Kurume Bird Center
Education | Avg price: ¥250 | English Available: None (Unknown)
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Field trip time!
I had passed the iconic Ferris wheel and the Kurume Bird Center many times, and finally made the time to go play. It was a great little kid sort of field trip, and is definitely intended to be kid-friendly. In fact, the entrance fee for adults is just 250 yen, less for kids, and free for kids until they're four years old. There is a sort of connected water park (that is not open in late December for obvious reasons) with an additional cost.
After paying the fee and entering we went towards the right where all the animals were. The park is mostly birds, and lots of those birds are peacocks of different varieties. There are other animals, randomly, and the first one we saw for a minute was a Reese monkey. It quickly ran into it's little house and we didn't get to see it again. We laughed at all the pigeons and sparrows that had gotten into the bird cages to share food with the bigger caged birds. We both really liked the male white peacocks the best – they sort of look like they're wearing fancy white kimono or wedding dresses.
There are turkeys in Japan! Lots at this park anyway. I liked the kitsune and tanuki a lot too, but there was a strong smell coming from there, and they didn't pose as well as the birds.
There's a small petting zoo (fureai corner) near the entrance where we could see guinea pigs and try to catch rabbits. Outside there's a goat on a sort of leash tied up, complete with nearby goat feed vending machine.
The penguins were on vacation because of construction, but the flamingo/duck section was fun, especially the pink pelicans. The emu, ostrich, tobi (a predatory bird called a 'kite' in English), and owls were cool also.
Then on the left side of the center is the amusement park part, where the Ferris wheel is. Everything is coin operated or takes tickets, 200 yen a ride for the Ferris wheel. It really has that old fashioned theme park feel. The part I liked the most was the three creepy stuffed animal sort of bears roaming around near the entrance. If we pay (I didn't even check but I think 100 yen) we can 'drive' them around, and kids seemed to enjoy them. I also saw a photo booth that prints a photo souvenir postcard for 500 yen.
There's a tiny gift shop near the entrance selling postcards and feathers, all for prices kids could afford. Recommended for kids or adults who still like field trips and old theme parks. Food and vending machines available inside and outside the entrance. No English translations are shown but a lot is written only in hiragana/katakana for kids.