Japan’s northernmost zoo is also among the most popular, thanks to its well-managed enclosures designed to exhibit natural animal behaviors rather than just the animals themselves. The zoo is home to more than 800 animal residents representing some 150 species, but the crowd favorites tend to be those hailing from the poles: polar bears and penguins.
A glass tunnel through the penguin enclosure allows visitors to see the aquatic birds “in flight” through the water, while a vertical underwater pipe for the spotted seal shows off the diving skills of this mammal. Both the polar bear and wolf enclosures have pop-up plexiglass domes that allow for viewing the animals from within the enclosures themselves.
Buses 41, 42 and 47 depart from Asahikawa Station twice per hour. The trip to the zoo entrance takes about 40 minutes.