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My planning trip to Japan for 2019

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Kakapo, 10 Jan 2018.

  1. Kakapo

    Kakapo Well-Known Member

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    Dear Zoochatters,
    I passed last months a bit obsessed with Japanese collections and the many spectacular animals that are hold here and not in any western collection, or on very few of them.
    I'm saving money for do a trip to Japan, ideally by 2019. Thing are very much in the air, but ideally I would do the visit with one or more of these fellows:
    -My mother. She is not a zoofan, but she likes Japanese culture and maybe pay the travel :p
    -A German zookeeper very expert in rare animals. The bad thing is that maybe he can't. Today he told me that he can't go in 2019 and that he don't know if can go in 2020.
    -A friend of mine, also from Spain, he's not a zoofan but he's biologist (expert in insects, like me), and a very important thing: he's learning Japanese!

    Then I need to plan carefully my trip. First of all, I would like to know if there are any Japanese zoochatter here. I've found @AliceLoveTora but I believe there are more. Any zoochatter (or even not zoochatter) resident in Japan (better in Tokyo area) could host me during my visit, and maybe visit the zoos with me if he/she wants? What if I came with one or more of the persons above?

    I know prices in Japan are very high, and zoo entries will not be the excepcion. I have a low salary and I would be very interested in save money. Trip to Japan can be surprisingly cheap, but food, transport, hosting and of course, zoo entries, maybe can ruin me. For that I'm very interested in somebody that can host me in his/her home. Advices about save money in zoo entries (buying online, combos, special offers, etc) also would be very welcome! About transport, I know I must buy online the Japan Rail Pass before going here. I hope to save enough with this!

    This is my "wish list". Advices from people that visited Japan recently (@devilfish , @CGSwans , @aardvark250 , etc) are very welcome :) I ask here especifically for species that have deceased since or that are old and alone, probably to decease soon, and those that are off-exhibit. I maybe modify my plans and skip some zoo if the interesting species are off exhibit.

    TOBA AQUARIUM. It have still Dugongs, Northern elephant seal, Finless porpoise and African manatee? Unfrotunately I know that Southern elephant seal deceased...

    SUNSHINE AQUARIUM. I heard that it have a good Chaetodon collection, one of my favourite genus of fishes. It have Baikal seal, reef squids, striped eel catfishes, and giant isopods.

    AQUAMARINE FUKUSHIMA. It have Ribbon seals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OTARU AQUARIUM. It's in Hokkaido, far from the main area of zoos in Japan, and maybe I must skip this. It holds Ribbon seal, but if I see them and take good photos at Fukushima, then I have enough for this species. It also have Harbour porpoise and claims to be the only facility in Japan holding this species, however Kamogawa Seaworld also holds Harbour porpoises????? Or already not?

    KAMOGAWA SEAWORLD. I have seen photos and I dislike this place. It looks like very "SeaWorldish", very much a thematic park rather than a zoological collection, for sure it have lost of rides and other non-animal related stuff. Looks like also expensive, as this kind of thematic park-zoos tend to be...It's really expensive? It have pacific white-sided dolphins, but these are also in other parks. Theoricallu should have Harbour porpoises, but I can skip if I visit Otaru. It have spotted seal, but these are at Sea Paradise Yokohama. (Caspian) Ringed seal seems to be the only very-interesting-species that it holds and not found theorically anywhere in Japan. It worth a visit or can I skip it if I visit the dolphins, porpoises and seals in other places?

    NUMAZU DEEP SEA AQUARIUM. With deep sea fishes, an obligated visit to me!

    OKINAWA CHAROUMI AQUARIUM. This will be the most difficult to reach! Okinawa islands are really far! Maybe the cost is too expensive, as we must take plane or ship! However, it have more species of interesting cetaceans than any other place in Japan. Pacific white-sided dolphins, false killer whales, pantropical spotted dolphins, rough-toothed dolphins and Indopacific bottlenose dolphins!

    SEA PARADISE YOKOHAMA HAKKEIJIMA. Looooots of interesting species! Overall Commerson's dolphins!!!! And whale shark, false killer whale, spotted seal, pacific white-sided dolphins, as well as giant isopods, urchin clingfishes, hagfishes, some deep sea critters... In the past they even had tiger sharks and goblin sharks, but died soon. Anyway this is a MUST.

    TOKYO TOWER AQUARIUM. Lots of local species of fishes, and seems the perfect display for allowing photographs.

    TOKYO SEA LIFE PARK. With various tuna species, SAWSHARKS (not just sawfishes), old wives, white-banded boxfishes and many other fabulous species!

