As a kid I loved going to the zoo. There’s no where else in the world where you can see so many weird and wonderful creatures, all in one place. In Japan you’ve probably heard or even been to Ueno Zoo, where the current stars are a couple of adorable pandas.
But just outside Tokyo in Yokohama is another fantastic zoo called Zoorasia that I think is better than Ueno because it’s a lot bigger, nicer and much less crowded. It’s also really beautiful, with lots of nicely landscaped paths and cute play areas for the kids.
Zoorasia, which is also known as Yokohama zoo, has an open concept where they use as little fencing as possible, if at all. The happy animals seem to appreciate it, and so do the visitors who can enjoy seeing the animals living in an open environment that mimics their natural habitats.
The price of admission is only 800 Yen – free if you’re a kid under 7 – and it’s a small price to pay for a whole day of fun. They often have special events, and on this occasion they had a dog petting area where you can cuddle all the cute dogs you can handle for 10 minutes.
For us the highlights were the tigers, polar bears, and the ridiculously cute little red pandas. The three tigers in there were incredibly playful – one hid behind a large rock, shook its butt and sprang out dashing towards us. Thank goodness for two inch thick glass!
We had lunch at the Freshness Burger located on the west side of the zoo, where they serve a special Zoorasia burger. Oh, and they also have beer.
This zoo is one of the best I’ve ever been to. If you’re ever near Yokohama and feel like going on a wild adventure, Zoorasia is calling you!
“You’ll feel an overwhelming urge to kidnap those cute fluffy red pandas, but don’t! Resist!”
Tsurugamine Station (Sotetsu line) or Nakayama Station (JR Yokohama line), take bus headed for Yokohama Doubutsuen (Yokohama Zoo) – don’t worry about where to get off, it’s the last stop.
045 959 1000
9.30am – 4.30pm daily, closed on Tuesdays unless it’s a public holiday
800 – 2,000 Yen