Japanese News: Baby panda Shanshan

This week, I chose an easy article that does not bring me much new vocabulary but brightens me up and restores my trust in my ability to read (at least some) news articles in Japanese!

Link to the article: シャンシャン きょうから先着順に 公開時間も延長

In June 2017, a baby panda named Shanshan was born in Ueno Zoo. The name Shanshan is usually written in katakana シャンシャン and comes from Chinese 香香 Xiangxiang (the “音” pronunciation of the kanji 香 is either コウ or キョウ in Japanese).

The baby panda’s first appearance to the public was in December 2017. Shanshan could be seen playing with its mother Shinshin. As I don’t live in Japan, I can’t be sure, but I have the impression that Shanshan had been a huge attraction when it made its public debut.

At the time, the tickets to visit Shanshan were delivered by lot (抽選で観覧を受け付け) but from February 1st, they are delivered on a first-come-first-served basis (1日から観覧の受け付け方法を先着順に変え). This other article from NHK says that 1200 persons were waiting at the zoo entrance before the opening hours to get a ticket (動物園には午前9時半の開園前に1201人が集まりました)… the baby panda really is a huge attraction!

Back to our main article… The visiting hours are being expanded of two and a half hour. It is now possible to see Shanshan until 4:45 pm. (1日から公開時間を午後4時45分まで2時間半延長することにしています).

An entrance ticket allows the visitor to see and photograph the pandas for 30 minutes. I don’t know how many visitors are allowed at one time, I will just trust the article when it says that the maximum number of visitors per day increase to 9500 (1日当たりの観覧者は9500人に増える見通しです).

Until now, Shanshan could only be seen in its indoor house, but the “public area” (I guess, area that visitors can see or have access to) will be broadened to an outdoor playground. (これまでパンダ舎の室内に限っていた「シャンシャン」の公開エリアを屋外の運動場まで広げることにしています). The kanji 舎・しゃ means “house” and seems to be mainly used to animals.

I can understand this article without looking up words in the dictionary, which is very rare concerning news articles. This being said, there are a few words whose meaning I want to check and maybe add in my Anki deck (in bold).

  • ~当たり・あたり: per… For example, “一日当たり1000円” means “1000 yen a day”.
  • 受付・うけつけ strangely, I mainly associated this word with the physical “reception desk”. But it means, more broadly, “reception” or “acceptance”. For example, an “application period” is 受付期間 and a deadline for an application is 受付期限.
  • 先着順・せんちゃくじゅん in order of arrival. This is not a word I knew, but the meaning can be guessed from the kanji.
  • 抽選で・ちゅうせんで by drawing lots, by lottery lot. Again, an unknown word to me, but I could guess the meaning from the context.
  • 屋外・おくがい the open air, the outdoors. Here again, the meaning of the word can be guessed from the kanji and the context, where it is opposed to 室内・しつない (indoors). Interesting associated words and expressions are:
    • 室内に閉じこもる stay indoors
    • 室内を飾る decorate a room
    • 室内飼いの猫 a house cat
    • 屋外運動場 a playground
    • 屋外活動 outdoor activity