Ueno Zoo Overview

Ueno Zoological Gardens is the first modern zoo in Japan and is one of the most visited zoos in the country. Founded in 1882, the zoo currently stretches over 14.4 ha (35.6 acres) and houses around 300 different species and around 3000 animals. In addition to the animals of Japanese origin, the zoo also houses some rare animals such as giant pandas and forest giraffes. A visit to this zoo is a must on any Japan trip.

The entire area of zoo split into two sections - The East Garden and the West Garden and you can take a short monorail ride to reach from one garden to another. While visiting the east garden, you will be able to witness animals such as tigers, gorillas, Hokkaido brown bears, Ezo sika deer, Japanese serows, and rare birds. The East Garden also has the famous “Saruyama - Monkey Mountain”. Visit the West Garden to take a look at the aye-ayes, okapis, kangaroo, etc. and also visit the Vivarium and the Small Mammal House.


• Visit Ueno Zoological Garden, the oldest and most visited zoo in Japan, housing around 300 species and 3000 animals.
• Go to the East Gardens to take a look at the monkeys at the “Saruyama - Monkey Mountain” as well as other creatures.
• Explore the West Garden which includes the Small Mammal House and Vivarium along with other animals.
• Take a short ride in a monorail that connects the East and West garden and will give a unique perspective of the zoo.
• Go to the Children's Zoo where children can interact with and learn about farm animals. 

How To Reach

1 By Car: The Ueno Zoo is located 21 km from the city centre, it will take 30 min via the Shutokōzoku 4-gō Shinjuku Sun/ Route 4 route.

2 By Bus: Take a bus to Toei Bus station which is 650 m away from the zoo. You can reach the zoo from the bus station with a 9-minute wal

3 By Train: Take a train to Ueno station which is 450.0 m away from the zoo. You can reach the zoo from the train station with a 6-minute walk

4 By Metro: Take a metro to Ueno station which is 450.0 m away from the zoo. You can reach Ueno Zoo from the train station with a 6-minute walk

Best Time To Visit

Ueno Zoo is open year-round except for most Mondays from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. The zoo also remains closed from December 29 to January 1 for the New Year holidays.

1 Best Season: Spring (March to May): the best season to visit the Ueno Zoo is in Spring beginning in March and ending in May. During spring, the weather is mild and comfortable, and you will find the cherry blossoms in Ueno Park, providing a stunning backdrop. 

2 Best Day of the Week : The best days of the week to visit the Ueno Zoo are during weekdays from Tuesday to Thursday. These are the days when the crowd is less compared to other days of the week.

3 Best Time of the Day: The best time of the day is early in the morning, soon after the zoo opens. This is the time that all animals are awake and active. In the morning, the temperature is also more suitable for exploring the place.

Other Essential Information

  • It is better to get a printed map with you to ensure that you may know which part of the zoo you are in and where you want to visit.
  • It is prohibited to take your pets along inside the zoo, but assistance dogs such as service dogs, and guide dogs can enter the zoo.
  • It is better to visit the zoo early as some animals are not available after 16:30 as they go to their rooms to sleep.
  • You will be able to purchase souvenirs from Little Truck in the East Garden and Petit Chameleon in the West Garden.
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Point of Interest for Ueno Zoo
Watch the monkeys at the Monkey Mountain

Watch the monkeys at the Monkey Mountain

While exploring the Ueno Zoo, one of the areas that you must visit is the “Saruyama”, the Monkey Mountain. It is Japan's oldest existing Monkey Mountain and the first of its kind. The mountain is a small enclosure where you will find more than 20 Japanese macaques. Watch these cheeky creatures climbing trees, eating and playing with each other.

Check out the Giant Panda House

Check out the Giant Panda House

One of the most popular attractions of the Ueno Zoo is the Giant Panda House which is the home to two giant pandas, who were born in June 2021. Located right after the main entrance of the zoo, the house has a male panda, RiRi and a female panda, Shin Shin. 

 Visit the Gorilla Woods and the Tiger Forest

Visit the Gorilla Woods and the Tiger Forest

Feel thrilled coming face to face with two amazing wild animals - the Gorilla at the Gorilla woods and the tigers at the tiger forest. Watch the western Lowland Gorillas roam about in the area that has been designed to resemble their habitat. Take a look at the majestic Sumatran tigers as they growl and pace around in their area.

Look at the Small Mammals & Reptiles

Look at the Small Mammals & Reptiles

Visit the Small Mammal House to see various small mammals, including red pandas, meerkats, and different rodent species. Proceed towards the Vivarium, the Reptile and Amphibian House where you will be delighted to look at some of the world’s rare fishes. 

Get a glimpse of Japanese Architecture

Get a glimpse of Japanese Architecture

Located inside the zoo are two beautiful structures which will give you a glimpse of Japanese architecture. The first one is the five-storied Pagoda which was built in 1631, destroyed by fire and then again rebuilt in 1958. 

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