    NAGOYA ZOO = HIGASHIYAMA ZOO AND BOTANICAL GARDEN. Here in Zoochat is regarded as "the worst zoo of Japan". However also said that hold the highest number of species of any zoo in Japan, so, it's just my concept of "the best zoo of Japan". Anyway, theorically it have VOLCANO RABBITS!!!!!!!!!!!! so it worth a visit. Any other highlight species?

    TAMA ZOO. Near Tokyo, it have biggest butterfly house in the world and the only mole and shrew house in the world. Any idea about the mole and shrew species kept here?

    UENO ZOO. Lots of very interesting species including three-toed amphiuma, japanese giant salamander, japanese blue flycatcher, Madagascar leaf-nosed snake, Budgett's frog, pangolin, Japanese badger, VARIED TIT, leopard cat, greater siren...

    ZOORASIA. Claimed to be the best zoo in Japan. One of its animals was the main reason to travel to Japan. However, I knew today that the female died in 2016, and the male, that is the interesting one, died in 2000.... There are not anymore a BULWER'S PHEASANT in a zoo, outside very few private collections :( Anyway it have proboscis monkeys, but I can skip this, I already have a photo of a taxidermy specimen... Dholes, leopard cats, but these are not rarities and for sure I will found in other zoos in future. There are any species that really makes worth a visit, since the pheasants died?

    Also, I must visit at least one natural history museum. What are the best ones, overall in terms of rarity of the species exhibited? There are any other zoological collection that is a must? For botanical gardens I have enough with one, for sure there are a good one in Tokyo...

    How much time would I need to visit all these things? And how much money? What would be the best time of year to do?

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Kakapo. First, you can check the animal species list on the JAZA website here. I have post how to use it on the "Online zoo database" thread.
    First, for Kamogowa.I don't know how you get that kamogawa have lots of ride. Instead,it don't. It's an aquarium, and the fee is 2800 yen. Interesting species include killer whale, ringed seal and caspian seal.It also have a walrus with very long tusk. According to devilfish, they don't have flying fish anymore.
    Yokohama sea paradise is a must. I agree with you.
    Ueno Zoo have quite a lot of interesting species, both native and non-native. Some of the exhibit may be bad, but they have improved. (and they have aardvarks:))
    Tama Zoo is also a must. The mole house must be seen.Also black faced spoonbill and tasmanian devil. I have post species list of these four zoo in my "visit to Tokyo" thread.
    Yokohama have three zoos, and zoorasia is the best one. The other two are nogeyama(free) and kanazawa.Nogeyama have kagu, just saying.
    I will visit Kyoto,Kobe and Osaka in February. I will get some information about three zoos and Osaka Aquarium.
    Otaru don't have ringed seal anymore.Fukushima is the last one.
    I remember somewhere in Nagano(nearby) have crested ibis.
    Toba is a must, even i haven't visit it.(They don't have elephant seals anymore)
    JMC have a lot of monkey species,but I don't know if you're interested in it.
    Higashiyama have the best collection(and they have aardvark;))
    One or two zoos have African forest elephant.
    Kumamoto have Golden snub-nosed monkey.
    Atagawa alligator garden have amazonian manatee.
    Probably if you are in Nagoya, Nagoya port aquarium(emperor penguin)? And also an aquarium that focus on freshwater species,just north of Nagoya.
     
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  3. agnmeln

    agnmeln Well-Known Member

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    I don’t find that the entry prices for attractions (including zoos) in Japan are expensive at all. They are definitely cheaper than in the UK. Also the same for the Metro tickets for travel, it’s very cheap and easy to get around. My must-visit zoos are Ueno (Tokyo), Higashiyama (Nagoya) and Tennoji (Osaka). I would definitely tag Tama on considering it is so close to Ueno and tag Toyohashi on considering it is so close to Higashiyama. I would also love to visit Maruyama (Sapporo) and then I could tag Asahiyama on too as it isn’t too far away, and Tokuyama (Shunan) and then I could tag Tokiwa and Safari Land on too as they also aren’t too far away. The National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno Park was excellent. For a Botanical Garden, Higashiyama does look good. I don’t know much about the aquariums but I know there is Shinagawa Aquarium quite close to Haneda Airport, not sure whether this is a good one or not as I didn’t quite manage to get there. I’ve been to Tokyo both in Winter and Summer. It was so hot in the Summer, it was about 44 degrees. Winter was pleasant in the day, about 12 degrees, and quite cold in the evenings. Flight prices were cheaper in the Winter than in the Summer (£550 versus £850), but it’s like with anything, obviously you just have to keep an eye out for the best deals. Booking early is always a good bet. I would dearly love to go back to Japan, especially considering my favourite sun bear in the world lives there (at Higashiyama, so this zoo is obviously my priority). I haven’t been since 2015 now. I think Japan is so rich for zoos (for me especially - 26 sun bears in one country).
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2018
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  4. Kakapo

    Kakapo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a lot to both! Especially about the JAZA website! If it's updated and covers all Japan, then I must use it for see what the collections still have and what passed away!

