Hokkaido #8: Odori Park (大通公園)

Odori Park is a large strip of green park in Sapporo, Hokkaido which separates the city and provides a nice, relaxing area in the city center. In the winter, the Sapporo snow festival takes place in this park, while in other seasons various flowers bloom and other events are held. At the head of the park stands the Sapporo TV Tower, which has an observation deck for good views over Sapporo.

When I visited, I was more interested in seeing the Clock Tower and the old red-brick Prefectural Building that I didn’t spend much time here. Also, they were setting up for some kind of event while I was there, so I just took the one picture of the clock tower and moved on! Sapporo is on my “must visit again” list, so one year maybe I’ll get the chance to retake this picture with the 2016 postcard!

My one Odori Park picture

Tokyo 3: Ueno Zoo (上野動物園)

“ANOTHER Tokyo Post?!” you may ask. I’m sorry. I’ve run out of excuses. Content yourselves with the knowledge that this is probably the last one for a long time, as I am pretty much Tokyo-ed out now. Don’t get me wrong, I love Tokyo, but we need a break. Absence makes the heart fonder and all that…

So, yes, Tokyo! Today let’s go to the zoo! Actually, I have a confession to make: I’ve never actually been inside Ueno Zoo. I’m more of an aquarium person to be honest… I could stare at fish swimming around for hours, but the zoo has never held much interest for me. Sure the pandas would be cute, and I’ve caught sight of a few lemurs through the gates before, but usually I’m too busy looking for Mexican food to spend any time inside.

So these pictures are not very informative of what the zoo actually looks like, or the animals they have. From the postcard you can see that obviously there are pandas (Ueno went crazy when we got a mated pair from China in 2011! CRAZY!). There are definitely gorillas and other monkeys. I mentioned the lemurs. I believe there are tigers. I bet there is a petting zoo too. But I honestly have no idea. So go for yourself and see what there is to see! Meanwhile, I’ll be in Shinagawa Aquarium.

I live for these pictures. Really.

These bushes could use a trim… the back animal is definitely supposed to be a gorilla, but the front one just looks like a blob to me.

Sign detailing zoo information outside of Ueno Station

Did I mention the panda craze? There are pandas EVERYWHERE in Ueno. You don’t believe me, I can tell, but I’m really really serious. If you don’t like pandas, don’t go to Ueno!

There are actually a ton of things to see and do in Ueno Park besides the zoo, so don’t spend your whole day in the zoo! Also check out the fantastic museums, shrines, and temples there too!

Ueno Zoo is open from 9:30 to 5PM, usually closed Mondays, and is 600yen. The official site is here, and you can read more about what Ueno has to offer here.

Say “hi” to the pandas for me when you see them!