Ueno Zoo Family Fun #Tokyo

Xiang Xiang means popular in Chinese. So it’s the perfect name for Tokyo’s star panda. Lucky were those who won a lottery ticket several months ago to see the “Made in Japan” baby. You, however, are the fortunate one if you travel to Tokyo today.  Ueno Zoo – home to Xiang Xiang – now issues a Disneyesque Fast Pass. Even better news: You can leave the zoo and come back at your appointed panda viewing time. But remember to get your hand stamped!

If time and schedule are tight, you can still see Ri Ri, the papa panda who fathered Xiang Xiang, with only an admission ticket to Ueno Zoo. (Mommy panda, Shin Shin stays with baby Xiang Xiang.) Even on Sunday, you can see Papa Panda stretched out, watching people!

Tigers, lions and panda bears (oh my!) live at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo. It’s sad to see the smallish spaces. (Tokyo commands top prices for property.) Glad though that monkeys have their own mountain.

I was over the moon, too, to run from the giraffes to the elephants to the alligators. (Literally run.) Sorry, not many photos. I was busy keeping up with my friends’ 4-year-old daughter and reveling in her enthusiasm for the creatures. (Her baby brother is a charmer, too.)

Ueno Zoo is world famous so prepare for long queues. They do move pretty quickly. Still, but you might arm yourself with your child’s favorite distraction toy or snack. Speaking of snacks, at Ueno station and at the entrance, you will encounter the cutest ever panda sweets. The panda faces (either pounded rice or “pan” bread) are filled with good-for-you azuki red beans.

Wishing you fantabulous fun with your family in Tokyo!

The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.



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