Japan 2015 Day 03: Ueno and the Zoo

Weather: mostly sunny: low 21°C, high 29°C

Accommodation: Kimi Ryokan

Eskil woke at 5 am. Ugh. We thought it was 6 am at first, but no – 5. As I couldn’t sleep anyway I took him downstairs to the common room so Scott could get doze. At 7 Eskil and I went out to get coffee and brekkie, then got Scott up so we could eat it in the common room. We met Cloe, a girl from Sydney, and her mum. They were staying at Kimi Ryokan for a week as well – for exactly the same days as us. Eskil and I had a shower, then I lost a naked Eskil in the ryokan (he was enjoying dancing naked in the hallways).

We headed to the train station and got Suica cards (rechargeable cards for the train, some buses, some vending machines, etc), then headed to Ueno on the Yamanote line.


Yamanote line

Eskil enjoyed the train ride, but by the time we arrived at Ueno he was rather cranky. He didn’t want to go into the zoo!! Eventually we got him in, and he did enjoy seeing the animals – and loved eating ice cream and noodles.

Torturing our son by taking him to a zoo

The trauma of going to a zoo

Giant Panda torture

Yeah! Let’s go see giant pandas!!

Eskil loved the monkeys – Japanese macaques – the most. He wanted to ‘watch them a lot a lot’.

E adores Japanese Macaques

We saw lots of different animals, like pandas, lions, tigers, gorillas, otters, Malaysian golden bears, polar bears, kangaroos, pygmy hippos, hippos, crocodiles, giraffes, aye ayes (my favourite!), lemurs, red pandas (red pandas!).
E loved the elephant
We took the little suspended train from one half of the zoo to the other, which Eskil liked, but by the time we were at the hippo and giraffe area he was getting VERY cranky – and then fell asleep. Scott and I walked back to the other side of the zoo – admiring red pandas and the lovely contrast of the park against the Tokyo skyline – then out to the Ueno Park Starbucks.

Red panda

City views from Ueno Zoo

It was VERY busy and hot, but the line moved very quickly and smoothly. They had lots of staff, gave out menus to the queue so that everyone knew what they wanted to order by the time they got to the front of the queue. While I was in the line, Scott found somewhere to sit. My iced coffee reminded me of relaxing on a hot day in Chester with our friend Miranda!

After our rest, we walked through Ueno Park. Eskil enjoyed watching a baseball game we came across. After a bit more walking we found an Inari shrine (the first of many during the trip). We rented a swan shaped boat and had a lovely ½ hour paddling around on the pond. Fun!

Our Boat!

Look who is driving!

We found a geocache, then took the train back to Ikebukuro. Then we went back out to ‘our’ restaurant; Eskil loved their fried rice and noodles.

Noodle boy eats again!

On the way back we stopped in 7-11 to get cash and beer (our strategy was to get 2 different beers each night to find out what we liked). Eskil kicked over a gigantic stack of take-away containers, and the staff were so polite about it! They acted like their day just wouldn’t have been complete without Eskil spreading them across their floor.

Back at Kimi I had a shower while the boys played cards in the lounge, then we all played cards while we had beer, then daddy had his shower.

I do not understand this game!

Mummy didn’t sleep much; daddy snored.

More photos can be viewed at https://www.flickr.com/photos/cragg-ohlsson/archives/date-taken/2015/09/15/.