Exploring Japan’s Wildlife: 8 Zoos to Include in Your 2023 Archipelago Adventure

by operator

Japan, a country comprised of islands in East Asia, is a stunning fusion of customs and modernity. This volcanic chain of islands possesses a remarkably dramatic terrain featuring mountains, thermal springs, and more. The incredibly efficient high-speed train network stretches from the southern tip to the northernmost point of the island, making transportation here quite convenient. And if you happen to be traveling to this island nation with children, then Japan zoos are excellent attractions that you absolutely must explore. Take a look at some of the finest zoos in Japan and add them to your list of must-visit locations on the island.

Japan Zoos cover

8 Finest Japan Zoos

Japan is home to several extraordinary zoos that span vast areas and house some of the most magnificent animal species. Take a look.

1. Sapporo City Maruyama Zoo

Sapporo City Maruyama Zoo

Sapporo City Maruyama Zoo is among the initial and hence the oldest zoos to have opened on Hokkaido, which is the northernmost island of Japan. It was established in May 1951 and is situated within Maruyama Park. Encompassing an area of 22.5 hectares, this zoo offers a great variety of animal species. Visitors can observe approximately 168 different types of creatures here, including a bear house that is home to 6 distinct bear species. Additionally, there is a petting zoo that houses sheep and goats.

Location: SapporoTimings: 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM

2. Ueno Zoo

Ueno Zoo

One of the earliest zoos in Japan, Ueno Zoological Gardens commenced its operations in 1882. Housing over 3,000 animals and 400 different species, it is an outstanding destination to visit in Japan with kids. This zoo is one of the zoos in Japan that has pandas, and the arrival of pandas from China for the first time occurred in 1972. At Gorilla Woods and Tiger Forest, visitors can experience nature and wildlife up close. Additionally, pygmy hippos, which are an endangered species in the wild, can also be observed here.

Place: TokyoOpening Hours: 9:30 AM – 5 PM (Closed on Mondays)

3. Fuji Safari Park

Fuji Safari Park

If one desires to relish a safari experience in Japan, then Fuji Safari Park is the ideal destination where animals freely roam, providing an authentic safari experience. Located on the southern slopes of Mount Fuji, Fuji Safari Park is not only one of the largest parks in Japan but also a renowned one. Visitors can explore this incredible place by driving their own car, riding in a bus, or even on foot. There are no additional fees for those who prefer navigating through the park in their own vehicles. Sports utility vehicles are also available at the park, equipped with a navigation system for self-guided tours. In summary, it is a fantastic location for an unforgettable safari tour!

Place: SusonoOpening Hours: 9 AM – 4:30 PM

Nogeyama Zoo

4. Nogeyama Zoo

Situated in Nogeyama Park, Nogeyama Zoo offers free admission. The park is nestled on a hilltop in a tranquil residential area, providing a peaceful and verdant ambience. Spanning across 8 acres of land, Nogeyama is the oldest zoo in Yokohama, having opened its doors in 1951. The zoo hosts various interactive programs and features a section where children can interact with smaller animals. During the summer months, visitors can also enjoy the Night Zoo experience. Altogether, the zoo is a delightful treat!

Place: YokohamaOpening Hours: 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM (Closed on Mondays)

Planning your vacation but unsure of where to go? These travel stories assist you in finding your ultimate trip!

Authentic travel tales. Genuine accommodations. Useful advice to aid you in making the right decision.

5. Zoorasia

Zoorasia, established in 1999, is one of the most meticulously maintained zoos in Japan. More than merely a zoo, it gives the impression of a leisurely safari. The park comprises various themed areas, and visitors can explore these places by bus. The zoo offers designated play areas for children, as well as a selection of restaurants and cafes. The nature trails within the zoo present magnificent scenery, inviting visitors to explore this remarkable attraction by foot. Additional highlights include an entertaining bird show, scheduled animal feedings, and the option to enjoy a camel ride for an extra fee.


Location: YokohamaTimings: 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM (Closed on Tuesdays)

6. Tobe Zoological Park

Tobe Zoological Park is one of the finest zoos in Japan that is divided into different sections, each with its own unique attraction. There is America Street, which showcases animals indigenous to America, including llamas. Then there is Bear Street, home to sea lions, brown bears, and the star of the show, the polar bear! The Water Zone is also a popular spot for visitors, where you can enjoy watching penguins swim and play. There are many more zones to explore, so make sure to visit the zoo and discover them for yourself!

