Osaka: Tennoji Zoo and Light Up

Tennoji zoo has a reputation for being one of the worst kept and depressing zoos in Japan. It’s rating on TripAdvisor and comments left by visitors are not complimentary. With that and it being closed on Mondays Id never been before. A new evening winter light up just started in the park nearby as part of Osaka Castles 400th year celebrations. So we decided to finally go.


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Ueno Zoo

I love Ueno Zoo, it’s famous for its Giant Pandas-infact you will see the panda used everywhere in that district. Signs, mascots, plushies and bakery goods!

The best part of the zoo is the ¬•600 entry price which hasn’t gone up in years!

I last visited the zoo in 2007 and remember really loving the red pandas and watching the penguins be fed.

This time the star for me was the polar bear!

I believe they have re done this enclose since 2007 as there were more polar bears and they seemed agitated. This cutie had the place to himself and it was feeding time! We quickly headed underneath the enclosure to see him up close under water.

Waa he’s so cute! His paws are so big and fluffy.

We also managed to watch the elephants being groomed (dust off their backs swept with a broom!), sea lions being fed and a baby kangaroo that had fallen out its pouch!


I wouldn’t say Ueno Zoo is a ‘must see’ in Tokyo but if you have the time it’s a fun and cheap day out.

To finish the day we had a stroll around Ueno Park, an ice cream and rented a rowing boat on the lake.