Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ueno Zoo

Today we got up quite early and set off for Ueno Zoo which was about a 15 minute walk from our hotel. The zoo in on the grounds of a big botanical gardens that has lots of interesting shrines & statues & a big lake.
It was only about 600 Yen to get in (about $10 AUS). The zoo is really quite big and has a monorail that runs from one side to the other (for a fee). The zoo had the standard zoo animals but they also have a really big selection of weird birds & alot of nocturnal animals like (to my joy) Slow Loris & bats & rodents. There is also quite a big reptile section. All in all it was a nice zoo and there weren't that many people there. There were quite alot of the cutest pre-school groups all wearing differnet coloured hats. We had just as much fun watching them as the animals.
The animal enclosures left alot to be desired. They were small & stark and a bit sad. But not so bad that they were cruel.
One of the highlights of the day was when the lady (?) gorilla came right up to us at the glass and sat down and just gazed into our eyes with such sadness. She was so beautiful we just wanted to give her a big hug. After she went away again the HUGE male gorilla came right up to the glass and sat with his arms crossed right up at the glass & glaring at people. At this point the Japanese started taking flash photography, yelling & tapping on the glass. We did NOT feel like hugging him & we high-tailed it! It was hard to see the Slow Loris because they were in a dark house and you weren't allowed to use flash photography. After the WORST lunch ever of fried chicken & chips that tasted like they were about a month old. Blech. we headed over to the other side of the zoo.
The pygmy hippo had the cutest baby hippo that was chasing it's mum around and slipping over playing. It was so great! We also got to see the real life Tanoki which is like a raccoon.
It was a really really good day & the weather was lovely & cool. It was around 3pm when we finished at the zoo so we headed for the lake in the park to ride some swans!

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