Five of the best…
Take a global safari with a single visit to this venerable amusement park. Get cosy with kangaroos from Down Under, pose for photos with a dolphin and enjoy snack time with monkeys, armadillos and capybaras from the New World. You can even watch while the giant rodents take a hot bath. Strange, but true.
Cheeky racoons, punky-haired Guinea pigs, gradiouse emus and oh-so-cute wombats are just some of the friends you can visit at this petting zoo in Ikeda. And make sure not to miss getting up close and personal with the exotic mara – rabbit-like rodents from South America.
The World Ranch
This is not your run-of-the-mill rabbit-and-chic kiddie experience. World Ranch brings together some of the more exotic critters from across the globe for your petting convenience. Think hot-pink flamingos, santa’s reindeer and doe-eyed llamas. Best reached by car. worldranch.co.jp/animals
You can count on the world-class Osaka Aquarium to bring you an unforgettable hands-on experience. Their interactive exhibits, unveiled 12 months ago, will see you get closer than ever to seals, penguins and otherworldly rays. Find the new “kaiyukan” exhibits after the “Floating Jelly Fish” area.
Kyoto City Zoo
The Kyoto City Zoo have a special Children’s zoo with a touch-friendly collection of farm animals and some wildlife including, apparently, a lesser panda. The miniature pig is also worth the visit, even for the humour factor alone.