Nov 23, 2018
The Jigokudani Japanese monkeys might be the most famous for indulging in hot springs in the winter season, but they are not the only animal who like a hot dip! Somebody came up with the bright idea of setting up animal hot springs in zoos and farms around the country to attract more visitors in winter. And it has worked.
Thousands will flock, if you'll pardon the pun, to see animals skinny dipping around the country. The capybara onsen are particularly renowned, although having been to a few I'm still not sure why. I'm not sure why I keep going or why thousands others do too, after all they are just animals bathing. But there is something "cute" about seeing our furry friends indulge and enjoy a hot soak.
In Saitama two of the three larger zoos have animal hot springs. The Saitama Children's zoo capybara onsen is already on and will run until mid March. You can pay for a foot spa to enjoy in the same enclosure. Thankfully not in the same water, because - be warned - the capybara onsen is full of floating poop! Chikozan's capybara onsen also starts this week. It is a much smaller and visually less appealing capybara onsen than the one in Saitama Children's zoo. But Chikozan zoo also has a hot spring for their Japanese monkeys, which will start soon.
There are other winter events held in zoos around the country, but for whatever reason it is the animal hot springs who draw the crowds. Have you been to see an animal hot spring in your area? What animal was it and were there many there to witness it?
Level 8 LocalGuide with Google. Blogging about life in Japan as an Irish WAHM to 4 kids on insaitama.com.