    Very good to know! I just imagined that because of the park entrance, that looks more an attraction park than an aquarium. Happy to know that its a more normal park! I knew that flying fish disappeared from some japanese aquarium, I just didn't knew which, anyway flying fish are not my priority, I already have photos of taxidermy specimens of two species. Killer whale also is not a priority, I saw the ones of Loro Park and SeaWorld and have enough good photos. Ringed (including Caspian) seal is indeed a priority species, as are the pacific white-sided dolphins and harbour porpoises. The walrus with long tusks must be interesting, although I saw photos in the past and the tusks are too curved, but anyway it will make a better photo than the ones I have of short-tusked walruses.

    Thanks! Anyway aardvarks are common in European zoos. My photo of the species is very bad, because despite seeing them in various places, it's not easy to find one that is either sleeping in his den or in a nocturnal house making the photo quality difficult to reach good level. Anyway is not a priority

    Good! I have black-faced spoonbill from Taipei zoo. An horrible wire mesh hide the bird behind, but the species is clearly visible. Not a priority species. I have good photos of devils from San Diego and Duisburg.

    Great! A free zoo? This is a concept almost unseen in European zoos! I will check in Jaza if it have something interesting. I'm used to see kagus, for first time in Jardin des Plantes (was my reason to visit the place), and after at Berlin, Wuppertal, and I don't remember if some other place.

    Thanks for the update! Then my visit to this place will depend of the harbour porpoise. If I can see it at Kamogowa, I will skip Otaru.

    Now that's a buch of interesting new places! Big thanks! I knew about crested ibis just today, searching here in Zoochat. Maybe the ibis alone don't worth a visit, especially if I can see a taxidermy specimen in a museum here, so I will cheek about the other species.
    Oohhh, I kew that Toba lost Southern, but also Northern elephant seal????? Gosh! Anyway, finless porpoises, dugong and African manatee make it worth a visit.
    What is JMC? Monkeys are of my interest, depending of the species. But very few species are a must for me.
    Oh, seriously forest elephant outside Africa??? I would never imagine that! I will check JAZA for include this MUST!
    GOLDEN SNUB-NOSED MONKEY??????????????????? What a BIIIIIG surprise! Million thanks, for sure that is a place that I will visit!
    Amazonian manatee is not a must for me, too similar to Antillean, and if I see African and dugong at Toba, I will have enough. Of course new species is new species, but not enough for worth a visit alone.
    I have photos of emperor penguin from SeaWorld San Diego. Not good photos because they follow the southern winter-summer cycle, so when you visit it in summer (that is the main visit season, overall for outcomers), you will see the penguin house in darkness. But still enough photos, so I will not visit that park :)

    Oh, but UK also is very expensive! (at least from a Spanish point of view). But good to know that many are cheaper. With time, I will see the price of each facility I want to visit.

    Thanks! I expected that the best museums and botanical gardes were supposed to be in Tokyo. Maybe I can visit the Ueno museum after exiting Ueno zoo in the same day, and Higashiyama botanical garden is the own zoo, so the visit can't be easier (I've visited sometimes this kind of mixture between zoo and botanical garden and it's really enjoyable! The best one to my knowledge is Plzen zoo and botanical garden... Here, plants matches with the animals: the Australian plants, some of them very rare, are in the Australian animal zone, etc)

    Good, maybe the best is a visit in spring. However, if I finally arrive with friends, probably it will be in summer, as I must match with their holidays!

    Anyway, the animals of Japanese zoos may have changed when I finally arrive. I will keep an eye on JAZA updates. The golden snub-nosed monkey is really a good substitute for Bulwer's pheasant and make less sad the lost of elephant seals!

    The most important question now, is still: there are Japanese zoochatters? And there are any (even if not a zoochatter) that don't mind to share their home to sleep, planning and recharge camera batteries?
     
  5. agnmeln

    agnmeln Well-Known Member

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    I only went to one Spanish zoo (Madrid) and entry in Japan is definitely less, so I hope you will find it a help for affordability of going to visit many places!

