Night Zoo

15 Aug

From last Friday until tomorrow (2011 August 16), Tokyo’s 上野動物園 (Ueno Zoo) is having a “Night Zoo” special program where guests can stay in the zoo until 8:00PM and see the animals’ behavior at night.

I took a picture of this sign at the zoo's entrance. It says "So, let's go to the zoo at night. August 12 - 16 until 8PM (last admission is 7PM)"

We went to the “Night Zoo” yesterday. It was fun to go to the zoo at night especially in the summer when it’s sweltering everyday in Tokyo now…because the temperature goes down a bit.

Before we went into the zoo, I mailed a friend of mine a summer postcard from the panda mailbox that I wrote about in this post.

Back of the "panda mailbox". The tail and ears can be seen.

Panda Mailbox

Near the entrance of the zoo, close to the panda house, the zoo was collecting donations for the victims of the 2011 March 11 earthquake.
Anyone who donated at least ¥100 (US$1.30 at today’s exchange rates) was given a special うちわ (paper fan).
We got a couple of them.

Ueno Zoo "Night Zoo" fans...proceeds go to help the earthquake victims.

The front has many pandas and stars and says "midsummer night's zoo"

The back shows the back of seven pandas whose tails spell "Ueno Zoo" and it says 「がんばろう!日本」 ("Never give up! Japan") and 「手をつなごう、子供も大人も動物も」 (", adults and animals")

My camera isn’t so good at taking nighttime pictures, so I didn’t take many photos of the animals.
But we had a good time there. We’ve been to many zoos around Japan many times, but this was our first time to go to the “Night Zoo”. Ueno Zoo only has the “Night Zoo” once a year in the summertime…tomorrow is the last day for this year’s “Night Zoo”. So, if you’re in Japan now, you should consider going!

Does you local zoo have a “Night Zoo”? Have you ever attended it?

16 Responses to “Night Zoo”

  1. London Caller at 5:03 am #



    • tokyo5 at 12:53 pm #

      シンガポール動物園の「ナイト・サファリ」は知らなかった。 面白そうですね!

      (In English for visitors who don’t read Japanese, London Caller wrote in the comment above: “Nice to meet you. Speaking of the Night Zoo, Singapore’s ‘Night Safari’ is famous. This is the first I’ve heard of Ueno’s. Thanks.”

      And I replied in this comment: “Thank you for the comment. I didn’t know about Singapore Zoo’s Night Safari. Sounds fun!”)


  2. jaydeejapan at 2:56 pm #

    Now that I have a kid coming in January, when he/she gets older, the zoo should be fun. Night zoo sounds interesting, though. Too bad it’s only a short time.


    • tokyo5 at 5:41 pm #

      Are you expecting a baby next January? Congratulations!
      Your first one?

      Yes, once your child gets to be about two or three years old, they will like the zoo a lot. Ueno Zoo has a nice petting zoo that my kids loved when they were little.


      • jaydeejapan at 5:46 pm #

        Yes, we are. Our first. I’m looking forward to taking our kid out to fun places!


      • tokyo5 at 5:50 pm #

        >I’m looking forward to taking our kid out to fun places!

        Yeah, it’s great having kids! (And stressful too!) But first you have “waking up every three hours during the night” to look forward to! 😉


      • jaydeejapan at 9:02 pm #

        I already wake up every 3 or 4 hours every night to take an elderly dog out because he has a weak bladder. I guess I’m already used to that 🙂


      • tokyo5 at 9:14 pm #

        >I already wake up every 3 or 4 hours every night to take an elderly dog out

        Well, you might not get any sleep if the dog’s and baby’s sleep schedule conflict enough! 😉


      • jaydeejapan at 9:52 pm #

        Well, I think my fiancee and I will work out a way to do this.


      • tokyo5 at 9:58 pm #

        >my fiancee and I will work out a way

        Of course. That’s being a parent.


      • jaydeejapan at 12:34 am #

        Yeah, and I think being an English teacher for more than 6 years has helped me with some skills for handling children. However, a teacher is much more limited in what they can do.


      • tokyo5 at 7:23 pm #

        >a teacher is much more limited in what they can do.

        And a teacher-student bond is nothing like a parent-child bond!


  3. Yuki at 8:10 am #

    Very cute Uchiwa! Did you see pandas actually? I have heard pandas are more energetic at night. How were they? Also, is it true that non-Japanese are not as crazy about pandas as Japanese?


    • tokyo5 at 5:38 pm #

      >Did you see pandas actually?

      The long to see the pandas was unbelievably long! So we decided to skip them this time.

      >I have heard pandas are more energetic at night.

      Is that right? I didn’t know that. Every time I’ve seen the pandas at the zoo (in the daytime), they were either asleep or quite lethargic.

      >Also, is it true that non-Japanese are not as crazy about pandas as Japanese?

      I’ve never thought about that. Maybe. Japanese people love pandas. After the last pandas at Ueno Zoo died, Tokyo’s governor said that Tokyo didn’t need to pay for anymore of them for the zoos here…but Ueno Zoo suffered a decline in guests—so they decided to pay for the two of them that are currently at Ueno Zoo:


  4. gigihawaii at 12:01 am #

    How lovely! This is something my grandkids and I would enjoy. Not sure what the Honolulu Zoo offers at night.


    • tokyo5 at 2:23 am #

      You should find out. I’m sure you and your grandchildren would enjoy it.

      In Japan, many zoos have a “Night zoo” in the summer…not only Ueno Zoo.


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