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Asahiyama Zoo 旭山動物園

The Asahiyama Zoo, located in the middle of Hokkaido, is a popular zoo for its interactive enclosures that allow visitors to observe the animals from various innovative angles to catch them at their natural best. The zoo also has a very homely feel to it, with staff adding their personal drawings and notes to various animal displays, telling you about the animal’s character and characteristics. Popular enclosures include the polar bear area where you can pop up into a small glass dome in the middle of the enclosure, or the penguin pool that has a glass tunnel that provides a clear view of the penguins’ underwater dives. Other than wildlife from Hokkaido such as deer, eagles, cranes and wolves, there is also a wide variety of animals from other parts of the world, such as giraffes, apes and walruses.


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This is by far the best zoo I have ever visited!
The animal looked well treated and happy.

Ashiyama Zoo: you see the assortment of animals, it seems like the deer in ashiyama zoo are smaller in size than the ones in north America, the fox looks cute: as it wraps it's tail around itself for xtra warm as it sleeps.

The penguins funny when they walk as they waddle, I like the nice warm orange color on their neck with the small hint of golden yellow color underneath.

The polar bears are huge, but it's interesting to see how calm they are when their resting.

Did you know that a wild polar in the wild followed you it will wait till tire you out than eat you. (interesting details about this wild beast real nature).

The highlight of Asahiyama Zoo is the "ペンギンの散歩" or penguin walk, which happens twice a day during the winter months (11am and 2.30pm from late December to March, and at 11am only up until mid-March). Any penguins which want to go out (they're not forced at all) are taken on a lap around the zoo which lasts around half an hour and gives you an excellent chance to see these birds up close. It's primarily the King penguins which go on this walk, however on the day we visited a very dapper little Gentoo joined in as well.

If you're staying in Sapporo, the easiest (and cheapest) way to get to Asahiyama Zoo is by purchasing JR's Asahiyama Zoo Ticket (旭山動物園きっぷ, 'Asahiyama Doubutsuen Kippu'), which includes return train tickets to Asahikawa, return bus tickets from Asahikawa Station to Asahiyama Zoo and the zoo entry ticket for just 6130jpy. You can easily purchase this ticket at the Information Desk at JR Sapporo Station.

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