Visiting Asahiyama Zoo, The Best Zoo in Japan


Some of you might put Disney Sea or Universal Studio Japan in your family holiday itinerary to Japan as "must visit" places. For our family, we avoid going to themeparks. Instead, museums, aquariums and zoo are always on the top of our must visit places list.

By far, our favorite city with best museums and aquarium is Sydney. How about zoo? I must say that the Asahiyama Zoo which is located in Asahikawa, Hokkaido (2 hours train ride from Sapporo), had stollen our heart. 

Known as the best zoo in Japan, Asahiyama Zoo is very famous with its penguin parade during winter. But how fun it was to visit this zoo during summer? It was a blast! We love the penguin museum, the open outdoor, the view to the city and everything!

Mr.husband had taken load of pictures that it was so hard for me to pick for this post! And this was my fave picture of Asahiyama Zoo, yup the penguin!

Hi there gorgeous!

Celebrating 50th Year of Asahiyama Zoo

When we visited the zoo (back in July 2017), Asahiyama Zoo was celebrating its 50th birthday. So we took picture with its 50th birthday sign, which was located not far from the main gate. And when we moved to the sign of Asahiyama Zoo and took picture once again in front of it, our Kiddos#2 started to complaint.

"Are we going to the zoo only to take pictures?" Hmmm, the perks of travelling with my drama king! He just couldn't wait to meet the animals.


Happy 50th birthday Asahiyama Zoo
There were no smile from our Kiddos. Yeah, right:D


The Penguin Museum

Definitely the highlight of our visit to Asahiyama Zoo was The Penguin Museum. From the outside, the penguin viewing place was so eye catching and inviting. 

I observed how Japanese people divided trash, 
it's beyond words
So many penguins!



Let's see how was the inside of the Penguin Museum. They have a tunnel where we could see penguins swimming up close and personal. How cool!

We were busy taking pictures, including our Kiddos! Aah, how we loved this Penguin Museum :)


Going into the tunnel
Did I mention that it was bottom glassed?
Yup those penguins are too photogenic!



The Seal House

Another thing which is must see for our Kiddos at Asahiyama Zoo was the Seal House. It has a tube where the seal could swim passing the tube, which links one aquarium with the other one.

Many people looked at the tube, or waited around the tube, to see the seal coming by. 






Fierce Animal House of Asahiyama Zoo

We moved to the next section, where we could see tigers, lions, panthers and leopard. Yup they were in one area called the Fierce Animal House. Of course with huge fence for everyone safety.


Let's go up to see the fierce animals
How cute!
Busy taking pictures of Mr.Tiger



The Wolve's Forest

From afar we heard the sound of the wolves. So we walked further to the next area to meet wolves.

The wow factor at the Wolve's Forest was the glass house in the middle of the wolves' cage. We went to the glass house, but couldn't spot any wolves nearby.


Each gate to every area was so cute
He was taking a nap
This was the place to see the wolves 



Met Stinky Raccoons at The Small Animal House

Not far from the wolves, there were a special area for the small animal. We met raccoons which was very stinky!

At the Small Animal House, there was also African Porcupines. Too bad we couldn't see the porcupines that day.


Lovely house for the raccoons
Hi, where are you?



Orang Utan Museum & The Gibbon House

How proud we were to see Orang Utan in Asahiyama Zoo. Our Kiddos had seen Orang Utan in their habitat in Kalimantan when we had our Tanjung Puting trip. It was our second chance to meet Orang Utan, this time in a very different situation. 

Next to Orang Utan museum was the Gibbon House. We went to the Gibbon's house where we saw a family of the Gibbons were playing, including one tiny baby.


They were enjoying their lazy time, I guess
Wow..look at the playground!
Ooh the baby is so cute!




The Polar Bear House

It was raining when we exit from the Gibbon's house. So we stopped at cafe area and decided to make our visit to the Polar Bear House as our last attraction to see.

We had to catch the last bus from Asahiyama Zoo to the JR Asahikawa Station, and travelling with family means getting early when it comes to finding seat in any public transportation.

The Polar Bear is one of Asahiyama zoo's icon, and we were glad to see them with our own eyes (not only in those cartoon movies:D).


Finally, we met you in person
Seeing it from afar



Is Asahiyama Zoo Really The Best Zoo in Japan?

Well, too bad that we haven't seen any other zoo in Japan, but we did enjoy our visit to Asahiyama Zoo. We saw a lot, we learned a lot, including that if we wanted to, we could maintain and keep zoo to be a spotless place like Asahiyama zoo. 

We didn't see any trash at all from the main gate all the way to every corner of the zoo!

If you are visiting Hokkaido with kids, make sure you will not miss visiting the Asahiyama Zoo. Did I mention that the tickets for kids are free? Yes it was FREE! While adult ticket was JPY820 per person.



Getting To Asahiyama Zoo from Asahikawa

It was easy peasy, all you have to do is to wait the bus at Asahikawa JR Station near exit of Tourism Information Center. Bus number 41, 42 or 47 will take you directly to the zoo in 40 minutes, cost JPY440 and half for children.

If you'd like to visit this zoo, spend at least half day of you time, which includes the bus ride to the zoo. Make sure you arrive at least 15 minutes before the bus schedule.


The ticket of the bus, we got it when we entered the bus,
and pay later when we alight.



written on October 7, 2017
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