Whenever our family goes on a trip, it is a requirement of the children that animals be involved. Ueno Zoo is Japan’s oldest zoo existing from 1882. It is a five-minute walk from the Park Exit of Ueno Station. The zoo is located within Ueno Park, a large urban park that is home to museums, a small amusement park, and other attractions. The zoo is closed Mondays (Tuesday if Monday is a holiday).
First we started at the Children’s Zoo.
Then to see Mr. Polar Bear.
This is the first time I have ever seen a live tsuru (crane). Beautiful.
Pieko the gorilla was in her bedroom.
So we had to observe her through here:
There is beautiful natural landscaping to enjoy while walking between exhibits.
Yoru no Mori – Night Forest is where you can see the nocturnal animals.
The left is the picture of a sloth and, on the right, there are bats in the dark corner. It’s hard to see in the picture, it was also hard to see in person. We could see some wiggling in the dark corner.
A tiger strolling near the pool.
The elephant were very talkative.
We got to see a lot of animals that we don’t have at our local Honolulu Zoo.
Now we are really getting to the fun stuff! Odaiba has something for every member of the family. The first place we hit was Joypolis, an indoor amusement park. They have indoor roller coasters, arcade games, giant interactive video screens everywhere, and a lot of virtual reality games featuring race cars, jungle expeditions, and even a tour of terror using VR technology. The line was long but moved very quickly. My kids loved the many giant interactive screens. For this one, my younger son, Cameron had his face scanned and put into a walrus. The walrus makes faces, blows bubbles, and eats food that you can release by pressing the food button. This interactive screen switches peoples faces.
Cameron whacks some Sonic the Hedgehogs. On the right, the boys have fun with the giant joystick that controls the chairs beneath them. Don’t fall off Cameron!!
After going to Joypolis, we moved on to the Lego Discovery Center. This place was AWESOME and crowded.
They enjoyed all the creative activity stations.
The Lego City features many of the famous landmarks in Tokyo. The lighting changes to display day and night time scenery.
For the adults, we continued on to VenusFort.
Besides the many shops, one of the highlights was the History Garage.
Odaiba is near the ocean and it felt much more airy than Shinjuku. Next stop, Ueno Zoo!
“WE’RE THE GRISWALDS!” my husband, Alex, exclaims, as we fly into Narita Airport. Although I roll my eyes at his corny 80’s joke, I am just as excited as Alex and my two boys, Gavin (12) and Cameron (10) who have never been to Japan before. It’s my fourth trip in my lifetime and I never tire of the culture, the shopping, and the food! I highly recommend Tokyo as a destination for a family trip. Here are some highlights from our fall trip to Tokyo.
Trips out of Honolulu International Airport are always kicked off with homemade spam musubis from Nana.
We arrive at our Airbnb in the Shimbashi area of Ginza and immediately hunt for food.
DAY 1 – Shibuya and GinzaA warped panoramic of the famous Shibuya crossing.
Thank goodness my brother-in-law carried this giant pink shopping bag. It was the beacon that kept us together when crossing the Shibuya main intersection.
Adores in Shibuya is an arcade full of crane games filled with our favorite Japanese character plush dolls!
We were in Heaven every day with reasonably priced, high quality sushi available everywhere. My chirashi sushi set was about $9.
The toy section in Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara is a toy store on steroids!
Then we went on to Mandarake, more toys and manga!
For Part 2, I will share moments from Odaiba!