Tag Archives: zoo

New Alpaca at Ueno Zoo

2 Jan

Do you know what an アルパカ (alpaca) is?

It’s a South American animal that looks alot like a llama.

They also look kinda similar to that giant flying doglike character in the ’80s movie “The Never Ending Story“.

From the movie "The Never Ending Story".

 

Earlier this year, 「上野動物園」 (Ueno Zoo) in Tokyo got a brown female アルパカ (alpaca) named 「モコ」 (“Moko“).

「モコちゃん」 (“Moko“) was alone, so a few weeks ago 「上野動物園」 (Ueno Zoo) got another female アルパカ (alpaca) to live in the same pen as 「モコ」 (“Moko“).

This new アルパカ (alpaca) is white.

Photo: © Tokyo Zoological Park Society

 

The zoo asked the public to vote on a name for this new アルパカ (alpaca).

The results of the vote were:

「灯」 (“Akari“) got 216 votes,

「ポコ」 (“Poko“) got 198 votes,

「フゥ」 (“Fuu“) got 129 votes, and

「ユラ」 (“Yura“) got 112votes.

So 「モコ」 (Moko)’s new roommate is 「灯」 (Akari)…it means “light” (as opposed to “dark”).

「モコ」 (Moko), brown and 「灯」 (Akari), white(Photos: © Tokyo Zoological Park Society)

Photos: © Tokyo Zoological Park Society

 

アルパカ (alpaca) are kinda cute, don’t you think?

If you want to see them, you can visit them at 「上野動物園」 (Ueno Zoo) in Tokyo.

虎の「タイガ」 R.I.P.

26 Aug

Last May, at the Kushiro Zoo in 北海道 (Hokkaido, Japan), three baby tigers were born on the brink of death.

The zookeepers were able to save two of them. A male that they named 「タイガ」 (Taiga) and his sister 「ココア」 (Cocoa).

「タイガ」 (Taiga) and 「ココア」 (Cocoa) when they were cubs.

「タイガ」 (Taiga) and 「ココア」 (Cocoa) when they were cubs.

Soon after their birth, the zookeepers discovered that both 「タイガ」 (Taiga) and 「ココア」 (Cocoa) were handicapped.
Their hind legs and back bones had deficiencies and the tigers could only walk by dragging the back of their bodies.

「タイガ」 (Taiga) and  「ココア」 (Cocoa)

「タイガ」 (Taiga) and 「ココア」 (Cocoa)

I remember when a program about these two tigers was shown on TV here in Japan. They became very popular, and many people went to Kushiro Zoo to see them.

But tragically, today 「タイガ」 (Taiga), the male tiger choked to death on his food. The zookeepers attempted to save him with first aid, but 「タイガ」 (Taiga) was pronounced dead today at 5:28PM.

taiga-02

入場無料

4 May

今日は緑の日 (Today is Greenery Day).

Many 動物園 (zoos) and 水族館 (aquariums) in Japan were open to the public today with 入場無料 (free admission). This happens three days year…you can go in these places for free on 緑の日 (Greenery Day), the anniversary of day that the zoo / aquarium first opened, and Citizen’s Day.
For example, 上野動物園 (Ueno Zoo) in Tokyo has free admission on March 20 (開園記念日 (the anniversary of the day that the zoo first opened)), May 4 (緑の日 (Greenery Day)), and October 1 (都民の日 (Tokyo Citizen’s Day))…(Click here to see my 1 October 2009 post about the zoo.)

(BTW, 上野動物園 (Ueno Zoo) always offers free admission to children who are junior-high-school aged or younger (and who go to a school in Tokyo), and also to the disabled and one assistant.)

We decided to go to 上野動物園 (Ueno Zoo) today.
As it always is when the admission is free…it was very crowded there today!

I took a number of photos…but due to the crowds, it was difficult to get good photos. So many of my photos (including my photo of the gorillas, flamingos, and the new baby rhino didn’t turn out well).

