Japan Adventures – Zoos and Cafes

Hello! Welcome to the first Japan recap post! I’ve decided to group the posts by similar experiences, otherwise I’ll go on forever. I do have quite a few photos to share in each post, but I also tried to stop myself from going too overboard.

In this post, I’ll be sharing about our trip to the Ueno Zoo, Kotori (Bird) Cafe and Hedgehog Cafe in Tokyo.

Ueno Zoo

This was the first place we officially visited in Tokyo. We spent way longer there than I thought we would! They had such a huge array of animals, way bigger than any other zoo I’ve visited in New Zealand. If you watched my highlights video, the first minute is basically devoted to the animals at the zoo. My personal favourite was discovering the Secretary Bird (pictured below). It is a wonderful creature.

As well as watching all the animals, we spent a decent time in the gift shop. Pretty much every souvenir shop we went into was filled with so much cute things. Every store I ever went into Japan was filled with cute (sometimes weird) things I wanted to buy. I did resist in this gift shop, but all the cute little animals were calling out to me.

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Themed foods are also something that will keep showing up in photos. The amount of themed things in general in Japan is incredible! Most places we visited had a mascot, and some kind of themed food.

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All in all, we spent a really nice day at the zoo. There were heaps of kids around as there was a school trip on as well. It definitely made the day more interesting. The size of the zoo itself is massive, and it’s also apparently the oldest zoo in Japan, opening to the public in the late 1880s. The zoo is most famous for the giant pandas. I did get to see them, but I couldn’t take a good photo due to the sheer amount of people around though!

Kotori Cafe

This was an impromptu place we visited. Across the road from this cafe was the Ghibli Museum. We arrived early so we decided to kill some time at the bird cafe. They had a huge selection of little birds!

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Bird Cafe 01

I spent a lot of time with my face right up to the glass watching all the little birds do their thing. I tried to take lots of photos, but most turned out blurry. The birdies are fast! The cafe also had lots of cute little bird-themed desserts, which we had to try.

I can’t remember what these desserts were!! Little details escape me over time. You can bet they tasted as cute as they looked though! All in all, we had a great time chilling with the birds, eating some sweets. You could pay to enter the rooms with the birds, but that made me nervous as I didn’t want to disturb them! For some reason, they also had this random parrot mask which we all had turns wearing.

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Now onto another animal cafe we visited in Tokyo!

Harry Hedgehog Cafe

This was the cafe that I was the most excited for. We visited Harajuku with this cafe in mind. When we got there, it was already quite busy, but they found a space for us. The little homes for the hedgehogs were fairly spacious for the little guys which was nice. Some were super sleepy, so I just watched one little guy curl up in a ball and sleep.

hedgehog cafe 01

One kept waking up when we offered him a treat. We had dried mealworms which we could offer them. They seem to really love those! We were shown how to gently pick up the hedgehogs, so we all had a go holding one of these cute little animals.

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Some were quite active and would look around at us and their environment as we held them. The one I picked up was awake at first, but then I guess he wanted to go back to sleep.

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All in all, this was just the cutest experience I’ve had in my life. Hedgehogs are so adorable, and being given the chance to actually hold them was amazing!!

Bonus Owl

So for this last one, we didn’t actually visit the Owl Cafe. I do wish we did though! But when we came across the girls with the owls (who were advertising for an owl cafe nearby), we had been walking around all day, and I really wanted to get back to our hotel (which was a 30 minute train ride away at that point). Back to the owl. It was so mini and beautiful!!

owl

The owl also yawned at one point, and I swear my heart skipped a beat.

owl 02

All of these animal interactions were highlights of our trip to Japan! I’m sure there’ll start catching on with the rest of the world. It’s always such a fun (and cute) experience!

Previous Japan Posts:

Tomorrow I’ll be talking about our visit to Ghibli Museum, National Museum of Nature and Science and Meiji Shrine.

Angela.

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Peru Adventures – Iquitos

Peru Adventures – Iquitos

The last chapter of our Peru Adventures. It was an amazing experience altogether! I’m so glad I did it, I have so many stories from it! I hope you enjoy this final chapter and entry on my trip to Peru!

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After our Amazon adventure, we spent our last few days in Peru mostly relaxing at the hostel. We stayed at Golondrinas Hostel, which was lovely, as it had a pool. As we were winding down and getting ready to come back home, we didn’t do as much the three days we were there. We visited the Plaza de Armas as we always do, and took a look around the local neighbourhood.

We did visit Pilpintuwasi, which is a nature and wildlife conservation park. Entry tickets were only 10 soles ($4 NZD) for students. Getting to the park itself was a bit trickier. You have to take a boat there, and arriving at the dock, you will be bombarded with many people offring to take you there. Sarah and I pushed our way through and went with an English speaking gentleman who took us over in a little boat. He was under the impression that I was a local taking Sarah around. He was surprised when I said I was also from New Zealand. We made it to the park in no time and went off to explore.

We saw lots of animals again. Toucans, parrots, butterflies…Orcilla, Sloths, capuchin and uakari monkeys, and more. These were all rescue animals and being looked after by mostly volunteers. We really enjoyed having a look at the butterfly farm too.

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All in all, this month long adventure was an amazing experience. I saw and did so much that I would never have done if I didn’t join Sarah on this trip. The pictures and videos I took are all safely stored so I can peruse them as much as I want. Relieving them through this blog again has been a blast! We did stop by Tahiti for a few days on the way back, but I’ll save that for another day 😉

Angela.

What else to do in Wellington

What else to do in Wellington

Since writing my previous posts, I’ve been thinking about other places around Wellington that I have enjoyed visiting. So here’s four other places you should check out, if you have time.

Staglands Wildlife Reserve

Drive an hour out of town to Upper Hutt (I don’t think there’s any public transport that would take you out there) and take a trip to Staglands. If you like farm animals, then definitely take a trip here. A lot of the animals wander freely, and you can buy a bag of food to feed them right out of your hand. Watch out for the goats though, they took a bite out of my bag, then grabbed all the food as it fell out of the hole.

Continue reading “What else to do in Wellington”