Tobe Zoological Park

Location: TobeOperating Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM (Closed on Mondays)

7. Tama Zoological Park

Popularly known as Tama Zoo, it was established as a branch of Ueno Zoo in May 1958. Spread across a vast area of approximately 130 acres, the zoo allows animals to freely roam in a more natural environment. The zoo is divided into various zones, each with its own unique attraction. The Asian Garden features the Orangutan Skywalk, housing ape species native to Malaysia and Indonesia. There is also the Raptor Enclosure in the same zone, where you can witness the majestic golden and white-tailed eagles. Similarly, there are African and Australian zones with their own set of attractions!

Tama Zoological Park

Location: HinoOperating Hours: 9:30 AM – 5 PM (Closed on Wednesdays)

8. African Safari

As one of Japan’s largest Safari Parks, African Safari is home to approximately 70 species and 1400 animals, including bears, lions, cheetahs, bison, deer, giraffes, elephants, gazelles, camels, and rhinos. Here, visitors are enclosed while the animals roam freely. You can explore the park either in your own vehicle or take the park bus. The buses are specially designed to look like animals and have metal bars. However, you can open the window panes and even feed some animals in the park. The park also offers various dining options and a souvenir store!

African Safari

Frequently Asked Questions About Japan Zoos

Location: United StatesTimings: 9 AM – 7:20 PM

Thrilled to meet the pandas in Japan? Head to these incredible Japan zoos with your family and have a fantastic time experiencing nature up close! Book a journey to Japan with Fred and Fuzzys for a convenient holiday and have an exhilarating time exploring the wildlife in Japan!

Frequently Asked Questions About Japan Zoos

How many zoos are there in Japan?

There are nearly 89 zoos in Japan. They consist of existing species, birds, and animals from around the world.

Which Zoo in Japan does not charge an entrance fee?

Nogeyama Zoo in Nogeyama Park, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Japan does not collect admission fees from Japanese and international tourists. It is open to the public from 09:30 AM in the morning to 04:00 PM in the evening.

Which zoos in Japan offer Safari?

The African Safari in Oita, Fuji Safari Park, and Zoorasia Yokohama Zoological Gardens are the Japan Zoos that provide a safari experience for both children and adults.

Which zoos in Japan offer night safari?

Fuji Safari Park in Shizuoka and Nogeyama Zoo in Yokohama are the zoos in Japan where you can enjoy a night safari. However, the night safari is only available from June to August at Nogeyama Zoo.

Which are the top 3 zoos in Japan with excellent touristic amenities and facilities?

The African Safari in Oita, Tama Zoological Park in Tokyo, and Tobe Zoological Park in Ehime offer outstanding tourist facilities and amenities.

Which is the best season to visit zoos in Japan?

June and July mark the rainy season in Japan. The cold season spans from December to February. Therefore, the optimal period to visit Japan zoos is during the dry months from August to November and March to May.

Are zoos in Japan secure?

All zoos in Japan are safe for both children and adults as long as you stay within the designated boundaries. It is similar to disembarking from your safari vehicle and capturing photographs of the animals and birds while on the zoo safari.

Is there any zoo in Japan that entertains children with animals?

Indeed, the Zoorasia Yokohama Zoological Gardens allows children to interact with animals that are friendly towards humans. Zoo officials will be present alongside the animals and birds, and children can even feed them.

Can you see Polar Bears in a Japan Zoo?

You can witness penguins and polar bears at the Asahiyama Zoo. This zoo offers close encounters with animals that roam freely. Additionally, there is an underwater tunnel that allows you to observe animals like the Snow Leopard and other wild creatures from below.

Which zoo has rare species of animals in Japan?

Yokohama Zoological Gardens in Japan is home to rare animals such as the Okapi and red-shanked douc, among others. It is the largest zoo in Japan.

Is there Wi-Fi available at the Yokohama Zoological Gardens?

Wi-Fi is not provided at the Yokohama Zoological Gardens.

What languages are spoken by tour guides inside Japan zoos?

Tour guides inside the zoos speak English, Chinese, and Japanese.

Where can you find Red Pandas in Japan?

Uneo Zoo is famous for housing Red Pandas, which serve as the main attraction of the zoo. Many other zoos in Japan also feature these animals in their natural habitats, allowing visitors to observe them up close.

What childcare facilities are available at the Yokohama Zoological Garden?

The zoo provides services such as baby strollers for rent, diaper sales, nursing rooms, and stalls for kids to cater to the needs of families with young children.

What are the unique features of the Fuji Safari Park?

As the only safari-focused zoo in Japan, the Fuji Safari Park offers various safari rides that allow you to closely observe wild animals. Additionally, you can interact with select animals in designated areas where you can hand-feed and pet them.

Looking To Book A Holiday Package?

Book unforgettable vacations on Fred and Fuzzys with 650 verified travel agents for 65 domestic and international destinations.

You may also like