Monday, November 11, 2013

Final Day : Starting with the Ueno Zoo (上野動物園)

That last #ThrowbackJapan post was totally half-assed lol

Moving on, it was Disneyland Day. There's so much to talk and show but...I'm not going to do it hahahaha it just doesn't feel like Disneyland time. Imma skip that altogether, maybe do an epic throwback post in the near future but right now I'll share about my last day in Japan instead! Decided to schedule Ueno Zoo + Asakusa + Ameyoko + Ghibli Museum on the last day because we needed a little er calm after the long amazing Disneyland visit. Uh huh, I've got every day planned out months before the trip. Am glad we decided not to include Kyoto in the itinerary though because there simply wouldn't be enough time to explore all of Tokyo and its vicinity. We could barely squeeze in all the tourists hotspots in Tokyo, it was unfortunate that we had to skip Akihabara and Shinjuku too. Good thing is, I've been to these places in the previous trips and personally there's really not much going on there (except to earn the privilege of saying "been there, done that" hahaha) 。◕‿◕。

Ueno Zoo. It was a perfectly quiet weekday.

Founded in 1882, Ueno Zoo is the officially the oldest zoo in the entire country. Located in Ueno Park, it is open from morning till evening on every day except Mondays - with entrance fee going at ¥600 for adults, that's about RM20 at that time. Luckily, we carry along this awesomesauce Tokyo guide book that holds tons of discount vouchers for tourists so we got the tickets a little cheaper than the usual rate. YEAY TO DISCOUNTS! The (free!) guide book can be found tucked along random shelves at the airport if you're keen. Highly recommended.

Appreciate the English map! 

Giant Pandas - one of Ueno Zoo's most popular residents. At that time, news just broke that the new baby panda had died of pneumonia. At six days old, the male cub was to be the first baby panda in Japan for more than two decades. The months prior to birth was filled with anticipation and progress was extensively covered in the news even all the way to Malaysia so the sudden news of its death was real sad (|||❛︵❛.) The picture on the right shows a little memorial shrine the zoo staff had built for kind visitors to share their condolences and flowers over the tragedy. The mother, Shin Shin was slumped at the back of her corner and barely moved nor responded to visitors. I took a shot but it's really too heartbreaking, I don't think I'd like to share it.

Okay now I'm all melancholy. Sigh. 
Let's move on shall we to the rest of the animal kingdom in Ueno Zoo

The flamingos are absolutely lovely! Okay I confess. One of the main contributing reasons for this visit to Ueno Zoo is due to the fact that Hana Yori Dango was shot here. You know, that scene where Makino and Domyouji came here for their double date! I knew I had to come here because the great Matsumoto Jun once lived and breathed here hahaha this zoo really is old though. Everything's so classic it's almost a step back in time. At one point, we had to take a monorail to the west side of the zoo. Just look at the little monorail station, so quiet and quaint! It is actually the first monorail in the country, having started ferrying visitors between the east and west side of Ueno Zoo back in 1958. A one-way fare costs ¥150, approximately RM4. 

Take all my money please, I need some air con and shade from the unforgiving summer sun! (。◔‸◔。) 

The Shinobazu Pond. I'd assume this to be the Lotus Pond. 
There are the Boat Pond and the Cormorant Pond of the Shinobazu Ponds but I didn't go any further.

Beautiful isn't it? Imagine all the blooming lotuses!

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