5 Best Zoos in Hokkaido! Feel How Wild Animals Live in Nature! | FAST JAPAN
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5 Best Zoos in Hokkaido! Feel How Wild Animals Live in Nature!

Hokkaido is the island which has been preserved riches of nature untouched and various wild animals live. Zoo is the best place to see and learn the animals of Hokkaido.

#1. Asahiyama Zoo – Asahikawa


Asahiyama Zoo is one the most famous zoos in Japan by its unique facilities. It keeps animals in a near-natural environment to not give stress on them and to let people learn how animals live in nature.



One of the attractive animals in the zoo is polar bears. They dive into the pool and you can see their swimming from the side through the glass. Penguins are also fantastic. When you walk through the transparent tunnel under the pool you can see penguins’ swimming that is just like they’re flying. The exhibition of seals is interesting, too. Seals look like feeling relaxed and playing while swimming through the tunnel. On the contrary, animals in Asahiyama Zoo look like observing people unlike other zoos.

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Asahiyama Zoo

Address: Kuranuma, Higashi-Asahikawa-cho, Asahikawa, Hokkaido

Access: About 40minutes bus ride from JR Asahikawa Station/About 35-minute bus ride from Asahikawa Airport

Opening Hours:
9:30am ~ 5:15pm (Apr.29 – Oct.15)
9:30am ~ 4:30pm (Oct. 16 – Nov. 3)
10:30am ~ 3:30pm (Nov. 11 to Apr. 7 )

*9:30am ~ 9:00pm (Aug. 9 to Aug. 15)
*Closed from December 30 to January 1

Admission Fee: 820 yen (over high school students), free (under junior high school students)

Phone: +81-(0)166-36-1104

Website: Asahikawa Zoo


#2. Maruyama Zoo – Sapporo


Maruyama Zoo is located in a residential area and it is easy to visit for Sapporo citizens and tourists. Since the zoo opened in 1951, it has been loved by people for long time. There is a special event of exciting experience. The event differs by the day; for example, you can see the inside of hippo’s mouth.

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Maruyama Zoo

Address: 3-1 Miyagaoka, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido

Access: 15 minutes walk fromSapporo City Subway “Maruyama Koen” Station

Opening Hours:
9:00am ~ 5:00pm (Feb. 1 – Oct. 31)
9:00am ~ 4:00pm (Nov. 1 – Jan. 31)

*Closed from December 29 to December 31

Admission Fee: 600 yen (over high school students), Free (under junior high school students)

Phone: +81-(0)11-621-1426

Website: Maruyama Zoo


#3. Kushiro Zoo – Kushiro

Photo Credit: pelican@flickr

Kushiro Zoo is established in the woods with rich natural environment. As the zoo preserves the natural environment, animals live there without stress.

Snow owl
Photo Credit: Mikiyoshihito@flickr

The most remarkable point of the zoo is that they keep endangered animals including snowy owl. Snowy owl is to bring happiness to those who see them. The owl appears in the movies of Harry Potter series as a pet of Harry Potter has beautiful pure white wings which are really beautiful and mysterious.

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Kushiro Zoo

Address: 11 Shimoninishibetsu, Akan-cho, Kushiro, Hokkaido

Access: About 55 minutes bus ride from JR Kushiro Station

Opening Hours:
9:30am ~ 4:30pm (Apr. 10 – the mid of October)
10:00am  ~3:30pm (the mid of October – Apr. 9)

*Closed every Wednesdays from December to February/From December 29 to January 2

Admission Fee: 570 yen (over high school students), Free (under junior high school students)

Phone: +81-(0)154-56-2121

Website: Kushiro Zoo (Japanese)


#4. Noboribetsu Bear Park – Noboribetsu

bear park
Photo Credit: Jiashiang@flickr

As you can guess from the name of the zoo, various kinds of bears living in Japan are mainly kept in Noboribetsu Bear Park. Most of people think bears are ferocious and dangerous, but bears in this park are friendly and lovely. They are not scared of people and beg for food with cute posture. You can’t help smiling if you see the real Teddy Bears.

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Noboribetsu Bear Park

Address: 224 Noboribetsu-onsen-cho, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido

Access: 15 min bus ride from JR Noboribetsu Station to “Noboribetsu Onsen Bus Terminal” stop. 5 min walk from there.

Opening Hours:
8:00am ~ 5:00pm (Jul. 1 – Sep. 30)
8:30am ~ 4:30pm (Apr. 1 – Jun. 30/Oct. 1 – Jan. 31)
8:30am ~ 4:00pm (Feb. 1 – Mar. 31)

Closed the beginning of April

Admission Fee (including ropeway fare): 2,592 yen (over junior high school students), 1,296 yen (from 4-year to elementary school children)

Phone: +81-(0)143-84-2225

Website: Noboribetsu Bear Park (Japanese)


#5. North Safari Sapporo – Sapporo

north safari sapporo

North Safari Sapporo is the strangest zoo in Hokkaido. You can touch various kinds of animals that you would never experience at any other zoos. As well as lovely animals, the zoo keep many dangerous animals and you can challenge going through “Dangerous Woods” where you can see many signs of disclaimers. You need to sign a contract before entrance.

north safari sapporo

In the zone, kangaroos may attack you to ask for food, porcupine may run after you and piranhas and alligators may bite you if you fall down from narrow bridge above the ponds of them. The message, “DANGER – You die when you fall down” inspires a feeling of fear. Moreover, there is a fast food restaurant named Kitchen Savannah that serve bizarre foods such as worms, bees, grasshoppers, scorpions, geckos, etc. It is recommended if you got bored with normal zoo and would like to have adventurous experience.

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North Safari Sapporo

Address: 469-1 Toyotaki, Minami-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaid

Access: 60 minutes bus ride from JR Sapporo Station in total. Board Jotetsu Bus and get off at Toyotaki Shogakko Mae bus stop and take free shuttle bus from there

Opening Hours: 10:00am ~ 5:00pm
*Closed December 1 to January 8

Admission Fee: 1,500 yen (over junior high school students), 500 yen (under elementary school students), Free (under 3-year old children)

Phone: +81-(0)80-1869-6443

Website: North Safari Sapporo (Japanese)


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