But here are some of my photos:

鯉のぼり (Carp Streamers); a Japanese 「子供の日」 ("Children's Day") (May 5) decoration.

鯉のぼり (Carp Streamers); a Japanese 「子供の日」 ("Children's Day") (May 5) decoration.

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ありくい (Aardvark)

ありくい (Aardvark)

ハリネズミ (Porcupine)

ハリネズミ (Porcupine)

iKnow!

6 Dec

Do you study 日本語 (Japanese)?
Have you ever seen the website called ” iKnow! “?

iknow1

It’s a excellent site for language study drills. English speakers can study Japanese, and Japanese people can use it to study English.

You can customize it to your level of ability and it drills new words different ways: 漢字 (kanji) → English, ひらがな → English, and English → Japanese (both 漢字 (kanji) and ひらがな), and also shows the 漢字 (kanji characters) and has you type in the reading for them.

(I believe you can also study Japanese using only alphabet characters instead of 漢字 (kanji) or ひらがな if you can’t read Japanese characters…but I haven’t tried it that way, so I’m not positive)

It’s a quite good program. And the best part is…the beta version is free! (Click here to visit the iKnow! page.)

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Yesterday, the weather wasn’t so cold in Tokyo…but it rained hard. So, although today’s a nice clear day,  it’s colder. In fact, the 天気予報 (weather forecast) for today says it will snow on the other coast of Japan!

Here’s today’s 天気予報 (weather forecast) for all of Japan (東京 (Tokyo) is sunny):

japan-tenki

And this week’s 天気予報 (weather forecast) for Tokyo:

tokyo-tenki

It’s forecast to rain again on 火曜日 (Tuesday) and 水曜日 (Wednesday)! 😦

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All of last week, my second daughter had 職場体験 (work experience). Most Japanese junior-high school students work at a local business for a week to an idea of what it’s like to have a job (and maybe help them decide on a future career).

Last year, my oldest did her 職場体験 (work experience) at a local 幼稚園 (kindergarten). And last week, my second daughter just finished her’s at a nearby 動物園 (zoo).

Both of them really enjoyed the experience.

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Speaking of the 動物園 (zoo)…yesterday, my youngest daughter’s class at school took a field trip to 上野動物園 (Ueno Zoo) and the 博物館 (museums) near the zoo.

Luckily it didn’t rain until later in the day, so they were able to enjoy the 動物園 (zoo).

She took all of these photographs (she took alot more photos…but I’m not posting any of them that show her or her classmates):

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And tomorrow, we’re going to watch my youngest daughter’s Koto concert. (Koto is a traditional Japanese musical instrument that my daughter plays).

A few News items

15 Nov

A few stories from the recent news that I found interesting…

  • A アシカ (sea lion) named 「ななみ」 (“Nanami”) at a zoo in 愛媛県 (Ehime, Japan) was unable to compete for food with the other sea lions in her pen. So she began leaping over three meters (9 feet) and holding onto the wall to eat fish held by the zoo’s visitors.

    She has become a very popular attraction.

    nanami

    (Photo from the Japan Times).

  • There was an explosion in a warehouse in 東京都渋谷区 (Shibuya, Tokyo) last Wednesday. It was initially reported that the owner of the place escaped the burning building…but his wife and mother died inside the building.

    It was reported yesterday that the man didn’t escape on his own. He was rescued from the building by a famous Iranian celebrity* who happened to be nearby. (*His name is Rahim Arvanaghi, commonly known as “Randy Muscle“, and he’s famous in Japan).

    He ran into the burning building and pulled the man out. But he was unable to save the man’s wife or mother.

  • The 2009 edition of the Michelin Restaurant Guide will be out soon. And once again, Tokyo has more four and five star restaurants than any other city in the world.

    As I mention in this post, Tokyo had the most stars in the 2008 edition as well.

