While I got back from my little trip to Japan almost 2 years ago now, I have still yet to write up my trip to the excellent Ueno zoo in Tokyo (though some phots have turned up here before). As with much of this series of zoo reports, it’s best to focus on the different or unusual and avoid the basics that any good zoo should have.
In this case this is rather easy, the zoo was large, well designed and with excellent enclosures. There were some obvious specialties (a really good collection of bears, several birds of paradise) and some unique animals like a Javan tiger and showbills which I had not seen before which is always a bonus for the dedicated zoo goer (I saw teporingos!!!). They were in the midst of a rebuilt of the elephant section which looked great and must be open now, and their reptile house while still being given the finishing touches, was brand new and truly first rate with a monstrous estuarine croc in residence. Some set-ups were especially nice, such as the raised perspex box that allowed otters to swim around at eye level effectively outside their enclosure.
The last real comment was the size of the place. Split across a road, I had though I’d covered most of it before discovering the second ‘half’ and suddenly it was much bigger. Despite quite a few hours there, I didn’t cover everything and as noted some parts were still under construction or development, so it’s very much a full-day kind of place. Well worth a visit, though I tend to say that about any good zoo. And certainly you have to admire their commitment to safety.