Ueno Zoo is a top-notch Tokyo destination great for families and couples alike. It’s easy to get to, it’s not expensive, and they have pandas! The Zoo is also in Ueno Park, which is home to many of Tokyo’s other cultural attractions (such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum).
But what if you’re new to Tokyo? You don’t speak the language, you’re afraid of getting lost, and you’re not even sure if you can get tickets once you get there? Well, that’s where we come in! My trusty camera-woman and I went to the zoo and filmed the entire process. All you have to do is watch the video, and there’s no way you’ll get lost!
Ueno Station is on the JR Yamanote Line. Once you arrive at Ueno, you will depart via the Ueno Park Exit. Once outside, you will cross the street to enter Ueno Park proper. From there, the Zoo is only a few minute’s walk, and you will see the entrance almost immediately after entering the park.
The very front of the zoo has a number of electronic ticket machines, similar to the ones at the train stations. Here, you can select English (or a number of other language options) and buy tickets. Adults (age 16+) are 600 yen, Students (age 13-15) are 200 yen, and children 12 and under are free! After that, you get your ticket stamped, go inside, and get your English-language map of the Zoo. And now you’re ready for your day!
…AND THE REST
Go and see the pandas right away. They are to the right of the Main Entrance Gate, and that line isn’t going to get any shorter. Beyond that, let your map and your interests be your guide. Don’t miss the Children’s Zoo–you may get the chance to pet some bunnies and guinea pigs!
As you can see on the Zoo Map, the Zoo itself is split into East and West Gardens, connected by a bridge. Ueno Zoo can be quite a hike, so be ready with your water bottles and snacks. If necessary, you can rent strollers (300 yen) or acquire a wheelchair (free) at any of the entrances. If your feet get too tired, you can take the monorail back and forth between the Gardens (150 yen for age 13+, 80 yen for age 12 and under).
There are no language barriers at the Ueno Zoo–every exhibit, sign, etc. is subtitled in English. Even if you are struggling with the local lingo, you’ll find no problems here. And if you are studying the language, let the zoo help you learn the names of the animals in Japanese!
Even better, the Zoo can be your gateway to the other attractions at Ueno Park, which are just as English-friendly and easy to get to. So don’t just sit home on another long weekend! Plan your trip to the Ueno Zoo today!
Ueno Zoo Information
Ueno Zoo (English site)
5 minute walk from Ueno JR station (click on the map pin for directions via Google Maps)
Hours: 09:30-17:00, closed Mondays (or Tuesday if Monday is a public holiday). Last tickets sold at 16:00.
Ticket Prices: 600 yen for adults (age 16+), 300 yen for seniors (age 65+), 200 yen for students (age 13-15, free if living in or attending school in Tokyo), Free for all children age 12 and under. Does not include concessions or souvenirs.
“Why Go?”: It’s an inexpensive, easy outing for families and lone travelers. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Not to mention pandas, and penguins, and lemurs, and…