Ueno Zoo is one of the three zoos housing Giant Pandas and also the oldest zoological park in Japan. Located a short distance from the electronics/tourist centre of Akihabara alongside Ueno Park it’s easy to get to and thanks to a very low Y600 (under AUD10) admission price very affordable for even a short visit.
During our trip to Japan we used Wakayama as an overnight stopover on the rail journey from Shirahama to Osaka. Since our hotel was a mere 800m away taking the time to visit Wakayama Castle had to happen.
The castle has a long history, having been first built in 1585 and subsequently destroyed and rebuilt numerous times through the years since. The most recent rebuild was in 1958 after it was destroyed by bombing in WWII.
I really like Giant Pandas so it made perfect sense to incorporate a trip to Adventure World into our Japanese holiday. See Adventure World is home to the largest “family” of Giant Panda outside of China. At the time of writing (and our visit) 7 were living there.
It’s not all about the Pandas though with the park being a hybrid of theme park and zoo. During our visit the persistent rain kept visitor numbers down and we didn’t explore the whole park.
When we started planning our 2016 trip to Japan we both felt it would be essential to try and stay in some more traditionally Japanese accomodation and couldn’t go past the location and setting we found at Okumizuma Onsen.
Our very first night in Japan turned out to be one where we were able to immerse ourselves into Japan and soak away over 24 hours of planes, trains and automobiles in the natural hot spring baths of Okumizuma Onsen.
On the 10th of May 2016 we made our way to Adventure World in the town of Shirahama. Adventure World is home to the largest Panda “family” outside of China and has had considerable success with breeding Giant Pandas over the years. If there’s one place in the world where you can have Panda moments this is it!