3 Best Japanese Zoos that You Shouldn’t Miss When Visiting Japan | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

3 Best Japanese Zoos that You Shouldn’t Miss When Visiting Japan

By Aika Kaise Sep 27, 2018

This post is also available in: Spanish

Have you ever visited a zoo in Japan before?

There are zoos all over the world, and it is said that the very first zoo was established in France; Paris Zoo. There is another opinion that claims the first zoo is Schoenbrunn Zoo, not in France but in Austria.

In Japan, the first zoo is Onshi-Ueno zoo, which opened in 1882 in Tokyo. Nowadays, it is easy for you to find a zoo in Japan because there are up to 89 zoo facilities. Don’t you feel confused about which one to visit? Although there are so many zoos, each zoo has its own unique points.

In order to help you to decide your suitable zoo, this article will introduce 3 recommended zoos in Japan.



1. Fuji Safari Park

Fuji Safari Park is located in Shizuoka Prefecture where animals from all around the world wander freely. Even though you can only access this park only by car or bus, it is the most famous and popular safari park among another 11 ones in Japan.

If you go around there by car, you cannot open the window. So it might be better to take a safari bus to feel closer to the animals. When you take a bus, you can feed these animals. So going by bus is the suitable choice especially when you go there with your children. It will become an interesting memory of your children to come closer to the animals and feed them! Sometimes, you may even see elephants swimming.

It usually takes about 1 hour to see all the animals there, but can take up to 2 hours if the park is crowded. Just a small tip to go to the restroom before going inside.

Because some animals such as lions are the nocturnal habit, it is rare to see them moving often during the daytime. If you want to see them actively, I recommend you to visit there during night time safari which is held for a limited period only.

The most attractive point is that you can only see animals on the loose but not anywhere else. After you enjoyed the Fuji Safari Park, you can touch a horse or small animals like a rabbit or a hamster. But please remember to not go out of the car or the bus. You may feel that this is just common sense, but there have been some accidents where guests were injured by animal attacks because they left their cars.



2. Onshi-Ueno Zoo

This is the oldest zoo in Japan as mentioned in the beginning. Onshi-Ueno Zoo is located in Tokyo, and it takes only 5 minutes from JR Ueno Station by foot. What makes this zoo outstanding is its giant pandas. A baby giant panda was born in 2017, so it has been getting more popular and crowded. Many people visit to see this baby panda growing. The line to see it is very long, and you will have to wait in the line if you want to see them. Sometimes it may take up to 1 hour of waiting.

Not only pandas but also there are about 400 kinds of animals from all over the world. If you feel it is difficult to go around by yourself due to the large space, you can join a guide tour. You can also get a newspaper which is issued every day, and you will be updated with the latest information about animals.



3.   Asahikawa Zoo

Asahikawa Zoo is located in Hokkaido. You can directly access it from Asahikawa airport because there is a bus to the zoo. The most unique feature of this zoo is you can see animals more actively than other zoos. You can also hear wolves howling around the zoo’s closing time.


Have you decided which zoo you would like to go?

Since there are 89 zoos in Japan, it is not too difficult to find one wherever you go, not only the large one but also the small one.

Although it will be a different and enjoyable experience no matter which zoo you go, why don’t you go to the zoos which are the most famous and popular ones first?

I hope you will have a beautiful time in zoos when you come to Japan!


Aika Kaise / Japan