One of the largest zoos in Japan where visitors can observe wildlife up close, including the wild Japanese macaque.
Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden is not your common zoo but a 628 meters high mountain found near Beppu Bay. Monkeys are the main attraction there and people gather to get to see them and play with them. The place has since been turned into a national park and is considered one of Japan most relished treasures. Once there, you can go on trails or ride a mini monorail train (worth it as the slope is quite a walk).
The fun part is really when you get to see these amicable faces living by, in all ages and shapes. The little ones playing around the elderlies like kindergarten babies. These are definitely happy families and yours will enjoy seeing them as well. We would recommend this visit as an educational experience for your youngest children but teenagers might find it interesting as well. By visiting this haven, you will get to understand the complex social order in the 3 monkey colonies but also learn some funny stories shared by the staff (in Japanese)
One note for the visitors would be to be careful when getting close, these are wild animals and they would snatch things from your hands, especially shinny things such as mobile phones. More importantly, avoid bringing any food or snacks, this might get the animals excited and might also get them sick. Do not worry, a feeding time is set by the guards every 30 minutes or so and you will get to see the macaques having their meal.
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
*Business hours vary by season.