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FunkyGibbon is.....Big in Japan

Discussion in 'Japan' started by FunkyGibbon, 12 Jan 2019.

  1. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    Bit of a hiatus from my Mentawai thread while I'm travelling again. This one is going to be 'live'. I have done long-form trip threads in real time before, and while it's worthwhile it's also quite demanding so I'm going to play with the format a little here. Each individual zoo will be dealt with in a word limit of 140 (that's word, not character!).Thus, you'll get a bit of a whiff of what's going on at each place, but without too much time commitment at my end.

    I arrived in Tokyo early this morning, and because I was so tired spent the day sorting out passes and so on. I also visited the National Tokyo Museum, which had a lot of wonderful artifacts, but didn't really put them into enough context for my liking.

    Tomorrow will be my hundredth zoo! (See here: What to do in Tokyo - My Hundredth Zoo) I really can't wait. :)
     
  2. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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  3. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    I think we know what you've been listening to :p
     
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  4. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if David Sylvian's surname derives from warblers of the genus Sylvia.
     
  5. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    Tama Zoo - 13th January 2019

    'Tama tama tama tama tama tameleon'

    Just a really great day at the zoo, one of my best. The Mole House is everything you hoped it would be, and it was very popular with guests. I saw the King cheetah, which was cool; maybe a bit overhyped though? The Insectarium is also fantastic, with the best butterfly walkthrough I've ever seen.

    There are some traditional (I mean throroughly substandard) enclosures, but you can clearly see the improvements that have been made and are being made; at the moment large parts of the zoo are under development.

    There are lots of small rarities tucked away, not only in the Mole House. This is a zoo that really likes exhibiting animals, and really likes exhibits; many of the enclosures are gloriously overengineered and unnaturalistic, which is very much to my taste.

    Overall, I will probably need to let some time pass to assess the zoo fairly. Subjectively at least it's one of my favourites.
     
    Last edited: 15 Jan 2019
  6. Hipporex

    Hipporex Well-Known Member

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    Question: When you say this is you're 100th "zoo" (huge congrats by the way), does that include zoos, aquariums, exotic animal sanctuaries, animal theme parks etc. ? Or does "zoo" imply what most people assume when they here zoo, zoological facilities dedicated primarily or entirely to non-recuse terrestrial animals?
     
  7. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    Great review of what sounds to be an extremely interesting zoo. This Mole house sounds intriguing, do happen to know the species of Moles in the house?
     
  8. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    Japanese mole and ezo least shrew(in seperate enclosure) from what i remember in 2016.
     
  9. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    Glad you like the zoo!It was certainly one of the most natural(and interesting) zoos in Japan!I agree there are still improvements (cough cough elephant), but overall a great zoo and it's a great zoo to your 100th!
     
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  10. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    Also Japanese small mole, Japanese water shrew and Long-clawed shrew. Japanese shrew-mole has been lost in recent years apparently.
     
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  11. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    Tokyo Sea Life Park - 14th January 2019

    'It's Sea Life Jim, but not as we know it'

    Another good day (actually this is a comfortable half-day aquarium but I was slow to start because I moved hostels). It's set in a really lovely park by the sea where I enjoyed the sunset afterwards.

    TSLP is an 'unsexy' aquarium. This is typified by the fact that its flagship exhibit is a tank containing only bluefin tuna (which are quite amazing by the way). The park lacks the big ticket items that most aquariums hang their hat on and instead takes a much more subtle approach.

    The best part, in my opinion, is the focus on marine life native to the seas around Tokyo itself. There were so many medium sized tanks filled with all sorts of wonderful fish. My personal highlight was the Spiny red gurnard, an unbelievable red fish with blue-green 'wings' that were invisible unless it unfurled them, as well as 'legs' that it walked along the bottom on.

    A real positive was accurate and up-to-date signage, including many of the plants. A few of the inhabitants were on the larger size in relation to their tanks, however.

    After leaving the main building the path to the exit wends through some parkland including a delightful 'streams and ponds' building that was really world-class.

    TSLP is a really interesting place. I probably won't be able to compare it to all of Tokyo's aquariums as I don't plan to visit some, but it seems like it does enough to earn a spot on anyone's itinerary.
     
    Last edited: 15 Jan 2019
  12. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    I always enjoy watching gurnards walk along the bottom of a tank. They're such unusual fish.

    Moles, shrews, and bluefin tuna are already enough to make me extremely jealous!

    ~Thylo
     
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  13. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    Have a read of this thread, should answer most of your questions :)

    What to do in Tokyo - My Hundredth Zoo
     
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  14. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    Tuna are weird. They are BIG, and have kind of ugly faces, but they are just so...hydrodynamic? I've never seen a fish that looked more like it was drawn up on a CAD program.
     
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  15. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    I didn't even know any were in captivity. Do they do well?

    ~Thylo
     
  16. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    They will bump into the wall and commit suicide sometimes.;)
     
  17. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    Why are you winking?
     
  18. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    Sumida Aquarium - 15th January 2019

    'Livin' Sumida loca'

    I was planning on visiting Ueno today but I arrived at the gates to find it closed for the day. Most public museums (and zoos) close on Mondays, but yesterday was a holiday so they closed today instead. Not a big problem; I headed to Sumida Aquarium instead (I had been saving Sumida 'til last but I didn't want to mess with my admittedly loose schedule too much).

    Sumida is a really beautiful aquarium. It's a little on the small side, but each tank and all the parts in between are carefully crafted works of art. The first view is a beautiful Amano tank, which is almost a pity as it's the absolute highlight.

    Much of the rest of the aquarium is dimly lit; this really puts the focus on the tanks but made photography a nightmare. There were some interesting species but this aquarium is really all about the presentation. Occasionally to a fault, the fur seal pool is really small and a couple of the tanks felt minimalist when there wasn't any need.

    I'm sure it's not to everyone's taste, but I knew the second I read about Sumida that I was very likely to love it and I wasn't disappointed. It's a modern art gallery masqueradung as a zoo, and there's nothing wrong with that when it's executed this well. Another collection that really needs to feature on every Tokyo trip itinerary.

    PS I forgot about the puns! I have retroactively included them into the previous posts :cool:
     
  19. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    Not the only part of the review that's missing...:rolleyes: :p

    And I just knew what the Tama pun was going to be, if it had been anything else I would have been suitably disappointed! ;)

    Sounds like a great trip so far! :) How are you coping with the language barrier? And is it more Westernised compared to where you're based in China?
     
  20. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    If it's any consolation they are significantly less terrible than the ones I have been using for my trip posts :p