Izu Animal Kingdom: Izu

Izu Animal Kingdom offers a diverse collection of animals to socialize with in their spacious outdoor petting zoo. In addition to the usual guinea pigs and bunny rabbits, you'll find a big herd of friendly capybaras, cute tree-climbing anteaters and sleepy Patagonian maras. A bunch of armadillos run around their pen like robotic wind-up toys, while a parrot perched over the capybara pool squawks at visitors.

Besides petting the animals you can also feed them - some of them at least - with either carrots or animal chow, sold in 100-yen packs. On the way to the petting zone you'll traverse the park's Walking Safari zone, which is a bit closer to an ordinary zoo, housing lions and tigers and zebras, an elephant and a bear or two. Here too, you can feed the giraffes when they stick out their long tongues, and you can pet the rhinoceroses during twice-daily "rhino touch" sessions.

Beyond the animal zone, the park also offers visitors a few amusement-park rides, a sports zone where you can play miniature golf, a dog run, and a restaurant. Bouncy African pop music plays nonstop through the park's loudspeaker system.

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Izu Animal Kingdom
Izu / Animal park
Open 9am-5pm (Oct-Mar 9-4) daily.
Y2200 for adults
Average visit time: 1-2 hours
Shizuoka Kamo-gun, Higashi-Izucho Inatori 3334.
10 minutes by bus (Y300) from Izu-Inatori station. (A taxi is approx. Y1750 if you miss the bus and don't want to wait.)