Okinawa Zoo: The southernmost zoo in Japan

Okinawa Zoo: The southernmost zoo in Japan

by Michael Flemming

Editor's note: Here's a great place to take the kids while they are on summer break.

Every zoo in Japan is unique is some way. Okinawa Zoo and Museum is no different as it is the southernmost zoo in all of Japan and the only zoo in the prefecture. This compact zoo of just more than one square kilometer makes the most of its size featuring two large ponds, several large grassy fields, hundreds of meters of walkways as well as a 194 species of birds, reptiles, mammals and amphibians.

Its name in Japanese – Okinawa Kodomo No Kuni Zoo - translated literally into English as Okinawa Zoo and Kids Country. The zoo reopened in 2004 after undergoing renovations to adapt to its new child friendly focus. The zoo features three distinct zones or attractions. The Nature Land is the traditional zoo. The Wonder Museum is a three story arts, imagination and science play zone, and the Children’s Center where little ones can get a little more hands on with animals.

Read more about the mammals, primates, birds, and reptiles and crocodilians by clicking on these hyperlinks; read more about Wonder Land by clicking this hyperlink; and read more about the Petting Zoo by clicking on this hyperlink.

The Okinawa Zoo is located in Okinawa City. It is easily accessible by taking the Okinawa Expressway to Exit 4 (Okinawa Minami) then following the signs to the zoo, or by driving along Route 330 into central Okinawa City and following the signs from there. The zoo is also accessible via bus by stopping at the Nakanomachi bus stop that is a 15 minute walk from the zoo, more than a dozen bus lines stop at this location.

Admission is 500 yen for adults, 200 yen for teenagers, and 100 yen for younger children. Wonder Land is an additional 200 yen for adults and 100 yen for children. Pack your own lunch or eat at one of the many on-sight restaurants and snack stands. Also bring an umbrella, hat and sunscreen just in case as well as a camera to permanently capture your visit.

The zoo is open from 9:30 ~ 18:00 daily. The evenings are reserved for corporate and government gatherings such as Eisa Festivals and Taiko Drumming Competitions and are by invitation only.



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