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Fireflies all year round
There is no denying that Tobu Zoo is an excellent day out with lots of extra trimmings. However, there are so many other great zoos in the greater Tokyo area that cost half the price or even less, that I am quite reluctant to recommend this zoo too zealously. That being said; if you are a fan of white tigers or fireflies this zoo should definitely go on your list of places to go. It was the first zoo in the world to introduce a firefly house, where you can see fireflies all year round. The zoo is large, but it is quite well laid out. We have been a couple of times, but the kids didn't really enjoy it when they were toddlers. The Saitama Children's zoo is much more suited to that age group. As a parent it is also quite frustrating that so many of the attractions cost extra money, if you go in on a entry only ticket. The ticket that covers almost everything is 4,800 yen per adult and 3,700 yen per child. In the summer you can get a pool + zoo entry ticket for 2,400 yen per adult, 1,100 yen per child. You would want to arrive early and leave late to get your value for money. They do have great seasonal events though some of which are included in the price. Their shows are very good too. The zoo has different hours depending on the season. In December and January the zoo is closed on both Mondays and Tuesdays. Plenty of parking and it is organised very well, but of course they charge for it - 1000 yen a day.
Very nice zoo in Saitama
http://www.tobuzoo.com/ The zoo is part of a complex that includes amusement park and water park . Be prepared for lots of walking because the zoo is part all of the rides from the amusement park. You could possibly take the train which charged a pretty steep price if you don't have the all you can ride pass. There are plenty of food stands and restaurants along the way as well. The zoo itself was great. There were so many hands on activities. It's best to go early because everything becomes very crowded very quickly. We fed donkeys, goats, and and elephants. This costed about 100 yen for the cups or bowls of food. There were petting areas to hold chicks, rabbits and guinea pigs. The seal show and bird of prey show were great, but better if you understand Japanese. It was a blast, but I'd advise stroller for tiny legs. Getting around takes time because everything is well spread out and smaller children will get tired quickly.