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Full fun day out at a value-for-money children's zoo
Price: 1000 yen
There is so much to be said for this large children's zoo in the hills of Higashimatsuyama. The only downside to it is the hills! They have made the whole zoo wheelchair and stroller friendly, but be prepared for a physical work out even without either. However, the challenging walk is well worth it for all the zoo has to offer for all ages, especially children.
There is more to the zoo than just animals. They have a number of playgrounds, play areas, rest areas and flower and foliage to enjoy. The athletic playground is beside a smaller toddler friendly playground with a giant Kobaton (symbol of Saitama) slide. Both of these are near the koalas and kangaroos and are included in the entry price. The dinosaur park hidden in a wooden area past the cows is also included in the price. There is an indoor play house in the centre of the zoo that has a play area, a reading area, a ball pool and a giant talking tree. This costs extra, but is only a 100 yen for children over six to adults. In the summer there is a decent sized splash pool and wading river, both are shaded in parts. There are battery cars and coin operated rides in areas of the park. There are restaurants and / or shops in different areas of the park.
There is a fantastic petting zoo where you can hold rabbits, guinea pigs, chicks and sometimes snakes and other animals. In this area you can sweep up animal poo and / or brush down the animals. Sometimes you can feed the goats too. This is all included in the entry price. It costs extra to horse ride. You can milk cows too.
The zoo is open Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Mondays from February to December. In January the zoo also closes a couple of Tuesdays. The entry fee is reasonable and the annual pass is great value for money; you only need to go 4 times in a year to make the pass worthwhile. Parking is 600 yen per day.