Small animals like red pandas, prairie dogs, squirrels, wallabies, Humboldt penguins and tropical birds make up most of the residents of this compact city-run zoo, with around thirty animal species in all. Although admission is free, the somewhat out-of-the-way location helps keep down the throngs, and weekday visits are comfortable rather than overcrowded.
One of the most popular features is the petting-zoo corner, where young visitors can interact with friendly rabbits and guinea pigs, ducks and chickens, goats and sheep. The adjoining aquatic zone is home to fish and marine animals local to Edogawa-ku and its waters. Nearby are a pair of impressively large Giant Anteaters, probably the most exotic animals here, at least as far as Tokyo zoos go.
Given its small size, a trip to this zoo is hardly an all-day outing, but after your visit you can take a stroll through the traditional Japanese-style Heisei Garden, located next to the zoo inside Gyosen Park. The garden is built around a large pond, and it includes a traditional teahouse, a small waterfall, iris and azalea gardens and a cherry-tree grove.
Note that the petting zoo area of the zoo is open only twice a day, between 10:00-11:45am and 1:15-3:00pm. The main zoo closes at 4pm from November through February.