Tempozan Anipa: Osaka Tempozan

Anipa - short for "Animal Park" - is a big indoor petting zoo inside Osaka Aquarium's Tempozan shopping-entertainment complex. Though they've been open since 2005, they've recently expanded their program with a new "jungle" zone featuring somewhat exotic (though non-jungle-dwelling) animals like kangaroos and alpacas.

The entry area is populated by a cast of typical petting zoo denizens - guinea pigs, bunny rabbits, tortoises. Next to this is a room full of friendly dogs, more aloof cats, and two big bristly pigs. Large-screen monitors on the walls show non-stop cat videos. We were lucky enough to arrive during feeding time for the pigs, and it was a memorable sight - let's just say the porkers enjoyed their meal with a surprising degree of enthusiasm.

Finally we arrived at the mysteriously named jungle room, where the freely roaming residents include an alpaca, two owls, several lazy Patagonian mara, four capybaras, and lots of kangaroos. The alpaca seemed to be the most popular - when it was lying down it looked kind of like a large shaggy dog, but then it would suddenly stand up to its full height, scaring away any small children who happened to be standing nearby.

There are numerous signs explaining how to interact with the animals (petting them on the head seems to be the safest approach), and every few minutes a staff member would make an announcement asking visitors not to touch the alpaca on the butt. Snacks for feeding the animals are priced at Y300, for a packet that includes foliage for the capybaras and maras plus dry chow for the kangaroos and alpaca.

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Tempozan Anipa
Osaka Tempozan / Animal park
Open 11:30am-7:30pm (last entry 7pm). Closed Thursdays.
Admission Y600
Average visit time: 30-60 minutes
Kaigan-dori 1-1-10, Tempozan Marketplace 3F.