The Ueno Zoo in Tokyo (Ueno District)

For celebrating New Year’s day, My boyfriend and I went to the Ueno zoo (or Ueno Zoological Gardens) in Tokyo few days ago. Last year, I came to the zoo for the first time at the beginning of 2014 and Ueno Zoo has become one of my favorite zoos since then. There was a variety of interesting and cute animals that I had never seen before (such as a naked mole rat colony)!

In front of the entrance of the Ueno zoo

Location of Ueno Zoo
Last year, I got a cute button and a poster that have cute horse pictures (in the Chinese zodiac, 2014 was horse’s year) on them from the Ueno zoo as New Year’s day’s gifts. So I was expecting that I would the gifts again on that day (if I could get them, they were supposed to be related to sheep as 2015 is the year of sheep in the Chinese zodiac) but I did not. We realized that we picked the wrong day for getting New Year’s day’s gifts. We went to the zoo on January 7th. I think the zoo provides the New Year’s day’s gifts on January 2nd or 3rd  every year. A New Year’s day’s gift from Ueno zoo for this year was a Japanese rice cracker.

A poster for celebrating horse’s year (2014) from Ueno zoo
a Japanese rice cracker from Ueno zoo for celebrating sheep's year (2015) (picture from
A Japanese rice cracker from Ueno zoo for celebrating sheep’s year (2015) (picture from









You can see different animal pictures on each tickets purchased from the Ueno zoo. I got a ticket with picture of one kind of cute mammal on it and My boyfriend got a ticket with a picture of a beautiful bird. The admission fee for each person was 600 Yens which was about $5.

Tickets for the Ueno zoo
Tickets for the Ueno zoo

The first animals you can see from the entrance are one of the representative animals of the Ueno zoo, pandas.

The entrance of the panda exhibit
A panda eating bamboos


Actually pandas in the Ueno zoo are from China. A special airplane, the ‘Panda flight’ was used for transporting pandas from China to Tokyo, Japan.

The story about how pandas came to the Ueno zoo from China

After we enjoyed the panda exhibit, we took some pictures in the panda studio near the panda exhibit. Staffs in the studio provided us a cute panda hair band and a panda hat for taking pictures. The staffs take pictures of people with a camera in the studio but you can also ask them to take free pictures with your own camera. So, bring your camera!

Panda studio
The panda studio

There were many other cute animals in the Ueno zoo 🙂

A mother and a baby Japanese monkeys
A mother and a baby Japanese monkeys

This is a picture of my favorite bird, shoebill. In my opinion, it looks like some kind of monsters in the anime, Pokemon. The bird is very interesting. It has big light blue eyes and a hug and broad bill. This bird also hardly moves its body so when you see this bird, you might feel like you are looking at a bird statue.

A shoebill, moveless animal
A shoebill, move-less bird

And here is my favorite exhibition, Small Mammal’s House! Here are many cute small rodents including flying squirrels, kangaroo rats, and naked mole rats.

In front of small mammal exhibition
In front of the Small Mammal’s House

This is the house (or tunnels) of a naked mole rat colony. The naked mole rats are the only mammals of the eusociality (the colony of the animals consist of queens, solders, and workers like ants or bees).

A naked mole rat colony. The naked mole rat is the only eusocial(have queen and ) mammal on the earth.
A naked mole rat colony

They look like baby rats, but they originally do not have any furs on their bodies.

Naked mole rats sleeping in their bedroom.
Naked mole rats sleeping in their bedroom

After we finished the tour in the zoo, we visited the gift shop in the Ueno zoo. In here, you can see various stuffed dolls which very resemble animals in the zoo. I bought a naked mole rat doll here last time I visited the zoo.

the gift shop
The gift shop

Below are photos of the naked mole rat doll I bought. The face with dot eyes and front teeth poking out of the mouth is so funny and adorable 🙂

Thank you for reading my post!


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