    Tokyo is the capital where there are the most restaurants, more than 160,000, and also excellent cuisine.

    Jean-Luc Naret, Michelin director

都民の日

1 Oct

Today is 都民の日 (Tokyo Citizens Day).
All of the prefectures in Japan have Citizens Day at different times of the year…for Tokyo, it’s on October 1.

On this day, public schools are closed and many zoos and aquariums in Tokyo offer free admission.
(These places usually offer free admission three times a year…on 都民の日 (Tokyo Citizens Day), 緑の日 (Greenery Day (May 4)), and the anniversary of the opening of the establishment.

For example, 上野動物園 (Ueno Zoo) is open to the public for free on October 1 (都民の日 (Tokyo Citizens Day)), May 4 (緑の日 (Greenery Day)), and on March 20 (the anniversary of the zoo’s opening on March 20, 1882).

So, my daughters have the day off today (I have to go to work). My wife and kids decided to go to 上野動物園 (Ueno Zoo) today.

It’s gonna be crowded, I’m sure! A couple of years ago, we took the kids to 上野動物園 (Ueno Zoo) on 都民の日 (Tokyo Citizens Day).
And it was nice to get in for free…but it was really crowded.

Actually, when we go to 上野動物園 (Ueno Zoo), we normally only have to pay admission for my wife and I because children aged 12 and under are always free, and so are Junior High School students who live and/or go to school in Tokyo.
We live in Tokyo and my kids go to the Junior High School nearest our house.

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Anyways, our 甲虫 (Rhinoceros Beetle) that I mentioned in this post died today 😦

R.I.P. カブちゃん!

東武動物公園

7 Sep

Yesterday, we took the kids to the 東武スーパープール (Tobu Super Pool), which is one of the pool amusement parks in the Tokyo area with a current pool, a wave pool and four water slides.

We woke up early and got ready (and my wife and kids made a picnic lunch) and we took the train up north into 埼玉県 (Saitama Prefecture) where the park is.
The weather forecast on the TV said that there was a chance of rain but we decided to go anyways because the pool will close next week for the season (and we have other plans for next weekend)…and it was good that we went because the weather was perfect.

We arrived there at about 11:00 AM and stayed until 3:30PM. My kids were in the pools and water slides the whole time (my wife and I went in for awhile too), and only got out for lunch.

The lunch that my wife and daughters made was おにぎり (rice balls) with salmon inside, chicken, chips and ビール (beer) (the kids drank Coke®).

The only photos that I took there were of my family (which I don’t put online). I didn’t take any other photos at the pool because I didn’t feel comfortable taking pictures of other people.
Well, I did take this photo of a (cicada) that we saw there:

The 東武スーパープール (Tobu Super Pool) is a part of the excellent 東武動物公園 (Tobu Zoo Park).

So, to get into the Super Pool, you need to buy admission tickets to enter the 東武動物公園 (Tobu Zoo Park), which has an 遊園地 (amusement park), a 動物園 (zoo), a わんこビレッジ (dog village), as well as the 東武スーパープール (Tobu Super Pool).

With that ticket, you can visit the zoo, but the dog village (where you can hold and play with different dogs), the amusement park, and the Super Pool cost extra.

We bought the admission tickets at a discount ticket shop last week, so we saved some money on that cost.

We have been to 東武動物公園 (Tobu Zoo Park) a few times before.
You can see a slideshow of our last visit there at this link.

and another post about it here.

When we left the Super Pool yesterday at 3:30PM, we walked around the zoo and looked at the animals until it closed at 5:30PM.

We were surprised when we were looking at the chimpanzees, they suddenly became quite agitated and started yelling and running around the cage throwing the tires and their water!

Then, at 5:30PM, we headed home for dinner. My wife made excellent 豚キムチ (Pork kimchee (spicy cabbage)).

Here are some videos I took of the animals at the zoo (including the angry chimps):