I was all over the place on Saturday. Before the art exhibits, I went to the zoo in Ueno for a little bit of nastalgia and – I’ll admit – because cute animals make awesome date scenery.
The zoo is located around Shinobazu Pond (不忍池). I’m sure there’s a better way to get to it, but we went out the Shinobazu exit at Ueno station and headed right. Just follow the people. There are ample maps around as well to help you out.
The price of entry is 600 yen, but bring a little more (I had only 800 yen total). We were both hungry, and the fact that every place seems to sell crepes, ice cream and pizza did not make things easier.
There’s a path around the zoo so you can be sure to hit everything, and also a monorail that links the East and West parts of the park. The West side has what appeared to be a petting zoo. I saw kids touching animals, so I assume that’s what it was, anyway. It was inside the kids zoo, and we didn’t hang out there too long because of all the young’uns bumping into us and running (literally) underfoot.
If you don’t want to take the monorail, like me because I had no money to do so, you can walk to the West side. It takes a few extra minutes, but you get a nice shot of the pond because the East side is maybe 10 meters higher than the West side. The West side is also host to an insect and creepy-crawly exhibit, which we didn’t go to. I’m deathly afraid of spiders and other such animals, but if that’s your thing I’m sure there’s plenty of them over there.
I took pictures of a bunch of the animals there, but I only put maybe 6 or so on my flickr page. You’ll find the usual fare at the zoo – lions, tigers, monkeys, birds – lots of the damn things, among others. I was fortunate enough to see the back of a panda’s ass for 3 minutes until the big guy stood up (Oohs and Ahhs from the crowd) to summarily empty his bowels and fall asleep (“Dammit” from me). Maybe future zoo-goers will have better luck.