The zoo was an interesting experience - as is everything in Japan it seems.
Of course there were lots of awesome animals. I loved the elephants and the hippos and the gorilla and the Japanese pandas (so cute!). I was pleasantly surprised to find they had a polar bear who, poor thing, was pacing around waiting for his dinner. I just had to laugh though that some of the animals they considered worth putting in a zoo included a flock of Canada geese, a common raccoon, and a domestic horse. I also got my first look at a real live American beaver.
Then, there were the families. I expected that and they did not fail to disappoint. Lots of kids ran out exclaiming things about the animals. I loved the little girl who dutifully followed her dad through the reptile house, asking very serious and earnest questions which he did his best to answer and the kid who toddled away from his parents only to show up at my elbow looking up at me. I said, "Konnichiwa" but he was already gone again and his dad had to go after him. However, one surprising family interaction I didn't expect was the families who carefully toted around their tiny babies. Seriously, these babies couldn't have been more than six months old but their fathers carefully carried the cute things around in their arms and posed them in front of every single animal for pictures.
Overall, though, for 400 yen, this zoo was a huge bargain and a great way to spend a few hours.
Kirin = giraffe
Monument of Babe Ruth for hitting Japan's first home run. The monument is located in the exact spot where the ball from the home run landed. It turns out he actually hit two home runs in this game.
Can you read this sign? It says that rhinoceros is 'prayed by the carnivorous animals'. What religious animals we have!
This little girl's arms were too short for the food to actually reach the hippo's mouth. But he was certainly patient while she tried.
A HUGE tortoise
This gorilla definitely has his job down pat. He would pose for about three minutes and then change his pose and move to a different platform even to pose.
I managed to get the tiger to look at me by purring/growling at him low in my throat. I figured he was a hunter and so his hearing would be good enough. It certainly attracted his attention.
I love polar bears and always have.
Panda - so cute.