Ueno Zoological Gardens opened in 1882, as Japan’s first zoo, with bears, monkeys, foxes, raccoons and birds on display. They now care for over 500 different species, many of which I have never even heard of and some that I have never seen in a zoo. For example, they have an entire aye-aye exhibit. Unfortunately aye-ayes are nocturnal and so the exhibit was pitch black and our aye-ayes couldn’t adjust fast enough for four year boredom to set in and so we saw nothing.
Ueno Zoo is located in the middle of Ueno Park, which used to be a Buddhist temple (ten times bigger than what it is today). There are still remnants of the historic Bhuddist temple throughout Ueno Park, some of which is inside the zoo. The five story pagoda, built in the 1600s, is located right between the Japanese animals exhibit and the American bison exhibit.