Monday, March 25, 2013

Asahiyama Zoo

We left the house at 7:30 am and took the train, then a bus, to get to the Asahiyama Zoo, which is Japan’s northern most zoo.
Ted on the train - having a snack - riced covered with sea weed

The Asahiyama Zoo is only open 10:30 am – 3:30 pm in the winter. We arrived at the entrance about 10:20 am and there was already a line to get in.
 
Most of the signs were in English as well as Japanese, so we were able to find our way around easily.




Our first stop was the penguin area. Throughout the zoo there are areas where visitors can go into the animal habits and see them close up.  One of those areas is this tunnel through the penguin pool.

 
There are four types of penguins at this zoo. I should have taken a picture of the sign, so I could tell you what they are.




We were able to get amazingly close to the penguins. We could reach out and touch the Emperor Penguins during the Penguin March (but we didn’t).





There is also an underground area to see the seals.

 
Outside we saw them in the water and in the snow.


 
Polar bears can be seen from many angles, including glass domes that are in the bear area. 


 
We were surprised to see this bear sleeping right next to an observation window.

 
The Tanuki, also known as raccoon dogs, are depicted in cartoons and statues everywhere around Hokkaido.
 
The wolves don’t seem to mind the cold and snow.

 
These cranes are endangered, with the majority of those in existence in Hokkaido.
 
Giraffes come from Africa, so it was surprising to see them in the snow!
I think the giraffes were my favorite animals on this trip.



 

 
We were so close to the “Fierce Animals”, I could almost reach the fence.



 
After a long day in the snow and cold and traveling, we opted for eating at our favorite restaurant, Bombay Blue before going home. We had a delightful day!
 

 

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