Tag Archives: Tobu Zoo

The zoo is free today

4 May

In Japan, April 29th, May 3rd, May 4th and May 5th are public holidays.  Collectively they are known as 「(ゴールデンウィーク」 (“Golden Week“).  Technically only those days are public holidays and therefore only the May 3-5 period is “Golden Week”, but many companies allow their employees to have a Golden Week holiday from 「昭和の日」 (“Showa Day”) on April 29th until 「子供の日」 (“Children’s Day”) on May 5th.

(Click here to read my FAQ that explains a bit about the Golden Week holidays.)

Today is May 4th…「みどりの日」 (“Greenery Day“) in Japan.

This is the day to appreciate nature.  Every year May 4th is one of three days that all of the public 動物園 (zoos) and 水族館 (aquariums) are open with no admission charge.

So you can go to the zoo or aquarium in Tokyo for free today…if you don’t mind the crowd.

Of the three days that Japan’s zoos are open for free, May 4th is the most crowded because it’s the day that is a national holiday.
Tokyo’s 「上野動物園」 (Ueno Zoo) will be particularly crowded because in addition to the zoo being open for free on a national holiday today…Ueno Zoo recently got new pandas.

The three days of the year that Japan’s public zoos and aquariums are open for free are May 4th (“Greenery Day”), 都/道/府/県民の日 (Prefecture Residents’ Day) (each prefecture’s “Residents Day” is a separate day), and the anniversary of the day that the zoo / aquarium first opened.

So, for Tokyo’s public zoos, the days that they’re open for free are as follows:
May 4th 「みどりの日」 (Greenery Day)…which is today.
October 1st 「都民の日」 (Tokyo Residents’ Day)…as for the Tokyo’s neighboring prefectures, 千葉県民の日 (Chiba Prefecture Residents’ Day) is on June 15th, 埼玉県民の日 (Saitama Prefecture Residents’ Day) is on November 14th, and 神奈川県民の日 (Kanagawa Prefecture Residents’ Day) is on March 19th—so Chiba Zoo, Tobu Zoo, Yokohama Zoo, etc. will be open for free on their respective prefecture’s Residents Day.
-And the other free day is the anniversary of the zoo’s grand opening…so, for each of Tokyo’s public zoos and aquariums, that day is:

Ueno Zoo...open for free every March 20th (first opened on 1882 March 20).

Tama Zoo is open for free on both (May 4) today and (May 5) tomorrow (both are national holidays). Tama Zoo first opened on 1958 May 5th.

Kasai Seaside Aquarium...open for free every October 10th (first opened on 1989 October 10).

Inokashira Zoo...open for free every May 17th (first opened on 1918 May 17).

Ooshima Zoo is always opened to the public for free.

Do you like zoos and aquariums? Which is your favorite zoo? Have you seen any of Japan’s zoo?

If you want any information about these zoos and aquariums in Tokyo (or the ones in the neighboring prefectures), feel free to ask in this post’s comments or e-mail me…I’ve been to them all.

(Images in this post are from the Tokyo Zoological Park Society website).

Recent weekends

29 Mar

Do you know that you can click on all of the “thumbnail” size photos on this blog to see it in full-size?

A couple weekends ago, we decided to look around the Tokyo University campus.

We’ve been in the university’s area many times, but this was the first time we walked onto the campus.

Have you ever heard of Tokyo University? It’s an “Ivy League” school like Harvard or Oxford? When we visited Boston years ago, we checked out Harvard’s campus…just out of curiosity. And that’s why we went to 東大 (“Todai”…the common abbreviation of Tokyo University’s name in Japanese (which is 東京大学 “Tokyo Daigaku”)).

It’s a large, beautiful campus.

Tokyo University’s soccer field…and some of their buildings in the background. Tokyo University 三四郎池 (Sanshirou-ike)

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The weekend before that, we went to 東武動物公園 (Tobu-zoo), north of Tokyo.

It’s a very nice zoo / amusement park! They have many rides, roller coasters, a ferris wheel, etc that the kids love…as well as a very nice zoo! And there’s a dog-park…where you can sit and hold and play with any of the numerous dogs there. We don’t have any pets at home…so my kids love that part of the zoo (my wife and I do, as well)!

Here’s a picture of the ferris wheel:

ferris.jpg

And I took this picture of the roller coaster as my kids were riding it. It was a very fast roller coaster! It looked like torture to me…but they wanted to ride it again (the line was too long, though)!

roller coaster…my kids were riding it!

The hippo’s lunch time:

カバ

And this is a “Lesser-Panda”. They are very popular in Japan…because they’re cute—and one was seen standing upright at Ueno Zoo a couple years ago…it was on the news.

lesser-panda

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Today is Saturday. The weather is nice and and it’s warm. So my youngest is at the park with her friends…and my oldest daughter took the train with her friend into downtown Tokyo to go shopping!

I recently have been allowing her to take the train with her friends…but always to go somewhere close. Today was the first time I allowed her to go that far. Her and her friend are going to a part of the city popular with teenagers.

I have to let them grow up…I guess.

Anyways…me and the second daughter are about to go to the local library together now.