigers too.


Of course there are lots of Japanese monkeys. Over four million tourists a year visit Ueno Zoo, making it the most visited zoo in Japan.

World’s Top Three Rare Animals


The okapi, giant panda and pygmy hippopotamus are said to be the world’s top three rare animals.

You can see all three in Japan only at Ueno Zoo. Please have a look if you’ve never seen an okapi. For those of you who are curious, it’s like a giraffe (Giraffidae family) with zebra legs.

You can also enjoy shopping and eating around Ueno Zoo. There are many products that use the giant panda a s a motif available both in and around the zoo itself.

Special Natural Treasures of Japan!


Another big attraction at the zoo is that you can see special natural treasures such as Japanese serow, white stork, Japanese crane, and the Japanese giant salamander, living in their natural habitats! You might think Japanese animals are rather sober in color and not so flashy when compared to their counterparts overseas, but they have their own unique charms.

The elegant dancing of Japanese cranes, or the gentleness and glossy fur of Japanese serow may remind you of the beauty and modesty expressed in many different aspects of Japanese aesthetics and culture.

There are free tours by expert zoo guides, where you can learn about animal life and behavior. The guided tour takes about 45 minutes. See details here:

(Photos: Chuya Takahashi)


Ueno Zoo
Address: 9-83 Uenokouen, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 9:30-17:00
Closed: Mondays (in the event that a public holidays falls on Monday, the zoo will close on the following day)
-New Years Holidays (December 29-January 1)
*The zoo will occasionally open on Mondays
Map Languages: English, Chinese, Korean
Closest Station: To the East Garden Main Gate
-5 minute walk from JR Ueno Station (Park Entrance Exit)
-10 minute walk from Keisei Line Ueno Station
-12 minute walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza/Hibiya Line Ueno Station (Exit 7)
-15 minute walk from Toei Subway Oedo Line Okachimachi Ueno Station (Exit A5)
To the West Garden Ikenohata Gate
-5 minute walk from Tokyo Metro Nezu Station (Exit 2)
Telephone: 03-3828-5171
Website: Ueno Zoo

TOKYO Travel Guide

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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