June 3, 2012

Tokyo Bay Wild Bird Park -- Indoors

Inside the museum at Tokyo Bay Wild Bird Park. It was surprising that the indoor area of the bird sanctuary offered more amusement than the outside.

 "The bird professor is in." This was the section that gave you a lot of information on the bird species.

Here, you could dress up as a bird yourself. They had wings made out of cardboard and rubber boots that imitated webbed feet. Everything was horribly grimy. Those caps (all handmade out of black and yellow masking tape, by the way) had matted hair inside them.

 The biggest scratch-your-head moment was the bird-themed izakaya (a Japanese version of a bar). This was either an ingenious education tool or horribly inappropriate.

The "menu" was a bunch of different birds: from left, sparrow (suzume), crow (karasu), Japanese pygmy woodpecker (kogera), Japanese tit (shijuugara), black kite (tobi), Japanese white-eye (mejiro), Japanese bush warbler (uguisu), Oriental turtle dove (kijibato). 

I should add that I had to ask my parents to read most of these kanji. They are definitely some of the more obscure ones. 

Come to think of it, perhaps that's what this little white gadget was for. The instructions were to scan the white strips taped next to each bird name. I thought this was how customers scanned what they wanted to "order", but perhaps, if used correctly, they simply read out the kanji. I couldn't figure it out until now because I never could get the thing to work.

Wouldn't you know? This "izakaya" has chains in Hokkaido!

From the basement floor of the museum, you could step out into the mudflats. All I could see was clear water, mud, and tiny schools of fish. No birds, although they certainly left a lot of tracks.

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