Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning and the first thing that I saw was a video of Martha riding her bike. Yes, we are a little bit jealous that we’re not riding bikes right now. It would make a welcome change from all the walking.
Of course, it wasn’t really Chelsea, but that song just popped into the old noggin.
We planned to visit the Osaka Museum of Housing and Living, which recreates buildings and streets to give an idea of living in Osaka in the past: this would be interesting and inside.
We also planned to visit Nagai Botanical Garden: this would be fascinating and outdoors.
In the end, after a slow start to the day, we went to the zoo. A no-frills zoo: no frills for us customers, and not many frills for the in-mates.
Yes, Tennoji Zoo was very cheap to enter, compared with London, Chester and Anchorage Zoos, for instance, and there was no big gift shop at the exit. So, with such a small income, it’s no wonder that many (most?) of the animals didn’t seem very happy.
The first animal we saw was a koala way up at the top of a eucalyptus tree. We don’t know if he had friends or family with him, but if not, he had a lot of space.
The pelican seemed happy enough, a nice big pond to swim in, but as with many of the exhibits, the wire mesh made it difficult to get decent pictures.
If we were kids, we might have taken up the offer to eat polar bear curry.
We were too scared to visit the aviary as the ducks are the size of bears. Plus, we didn’t want to be pooped on. Certainly not by a bear-sized duck.
Against expectations, the polar bear seemed to be the most contented of the large animals. He looked a bit grubby but was having a great time playing with his toys.
I suspect the green cone and the buckets are the food delivery system but even so, he was so much happier than the poor old thing confined to concrete at Chessington World of Adventures just a few years ago.
We were particularly taken by the huge rat pen. I mean, the pen was huge, the rat was just a normal rat.
Oh, it turns out this was a bear enclosure. The rat was eating the spectacled bear’s food.
A lot of the animals seem to require visual aids: here is a nocturnal spectacled owl.
Chinese wolves, one of the tigers and the giraffe all seemed to be very short of space which was a little depressing. The lions seemed resigned to their situation. Only one of the females was walking around in circles, the other two just soaking up the Sun.
The days of being allowed, nay, encouraged to ride an elephant at the zoo are long gone. Or so we thought.
The sad news is that the real elephant here has packed his trunk and said goodbye to the zoo. He’s in elephant heaven now hopefully with plenty of heavenly plains in which to roam.
Rhinoceroses mark their territory by scent, according to the sign.
The rhino we saw was slowly eating, and wasn’t afraid to dive in to the pile of grass horns first: he looked as if he’d just been for a swim with the hippos.
My phone has a clever app on it which can translate text into English. The results are variable: sometimes it makes sense but sometimes absolute garbage comes out.
And sometimes, you understand the message while the words displayed are just funny.
The zoo was very clean, no litter littering the place and just before we left, we saw a chicken being fed. We don’t know whose dinner the chicken was intended to be but what a strange sight after all the exotic fauna from faraway.
In the evening, I went through all the paperwork: maps, receipts, tickets, brochures, confirmations of bookings, boarding passes… and binned it all! Yes, the days of keeping paperwork only to throw it away years later are over! This is a major leap forward. (But, hedging my bets, I did take photos of it all, just in case, y’know…)