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Explore for a day: Ueno Zoo

A white-tailed sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) sits on its perch at Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. White-tailed sea eagles are found near coastlines along Europe and Asia. They can have a wingspan of two and a half meters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

A white-tailed sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) sits on its perch at Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. White-tailed sea eagles are found near coastlines along Europe and Asia. They can have a wingspan of two and a half meters. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

A gibbons hangs from the roof of his enclosure at Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. Ueno Zoo is the oldest zoo in Japan. It was founded in 1882 and is roughly 35 square acres in size. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

A gibbons hangs from the roof of his enclosure at Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. Ueno Zoo is the oldest zoo in Japan. It was founded in 1882 and is roughly 35 square acres in size. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

A tiger (Panthera tigris) cools off from the hot sun at Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. Tigers can weigh as much as 670 lbs. and can have a 26-year life span. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

A tiger (Panthera tigris) cools off from the hot sun at Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. Tigers can weigh as much as 670 lbs. and can have a 26-year life span. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

A Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco) looks for a snack at Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. Toucans are omnivores and have a bill length of seven and a half inches. Toucans can use their bill to reach fruit that are on branches too small to support their weight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

A Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco) looks for a snack at Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. Toucans are omnivores and have a bill length of seven and a half inches. Toucans can use their bill to reach fruit that are on branches too small to support their weight. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

Ueno Zoo visitors look at the different species of birds in the aviary Aug. 6, 2013. Ueno Zoo has more than 2,600 animals from 464 different species. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

Ueno Zoo visitors look at the different species of birds in the aviary Aug. 6, 2013. Ueno Zoo has more than 2,600 animals from 464 different species. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

A young boy pets a goat at the children’s zoo area of Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. Along with goats, the children’s zoo also has horses, llamas, donkeys and other domestic animals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

A young boy pets a goat at the children’s zoo area of Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. Along with goats, the children’s zoo also has horses, llamas, donkeys and other domestic animals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

A penguin (Spheniscus demersus) begins to dry off after swimming in the penguin pool at Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. The largest subspecies of penguin is the Emperor Penguin. Penguins eat only seafood and have to eat their food whole because they don’t have any teeth. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

A penguin (Spheniscus demersus) begins to dry off after swimming in the penguin pool at Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. The largest subspecies of penguin is the Emperor Penguin. Penguins eat only seafood and have to eat their food whole because they don’t have any teeth. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

Ueno Zoo visitors walk through the vivarium Aug. 6, 2013. The vivarium houses crocodiles, frogs, turtles and snakes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

Ueno Zoo visitors walk through the vivarium Aug. 6, 2013. The vivarium houses crocodiles, frogs, turtles and snakes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

A Malayan Gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii) lays in its enclosure at Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. The gharial is a carnivore that mainly feeds on fish. Their slender snout allows them to move quickly underwater. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

A Malayan Gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii) lays in its enclosure at Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. The gharial is a carnivore that mainly feeds on fish. Their slender snout allows them to move quickly underwater. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

A Leaf-nosed snake (Langaha madagascariensis) slithers over branches at the vivarium section of Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. Ueno Zoo has more than 2,600 animals from 464 different species. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)
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A Leaf-nosed snake (Langaha madagascariensis) slithers over branches at the vivarium section of Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. Ueno Zoo has more than 2,600 animals from 464 different species. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

A Green Iguana sits on branches at the vivarium section of Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. Iguanas are among the largest lizard in America, averaging two meters long and weighing about 11 pounds. Iguanas can also fall as high as 40 feet and survive. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)
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A Green Iguana sits on branches at the vivarium section of Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. Iguanas are among the largest lizard in America, averaging two meters long and weighing about 11 pounds. Iguanas can also fall as high as 40 feet and survive. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

An Andean Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus) sits on a branch at Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. The Andean Cock-of-the-rock is Peru’s national bird and is native to South America. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)
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An Andean Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruvianus) sits on a branch at Ueno Zoo Aug. 6, 2013. The Andean Cock-of-the-rock is Peru’s national bird and is native to South America. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Michael Washburn)

TOKYO, Japan -- Under cover of thick brush, leaves and a large log that branches out in multiple directions, a tiger patiently stalks his prey, who happens to be a small child.

The tiger's pace quickens as he gets closer to the still oblivious child. Just feet away, the tiger stops at the one-inch thick slab of Plexiglas separating him from the young boy, who waves at the tiger and continues his visit at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo.

Ueno Zoo, the oldest zoo in Japan, was founded in 1882 and has since expanded in size to roughly 35 square acres. The zoo is located inside of Ueno Park, which also houses numerous other buildings of interest such as the Tokyo National Museum, Sogakudo Concert Hall, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art and National Museum of Nature and Science.

Split into two separate sections - the East Garden and West Garden - the zoo groups species of animals into themed areas.

At the East Garden, there's the Nocturnal House, which features creatures of the night, such as bats and dholes. At the West Garden, the Animals of Africa section consists of hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, giraffes and okapis. The vivarium houses crocodiles, snakes, turtles and other reptiles.

Making up a large portion of the West Garden is Shinobazu Pond. Visitors can cross over walkways in the pond to get a better look at cranes, pelicans, geese and swans, before heading to the attached Aye-aye Forest, where lemurs lurk in a blanket of darkness.

Along with the themed areas, the zoo is full of more than 2,600 animals from 464 different species. The diversity of the animals comes from a partnership between other zoos in the U.S., Mexico and China.

Another popular spots are the giant pandas and the polar bear areas. At their enclosure, Ri Ri and Shin Shin - who both arrived at the zoo in 2011 - can be seen by visitors relaxing and munching on bamboo.

The polar bear part looks like the arctic. The walls and surrounding areas are built to look like chunks of ice. The enclosure is also complete with a pool of crystal clear water for the polar bear to cool off with.

For families with kids, the children's zoo in the West Garden is a major attraction. They can visit the petting zoo featuring goats, horses, llamas, donkeys and other domestic animals.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of Tokyo lies the serenity of Ueno Park and Ueno Zoo. It's a nice way to spend a day seeing all types of animals from all over the world that most people will never have the opportunity to see. There's so much to see that it warrant multiple visits.

The zoo is closed on Monday, and Tuesdays following a Japanese holiday. On Oct. 1, the admission will be free for Tokyo Citizens' Day.