Homes in Japan tend to be small, and having enough space to keep a large pet is a real luxury. That’s why most people have cats instead of dogs, or if they do have a dog, they’re usually the smaller breeds like chihuahuas or toy poodles.
If you’ve been in Japan for a while like me and miss having a dog around, Wan Wan Land Tsukuba in Ibaraki is just the place for you. This prefecture just over an hour northeast of Tokyo is most famous for melons and robots, but who knew they had such fun place for dog lovers too!
While most of our dogs go woof, the dogs in Japan go wan wan. So Wan Wan Land in English would be Woof Woof Land. Isn’t that cute? But cuteness isn’t all that you’ll find there – there’s no shortage of exciting things to do too!
There are many things you can do to get your paws dirty here, including challenging the dogs to a race, trying to beat them at a penalty shootout, and of course, just spending time playing with the adorable pooches!
The highlight for us was the dog show – it was a blast watching the super talented dogs catch hoops, skip a jump rope, walk around on top of a big exercise ball and shake hands with the kids.
If you’re more of a cat person, don’t worry, there’s something here for you too! Despite the name, Wan Wan Land Tsukuba also has a special section for cats. We were greeted by the grumpiest looking puss ever as we walked in – Grumpy Cat has a cousin in Japan!
“Pop by the tourist information center at Tsukuba Station before heading off and look out for a 50% discount coupon!”
579 Numata, Tsukuba City, Ibaraki, 300-4353 Japan
Tsukuba Station (Tsukuba Express Line from Akihabara), and a short taxi ride from there.