Tohoku Safara Park
Shopping/Entertainment | Avg price: ¥0 | English Available: None (Unknown)
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Great Animal Fun for Everyone! (But Avoid the Dinosaurs)
This place is a little pricey but worth the drive, especially if you love lemurs! One of the first things you see from the parking lot is the lemur house where you can go into an enclosure with many of the small creatures and for a small fee feed them with your own hands!
The main attraction is the drive-through safari park. There are cars available to "rent" for the duration of your safari drive and this is highly recommended as the damage your vehicle may take from an anxious zebra or unhappy deer will cost significantly more than the price of the short-term rental.
The first few animal areas on the drive are really fun, as you feed slightly overzealous llamas and zebras with snacks bought at the gates. On our trip in the summer of 2015, many of the animals toward the end of the run seemed to be in poor health, with a few of the deer having obvious eye or skin infections from antler gouging incidents that went untreated.
Still, it was a fun ride. Next, we returned to the rest of the park where we watched a number of animal shows including a trained monkey performance, a penguin run in which many of the small birds jumped over smaller hurdles, and a flamingo show in which a heard of flamingos seemed almost coordinated in an effort to dance. Most of the animals appeared in good health and happy.
Being a science geek, I was lured by the fiberglass dinosaurs atop a building toward the back of the parking lot. Unless you love poorly-lit, archaic taxidermy bu the herd, I do not recommend the dinosaur building. The exhibits start off with a couple of small (incorrect) recreations of dinosaurs in fiberglass and other materials. As you walk through the space, however, you'll soon find that the bulk of the room is a warehouse for what must have been an entire herd of zebras among dozens of other long dead specimen. They are all preserved well enough, and a gathering of foxes surrounds a small shrine, dedicated to some kind of white fox. I could not get out of that room fast enough.
If you're looking for some safe family fun with animals in Tohoku, this is the place for you.
Just avoid the dinosaur building if taxidermy is not your thing.