Tennōji Zoo, Osaka – Japan’s Third Oldest Zoo

Lions at Tennōji Zoo, Osaka Mandarin Ducks at Tennōji Zoo, Osaka

Just a handful of animal photos, all taken at the Tennōji Zoo in Osaka. Not the best zoo I’ve ever been to. Opened in 1915 as Japan’s third oldest zoo, it celebrated its 100th birthday this year, and its age certainly shows. Many of the enclosures are small and we noticed some of the larger animals exhibiting signs of listlessness. Then again, at only ¥500 to get in (about AUD 5.80), it’s a wonder they make enough to keep such a large place running. I wouldn’t have minded paying a higher admission fee to help the zoo improve some of their enclosures. Continue reading “Tennōji Zoo, Osaka – Japan’s Third Oldest Zoo”

Falling in Love with Animals @ The Singapore Zoo

White Tiger

The Singapore Zoo is perhaps one of the most gorgeous zoos I’ve ever been to. In fact, the massive award-winning attraction has been known for having one of most beautiful wildlife park settings in the world, allowing animals to roam freely in open, naturalistic habitats. Despite the drizzly weather we had while venturing out into that wilderness, we still had an amazing time, craning our necks and shuffling around other tourists to get a closer look at the various critters housed in vast enclosures. When I say vast, I mean it. Some animals are even allowed to roam completely free around the zoo.

Singapore Zoo Orangutan Baby Crocodile

The grounds are almost ridiculously extensive, and wonderfully so. Along with all the different exhibits, there are animal petting corners, elephant and horse riding areas, restaurants, cafés, amphitheatres, fast food outlets, flower gardens, gift stores, ice cream parlours, tram stations, picnic sites, scenic lookouts and kid’s playgrounds scattered over 28 hectares of lush parkland. The ambitious zoo houses over 300 species of animals, of which at least 16% are considered threatened species. It attracts about 1.7 million visitors every year.

Spider Web Lily Pad

As we trekked through Cat Country, to the lands of Wild Africa, around the Australian Outback, through the Frozen Tundra, into the Fragile Forest, we saw many amazing animals. Big, small, dry, wet, bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian, insect… they have it all. Here is a small collection of pictures (in no particular order) that we took that I hope will give you the chance to sample the zoo through your computer screen at home. Enjoy!

White Cockatoo Greater Mouse Deer Squirrel Proboscis Monkey Proboscis Monkey Greater Flamingo Greater Flamingo White-handed Gibbon Asian Small-clawed Otter Asian Small-clawed Otter Lion-tailed Macaque Babirusa White Tiger White Tiger White Tiger White Tiger Pygmy Hippopotamus Pygmy Hippopotamus Baby Crocodiles Baby Crocodile Kangaroo Cassowary Banded Mongoose Banded Mongoose Peacock Hamadryas Baboon Hamadryas Baboon Orangutan Animal Show Penguins Goeldi’s Monkey Chipmunk Sungei Buaya Ostrich Leopard Leopard Lion Giraffe Giraffe Giraffe Giraffe Meerkat Meerkat Meerkat Meerkat Zebra Zebra Zebra Cotton-Top Tamarin Cotton-Top Tamarin Turtle Asian Small-clawed Otter Asian Small-Clawed Otter Red Dragonfly Blue Dragonfly Polar Bear White Rhinoceros White Rhinoceros Grey Crowned Crane Grey Crowned Crane Indian Star Tortoise Pond Terrapin Terrapin Fruit Bats Orangutan Orangutan Baby Orangutan Red-ruffed Lemur Pelican Pelican THE SINGAPORE ZOO
80 Mandai Lake Road
Singapore 729826
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 6:00pm (daily)
Admission: SGD$22 (adult), SGD$14 (child)

Excerpts from Japan: Nogeyama Zoological Gardens, Yokohama

Red Panda

On one of our final few days in Yokohama, we decided to visit the Nogeyama Zoological Gardens (野毛山動物園, Nogeyama Dōbutsuen), located about 3 kilometres away from where we were staying at the time. The walk took us the better part of an hour (we got fairly lost halfway through), but the journey was well worth the effort. The skies were blue and the sun was out; a nice change from the dark and damp weather we’d been having for most of our stay in Japan.

Group of Pigeons Pigeons Overhead

The Nogeyama Zoological Gardens first opened its gates to visitors over 60 years ago. It is located on a hill in Nogeyama Park, Nishi-ku (西区). Covering a modest 9.6 hectares, it houses about a thousand animals of about 90 different species. That’s pretty decent for a little zoo tucked away in a rather secluded corner of Yokohama.

Crow Pigeon

I mentioned that we got lost on our journey to the zoo. Why? Because locating it was quite difficult. It is connected to a large public park that is, unfortunately, situated on fairly hilly grounds, so it may be a bit of a climb to get there. This is perhaps why we found the area to be so quiet and devoid of people.

Male Peacock Male Peacock Male Peacock Male Peacock

One of the things that wowed us was that we could just walk into the zoo without paying a cent. Yup, there was no entrance fee. Nogeyama Zoo is entirely free for you to enter and leave as you please! What was even better for us was that the zoo didn’t seem at all crowded. Apart from the animals, it was almost deserted. This gave us the perfect opportunity to wander the zoo in peace and take our sweet time viewing the animals without fighting for a spot in front of the enclosures.

Albino Peacock Albino Peacock Albino Peacock

One of the first enclosures we came to was filled with a number of different types water birds such as ducks and spoonbills. The Mandarin ducks were definitely my favourite. Such striking features and unusual colours!

Mandarin Duck Mandarin Duck Mandarin Duck Duck Black-faced Spoonbill Black-faced Spoonbill

Other animals that we came across include chimpanzees, baboons, raccoon dogs (tanuki), black-and-white colobuses, pheasants, peacocks, swans, reptiles, wallabies, vultures, ostriches, deer, zebra, flamingos, giraffes, camels, tigers, lions, and the ever-popular little red pandas.

Red Panda Red Panda Red Panda Red Panda Red Panda Pheasant Raccoon Dog Deer Wallabies Giraffe

We also came across a small petting zoo, where you can let your kids touch (and even groom) several kinds of small animals like mice, guinea pigs and baby chicks. Of course, the concept is adorable, but I feel that putting tiny creatures in a child’s grasp could potentially spell disaster. I don’t believe little three-year-olds would know how to properly handle a baby chick. They could very easily squeeze one to death!

White Mice White Mice Guinea Pig Guinea Pig

In a way, the zoo can be a little bit depressing. Some of the cages are much too small for the animals. One thing I would like to see in the future is the zoo acquiring more appropriate enclosures for the larger animals like the primates and big cats. It was upsetting to see two fully grown lions (one male, one female) living in a cage barely big enough for movement!

Chimpanzee Chimpanzee Black-and-white Colobus Black-and-white Colobus

Unfavourable living conditions and awkward location aside, I would say that the zoo is pretty decent for one so small, especially since it doesn’t cost anything to get in.

Ostrich Duck Flamingo

63-10 Oimatsu-cho, Nishi-ku, Yokohama-shi,
Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan 220-0032
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 4:00pm (Tuesday – Sunday)

Other excerpts from Japan:
Rain Over Sawtooth Mountain || Golden Week in Yokohama
The Vivid Colours of Tokyo || Blue Skies Over Picturesque Ueno Park
Nakamise Street and Tokyo Tower || The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace
Daidaiya @ Queen’s Square Yokohama [at!]