Ueno Zoological Gardens 上野動物園
Photo copyright: © Tokyo Zoological Park Society
A magical place to meet various animals within central Tokyo
Japan's oldest and most visited zoo.
In addition to animals unique to Japan, the zoo is also home to rare animals such as giant pandas and okapi, known as the “forest giraffe”, brought from the jungles of Central Africa and Zaire.
- View the twin giant panda cubs
- "Saruyama" in Ueno Zoological Gardens, Japan's oldest existing Monkey Mountain
- Five-storied pagoda, designated as an Important Cultural Property
How to Get There
The nearest station to the Ueno Zoological Gardens is JR and Tokyo Metro Ueno Station. Exit from JR Ueno Station's Parkside Ticket Gate and Ueno Park will be right in front.
In addition to the zoo, which is a five-minute walk from the station, one can also visit the science, history, and art museums located inside the park. Three gates open into the park.
The zoo houses 3,000 animals of about 300 species
Giant pandas can be seen at only three locations in Japan
Established in 1882, it has a very long history
Japan's oldest and most visited zoo
Ueno Zoological Gardens, Japan's flagship zoo, looks after some 3,000 animals. Visitors can learn how they are cared for and gain insight into the zoo's unique history as the first established in Japan. Dedicated to wildlife conservation and increasing public awareness, it cooperates with various domestic and international agencies in breeding endangered animals.
Located within an expansive park
Ueno zoo is located within the Ueno Onshi Park (53 hectares (131 acres)) where one can also visit the science, history, and art museums, as well as the scenic Shinobazu Pond.
Extensive variety of diurnal and nocturnal animals
The 14.4 hectares (35.6 acres) zoo is split into two sections. The East Gardens are home to elephants, gorillas, and tigers, as well as unique native animals like Japanese serows, Ezo sika deer, Hokkaido brown bears, and rare birds. One can also watch the active monkeys living at the “Saruyama - Monkey Mountain”.
The West Gardens is where the giraffes, kangaroos, hippos, okapis, aye-ayes, and many other creatures live. This is also where the Vivarium (Reptile and Amphibian House) and Small Mammal House (housing nocturnal animals) are located.
Out of all the attractions, however, the giant pandas are the most popular. Since the twin pandas were born in June of 2021, many Japanese visitors have come from all over the country to catch a glimpse of these two adorable panda bears.
Please check the official website before visiting as attractions are subject to change.
The 'Monkey Mountain' in Ueno Zoo is the oldest facility of its kind in Japan
Japanese macaques, indigenous to Japan, populate forests all over the country except Hokkaido and Okinawa. However, the Japanese macaque at the Saruyama―Monkey Mountain hails from the Shimokita Peninsula in Aomori , marking the uppermost northern limit of its habitat.
Animals you can hop on by to meet
The best way to appreciate the zoo is to spend the whole day walking around and observing the animals in each exhibit. However, for those who don't have much time, the East Gardens can be enjoyed within two hours. Guests who have an even tighter schedule are advised to decide which animals they would like to see before touring the zoo.
Bright and early is the best time to visit
Although the park is open from 9:30 am to 5 pm, admission is until 4 pm. As some animals enter their enclosures around 4 pm to rest, fewer animals can be seen after 3 pm. The best time to visit is first thing in the morning when the animals are full of energy.
Not only is the Ueno Zoological Gardens a magical place for children to learn about various animals and species, but also a special experience for all ages. Some adults have claimed they felt as if they were transported back to their childhood while enjoying the diverse exhibits.
Plenty of museums and art galleries to explore nearby
Other recommended sightseeing spots in Ueno are The National Museum of Nature and Science, where one can learn about the origins of Japan and the latest technologies; The Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, where one can view masterpieces from around the world; and The National Museum of Western Art, where one can enjoy famous works of art from western countries. For great food and shopping, visit Ameyoko!
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.