Asahiyama Zoo 旭川市旭山動物園
Cold climate animals in natural enclosures
Japan's northernmost zoo is one of the highlights of the Asahikawa area . Primarily specializing in cold climate species, there are more than 700 animals from 124 species, housed in environments that are close to their natural habitats.
- The daily penguin walk
- The Polar Bear Aquatic Park, where the bears happily dive and swim
- Feeding time-the times for the different animals are staggered so you can enjoy multiple feeding frenzies
How to Get There
The zoo is a day trip from Sapporo and 40 minutes by bus from Asahikawa Station.
Asahikawa Station is about 80 minutes from Sapporo Station on the JR Hokkaido Line. On weekends and national holidays, special Asahikawa Zoo express trains from Sapporo to Asahikawa are decorated in a zoo theme, with stuffed animals and play areas.
About three million people visit the zoo annually
The zoo was the first facility in Japan to succeed in the natural breeding of cold region animals, such as polar bears, Amur leopards, and Scops owls
See nature up close
The zoo is planned for efficiency, to maximize the number of enclosures you can visit. Abundant windows and bubble domes let you see animals at eye level.
A fundamental concept of the zoo is to show animals' natural behavior. Spotted seals dart through the water and dive through a transparent tank called a marine way, penguins appear to fly above you through aqua tunnels. Polar bears dive and play.
Penguin star power
The penguins are a huge draw for visitors to the zoo. You can walk through underwater tunnels as they swim overhead. At feeding time, keepers in wetsuits feed the penguins underwater, mimicking their natural behavior. But everyone waits for the penguin walk when they waddle along in front of the crowd like a tiny army.