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※The August edition was produced on the basis of information accurate as of July 14.
A Perfect Day in Tokyo 8/2022
Fully sense the natural behavior of animals
Tama Zoological Park (Hino City)
Visitors can observe lions living on expansive grounds
while on board this Lion Bus.
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The Tama Zoological Park was founded in 1958 by utilizing the nature rich topography of the Tama Hills. On the grounds of one of the largest zoos in Japan—approximately four times the size of the Ueno Zoological Gardens and covering an area of more than 50 hectares—about 300 species of animals are being bred in captivity.
This vast zoo consists of four areas, namely the Asian Zone, Australian Zone, African Zone, and Insectarium. To allow visitors to see the animals in their natural contexts, the park has reduced the use of barred cages and instead adopted an exhibit design that separates animals from humans with moats. Moreover, the zoo has devised ways for animals that have the habit of moving in herds, such as lions, giraffes, and chimpanzees, to live in conditions close to their natural habitat. The sight of nearly two dozen giraffes moving in a herd is particularly spectacular.
At the Asian Zone, which occupies the largest area in the park, you can meet animals found across Asia such as tigers, red pandas and Malayan tapirs. If you’re lucky, you may also be able to catch the sight of orangutans “skywalking” a 150-meter-long tightrope at a height of about 15 meters from the ground.
At the African Zone located in the northeast corner of the zoo, you can experience the popular Lion Bus. The Tama Zoological Park was the first in the world to have a “safari-style” exhibit, where visitors can see lions roaming around freely from the bus. It is quite a thrill to see their faces up close as they approach the bus to eat pieces of raw horse meat attached around the windows. The bus buzzes with excitement.
In addition, marsupials such as koalas and kangaroos are on display at the Australian Zone. At the Insectarium, you can see fluttering butterflies and some rare insects all year round. Stroll around the park and enjoy discovering something new.
An African elephant spraying water
Alight at Tama-Dobutsukoen Station on the Keio Line or Tokyo Tama Intercity Monorail. The Tama Zoological Park is a 1-minute walk from the station.
[Tama Zoological Park]
Open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (admission until 4:00 p.m.). Closed on Wednesdays (the following day if Wednesday falls on a public holiday) and the year-end and New Year period. General admission is 600 yen. The Lion Bus runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Only same-day tickets (general ticket 500 yen) are available on a first-come-first-served basis.