5 Kid-Friendly Spots in Japan to Interact with Extremely Cute Animals
Do you like animals? You can have a lot of fun at big zoos, where you can see a lot of different kinds of animals. But places where you can directly interact with animals by petting, holding, and feeding them are soothing not just for adults, but also for kids! Here are popular spots in Japan where you can experience this for yourself!
1. Zao Fox Village: Fox Kingdom (Miyagi)
Foxes are animals that Japanese people are very well acquainted with due to their appearance in picture books and fairy tales, but not many people have actually seen one in real life.
The Zao Fox Village is a rare place not just in Japan, but also throughout the world! Here you can see over 100 foxes of 6 different breeds run free in a spacious environment full of nature, almost as if they were living in the wild, and guests can admire them from up close while they roam around without a care in the world.
The foxes are extremely cute as they take naps or run around energetically! There's also a designated area where you can hold them in your arms!
Entrance fee: Adults (over 13 years old) 1,000 JPY, Free under 12 years old
2. Izu Shaboten Zoo: Capybaras Soaking in an Onsen (Shizuoka)
The Izu Shaboten Zoo, the first to have a capybara onsen (hot spring), is a place with about 1,500 types of cacti and other succulent plants gathered from countries all over the world. Guests can also interact with around 140 different animals, including squirrel monkeys and capybaras.
The view of capybaras soaking in an open air bath is a representative depiction of winter in Izu! You'll feel warm and fuzzy inside watching them relaxing and enjoying the onsen.
Entrance fee: Adults (Junior High School Students and over) 2,300 JPY, Elementary School Students 1,100 JPY, Children (over 4 years old) 400 JPY
3. Arashiyama Monkey Park: Take Pictures with Monkeys (Kyoto)
Arashiyama is known as one of the most renown sightseeing locations in Kyoto. Around 120 Japanese macaques live surrounded by nature within Arashiyama Monkey Park in Iwatayama, which is near Togetsukyo Bridge.
You'll feel warm and happy watching them groom each other or hold their babies.
There's a feeding area on the observation deck where you can feed the monkeys - It's really exciting to get so close to them!
Entrance fee: Adults (High School Students and over) 550 JPY, Children (Junior High School Students and under) 250 JPY, Free under 3 years old
A view of the Kyoto urban area can be admired from the top. You can even see Kyoto Tower in the distance when the weather is nice!
4. Aoshima: Peacefully Napping Cats (Ehime)
Due to the many cats that inhabit them, a few islands in Japan are referred to by the name "cat island." In Aoshima Island, an island off of Ehime Prefecture in the Seto Inland Sea, more than 200 cats living carefree and peacefully.
You can only reach Aoshima by ferry, so you need to research beforehand on how to get there. Also, don't forget to bring some cat toys with you! The cats are so cute when they're completely absorbed in playtime!
5. Umitamago Aquarium: Interact with Dolphins and Fish! (Oita)
The Oita Marine Palace Aquarium Umitamago, with a slogan that states it as "an aquarium where you can befriend animals," is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Oita. Here you can meet fish inhabiting Oita's Bungo Channel, walruses, dolphins, and many other animals.
One of the recommended spots within the facility is Asobeach. The water goes up to your knees, and you can see the dolphins swimming and jumping around from up close! If they go to the shallow part of the beach, you can also touch them!
Entrance fee: Adults (High School Students and over) 2,200 JPY, Children (Junior High School Students and under) 1,100 JPY, Under 4 years old 700 JPY
You can also watch the amusing movements of seals from up close.
You'll feel enriched at these popular locations by actually touching and interacting with nature and animals! Take your family on an outing to enjoy these fun and exciting spots!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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