Home to over 800 animals, Asahiyama Zoo is both Japan’s northernmost zoo and one of its most popular. Based in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, visitors travel from all over to get up close and personal with the resident animals and observe their natural behavior. One of the most unmissable things to do in Hokkaido, a visit to Asahiyama Zoo is great fun for all the family.
Opened in 1967, the zoo initially housed a mere 75 animals. It was not until 1997 that ‘Totori Village’ was built, where visitors could view birds flying naturally within a spacious enclosure. Other enclosures soon followed, with the idea of showing animal behavior. Today, the zoo is rivaled only by Ueno Zoo in terms of popularity. Visitors can enjoy watching polar bears swim in their sprawling enclosure, walk through the “Penguin Tunnel” and see orangutans on their trapeze, all at close range and without obscured views. Planning a trip to coincide with penguin feeding time is recommended. As the only zoo in Japan to feed their penguins in the water, guests can enjoy watching the cute creatures dive for their dinner.
The zoo is open from 9:30 until 17:15 in the peak summer months and 10:30 to 15:30 in the winter.