Opened in 1882, Ueno Zoo is Japan’s oldest zoo and home to about 2,600 animals and 450 species, including the giant pandas for which it is famous. Other attractions include the “Gorilla Woods”, “Tiger Forest”, a petting zoo with goats and sheep, and a Five-storied Pagoda which was part of the former Kaneiji Temple. The zoo also offers scheduled 45-minute guided tours twice per day where visitors can ask questions and better understand about the animals.
Visitors should note that due to the popularity of the panda viewing section the zoo issues numbered tickets to prevent overcrowding (previously these tickets were handed out on a lottery basis). Tickets are issued from 9:30am and, generally speaking, you’ll need to get to the zoo before 11am at the weekend to ensure you get a ticket for the one of the 30-minute viewing sessions. If you’re not one of the lucky early morning visitors, you still be able to see the adult panda in the outdoor viewing section which doesn’t require a ticket.