Stay in touch with Japan:
Tokyo’s aquarium and zoos
While humans are stuck at home due to the coronavirus outbreak, animals in zoos do not mind the lack of their attention.
The third of our series to stay in touch with Japan in a period of social distancing features videos posted by Tokyo’s zoos.
There are three public zoos and one aquarium run by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government*: Ueno Zoo, Tama Zoological Park (in a western suburb of Tokyo), Inokashira Park Zoo (near Ghibli Museum) and Tokyo Sea Life Park (at Kasai Rinkai Park).
All have been temporally closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
*Managed by the Tokyo Zoological Park Society, commissioned by Tokyo.
Located in Ueno Park, this is Japan’s oldest zoo opened in 1882.
Among some 2,500 animals belonging to 350 species, Ueno Zoo’s star attraction is giant pandas – especially Xiang Xiang, the panda cub born in 2017.
Videos of Xiang Xiang are uploaded constantly on the Society’s YouTube channel.
Xiang Xiang (1,050 days old on 27 April)
◆Tama Zoological Park
Tama Zoo is located in Tokyo’s Hino City, about one hour’s train ride from Tokyo Station.
The zoo was opened in 1958 with the view of showing animals in situ to the extent possible. It is a spacious park of some 60ha, an area four times as large as Ueno Zoo.
Tama Zoo is also known for the “Lion Bus” introduced in 1964, for the first time in Japan, to watch lions in a safari-like atmosphere (not in service since 2016 due to construction works).
Malayan tapirs Yume (Mother) and Kanae (her baby born on 27 November 2019)
Tama Zoo’s website also offers to children stuck at home some creative means to interact with animals: such as paper cutouts and colour-by-number animals.
◆Tokyo Sea Life Park
Tokyo Sea Life Park is an aquarium nestled in Kasai Rinkai Park, a seaside park located close to Tokyo Disney Resort (“rinkai” means seaside or seafront in Japanese).
In normal times, the park is a favourite weekend destination for Tokyoites. The aquarium is most popular for its penguins and spectacular tank with swirling tunas.
A variety videos of sea creatures are uploaded on its Twitter account (@KasaiSuizokuen).
But today, we chose one video among those posted on the Society’s website, featuring quirky creatures.
Birth of weedy sea dragons
* The above is the information known at the time of publication and subject to change without prior notice.