Places In Japan For Animal Lovers To Visit Virtually | CoolJapan

Animal lovers probably have at least one destination in Japan on your bucket list — be it visiting one of the cat islands, watching capybaras enjoy their yuzu baths, or learning more about the Akita dog in their hometown. Although the current global situation makes it difficult to know exactly when the next trip to Japan can happen, the good news is you can meet some of the animals right from your favourite chair at home. Ahead, a list of places you can visit online to meet your new friends!

Asahiyama Zoo

Every winter (December till the beginning of April), the penguins at Asahiyama Zoo come out to play (well, walk). Started by the zookeepers to help the penguins keep fit during winter, these twice-a-day penguin walks have since become one of the key attractions at the zoo, charming visitors who come from all over the country and the world. The 360-degree videos shared by the zoo put you right in the middle of the snow-covered grounds, so it’s as if you’re right there with the penguins.

Ise Sea Paradise

Ise Sea Paradise in the Mie Prefecture prides itself on providing an up-close and personal experience with sea life, and the videos they upload on their official YouTube account reflect the same philosophy. From moments like when walrus Himawari’s pregnancy was confirmed to how otter Kirari welcomes the staff when they come to feed him, you get a peek into intimate moments of the endearing animals through these videos. 

Wakayama Adventure World

Spending a day at the zoo in person is lots of fun, but watching the animals grow with time fulfils the heart in a different way. Wakayama Adventure World, home to the largest family of giant pandas in Japan, welcomed a new addition to the family at the end of 2020 and has been sharing its growth with the internet. On top of posting videos daily to chronicle the growth of the panda, they also hold a live stream every morning to show how the mother and baby are doing, so you can witness the growth of both parent and child day by day. The baby panda has just appeared in public for the first time on 12 March.

Nagasaki Bio Park

With more than 200 species of animals and 1,000 species of plants available, the Nagasaki Bio Park is a great destination for nature lovers. Instead of cages, the animals are housed in enclosures designed to be as close to their natural habitats as possible to help reduce their stress and make them comfortable. Those who enjoy ASMR videos will be delighted to find videos of the animals at their mealtimes, such as this one of hippos chomping on watermelons. The Bio Park also shares tips that help make your next trip to the zoo more enjoyable, like how you can tell the gender of adult capybaras

Jigokudani Yaen-koen

The Japanese Macaque, more commonly known as the snow monkey, is a species native to Japan and a regular feature in many postcards and wallpapers of Japan. Jigokudani Yaen-koen in Nagano is a destination where you get to see these monkeys bathing in natural hot springs. Check out the park’s official website to see how the monkeys are doing real-time from the various camera angles, or head to their Instagram account for closer shots and videos.

(Cover photo from: Daniel Gregoire via Unsplash)

  1. 1.Asahiyama Zoo
  2. 2.Ise Sea Paradise
  3. 3.Wakayama Adventure World
  4. 4.Nagasaki Bio Park
  5. 5.Jigokudani Yaen-koen
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