Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ueno Zoo, Tokyo

We made our second trip into Tokyo yesterday...this time...Ueno Zoo. 

The morning started around 0700 with sausage, eggs, cereal and pop tarts.  Once the kids were dressed and our friends were ready, we headed out the door at 0830.  We walked from the house to the Yokosuka Chuo station (about a 25 minute walk) and made it onto the 0915 Keikyu Main Line Ltd Express train to Shinagawa (about 45 minutes, I think there were 5 stops).  At the Shinagawa St. we changed trains to the JR line and rode about 20 minutes to the Ueno Station (adult fare was about 810 Yen).  The entrance to the zoo was right in front of the station, so the walk was easy.  We paid to get in, my adult fare was 600 Yen and both kids were free (12 and under free!).  So, we set off to see the animals.  First stop...the panda bears!  All together now...."aaaawwww" 

Quick pose in front of the Thai Pavilion

There were two Giant having a snack and then the other was taking a rest at the back of the enclosure.  From here we made the loop by the bears and the tiger (who was in the lion's cage...not sure if the tiger ate the lion, or if the lion was in another part of the zoo...hmm?)  We saw lots of monkeys and some amazing birds!  I could have spent half the day trying to get pictures of the birds.  I'll have to list some names for you to look up on the internet because I am not too skilled at taking pictures of flying blur.  Unfortunately, the elephants were having their enclosure worked on, so we could only see them through foggy glass where they were  hanging out inside a building.  We were lucky enough to catch a sea lion hop on a rock and proudly pose for pictures while we were eating our lunch (well, Kacee and I ate lunch, the kids chased the pigeons between quick bites).  After the gorillas and the Bate Cave and the bison and prairie dogs we hopped on the monorail (350 Yen for me and two kids) and rode to the top section of the zoo (this zoo is more vertical than it is horizontal).  At the top of the hill we saw anteaters, penguins, zebras,  kangaroos, rhinos, a hippo hiding in the pool, pygmy hippos, crocs, turtles, flamingos and storks.

Bearded Barbed

Green Turaco
I can't find this guy's name.  I like his red mohawk!

The sign said:  Cock-of-the-Rock.  According to Google, it's a bird of South America

I can't find this guy's name online either.  I thought he was just a black bird (I was looking from behind) with blue eyes until he flew across the cage and I saw a brilliant flash of yellow.  It's surprising to see the black bird take off and then see the yellow flash.  I tried to get several pictures, but they kept blurring.
Batgirl found her batcave!
Enjoying a snack!  There was a baby running around the enclosure.  He was hard to get pictures of because whenever Momma moved, so did he.  He was a lot of fun to watch!

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She really liked the gorilla statues.

For some reason, this guy was in the lion's cage.  According to Zoonet, the lion isn't at the zoo anymore.  There was construction all around this guy's home, so we had to get through-the-fence pictures.  He is a BIG guy!

Japanese warning signs entertain me....Don't feed the monkeys!

Pretty sure she's pregnant. 

The kids were so excited to see flamingos since we read on Grandma and Grandpa's African Safari itinerary that they would be seeing flamingos on the same day!  The African section of the zoo was sooo interesting because Grandma and Grandpa have been teaching the kids about the animals they would see on their safari, so the kids were able to see the animals at the same time.

At first, I thought, "this poor penguin.  Either he is a really mean guy, or someone just doesn't like him.  And, didn't any of the mother penguins teach their children penguins that it isn't nice to call other penguins names?"  Turns out, this species of penguin, the Black-footed penguin from Southern Africa, is called a Jackass Penguin because he makes a sound like a donkey braying. 

Duck billed stork.  Quite an interesting creature.  There were a lot of people around the cage so I couldn't get a good shot.

This meercat must be the top cat...he just sat up  high and watched all the others play...

...and sleep.

Wisteria Garden
After the polar bear we went to see the sea lions.  They would zoom through the tunnel in front of us, Garytt was squealing with delight!  Then, we walked outside and found them zooming by the window there as well.  We watched them swim by quickly, some even slowed down long enough to get a little look at all the kids watching them.  Then, the guy above popped out of the water and onto a rock.  He did a great job of posing for pictures while we sat at a table nearby and ate lunch. 

We only got a glimpse of the hippo's nostrils....he was hiding underwater the whole time

We almost missed the giraffe.  They were all in the building in the back, and we could briefly see them walking around inside.  We started to walk off, then got distracted looking at a sign and when we turned back around this guy came sauntering out. 

5 story pagoda built in the 1600s.

At the end the kids played on the rides for thirty minutes or so.  We paid 1500 Yen for 6 tickets for each kid and they all rode six rides.

100 Yen for Mackenzie to take a helicopter for a ride.

This is upside down...but, it's Garytt driving a police motorcycle.

Mackenzie's turn on the motorcycle

The train ride home
We hopped back on the train just after 3 and we made it back to our apartment by 5.  The kids had a blast (so did I!).  And, the train ride is pretty easy.  There is a pretty big park surrounding the zoo, so next time I hope to explore that a little more.

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