    I spent many hours in the museum - in fact, I took almost a whole day to visit! It has about five or six very large floors, so there is a lot to see. It’s just outside the entrance to Ueno Zoo. It’s my favourite museum that I have ever visited! I spent a day and a half at Ueno Zoo.
     
  6. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry, are there really Forest Elephants in Japan?
     
  7. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    Apparently so, a couple of years ago there were either three or four but I don't know if there are any left. I don't think @devilfish saw any recently but I may be wrong.
     
  8. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    According to JAZA Asa Zoo and Safariland have them.
     
    Last edited: 11 Jan 2018
  9. Kakapo

    Kakapo Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks! Madrid zoo have the average zoo price in Spain, the other main zoo of Madrid (Faunia) is much more expensive. A very good priced one (when I was here) was Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes with 8€ admission. I will make a more detailed plan soon and will see the price of each place.
     
  10. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    An explanation of how to use the search function on the JAZA site is on this post: Online Zoo Animal Databases

    And how to use the search functions on a website for the public aquariums of Japan (mainly useful for cetaceans and pinnipeds) is on this post: Online Zoo Animal Databases

    Both sites are entirely in Japanese.
     
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  11. Kakapo

    Kakapo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a lot Chlidonias :)
     
  12. Kakapo

    Kakapo Well-Known Member

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    It seems that while Northern elephant seal disappeared from Toba aquarium, they are at Kamo aquarium, which also holds the biggest jellyfish collection in the world.
    Gosh, how difficult is to search in JAZA without knowing Japanese, hehe

    According to JAZA also seems that ribbon seal is not anymore at Otaru aquarium? Only at Aquamarine Fukushima?

    I see that harbour porpoises are both at Otaru and Kamogawa...

    Rough-toothed dolphin deceased from Okinawa Charumi? Species seems absent from JAZA....
     
    Last edited: 11 Jan 2018
  13. Kakapo

    Kakapo Well-Known Member

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    According to JAZA there are two, not only one, holdings with Japanese Crested Ibis: Tama Zoo and Ishiwaka Zoo. Are the Tama ones in public view?
     
  14. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    at least I didn't see them in 2016.
     
  15. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    Only the Ishikawa Zoo ones are on display.

    However there is also a breeding centre on Sado Island which can be visited.
     
  16. Kakapo

    Kakapo Well-Known Member

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    Oh, thanks! What a shame, because I wanted to visit Tama zoo anyway, even without ibis. There are any chance of see the ibis behind the scenes?
    By other hand, my friend (the only that is learning Japanese) will travel to Japan in 2023, but he can't go before that. So Maybe I must delay my place, altough just now I'm dying to seeing all these "must" species! Or maybe, as there are just too many zoos to visit at once, I should visit Japan twice...

    These are the places that I want to visit, after updating with the info of this thread:

    AQUAMARINE FUKUSHIMA
    1800 yen, open 9:00 to 17:30
    Must species:Ribbon seal
    Other important species: Japanese giant salamander, japanese eel, clione, lumpsucker, spotted ratfish, skipjack tuna, yellow goosefish, spotted seal, Missisipi paddlefish, yellowfin tuna

    HIROSHIMA CITY ASA ZOOLOGICAL PARK
    510 yen, open 9:00 to 16:30
    Must species: African forest elephant
    Other important species: Japanese giant salamander

    KAMO AQUARIUM
    800 yen, open 8:30 to 17:00
    Must species: Northern elephant seal
    Other imortant species: biggest collection of jellyfishes in the world, with 30+ species

    KAMOGAWA SEAWORLD
    2800 yen, open 9:00 to 16:00
    Must species: Pacific white-sided dolphin, harbour porpoise, Japanese sawshark, Ringed seal
    Other important species: spotted seal, striped eel catfish

    KUMAMOTO CITY ZOOLOGICAL AND BOTANICAL GARDEN
    300 yen (really so cheap?), open 9:00 to 17:00
    Must species: Golden snub-nosed monkey

    NAGOYA ZOO - HIGASHIYAMA ZOO AND BOTANICAL GARDEN
    500 yen, open 9:00 to 16:50
    Must species: Volcano rabbit
    Other important species: The biggest number of species of a Japanese zoo (excluding aquariums)

    NUMAZU DEEP SEA AQUARIUM
    2800 yen, open 9:00 to 16:00
    Other important species: Deep sea creatures. Upper floor is a museum of preserved specimens

    OITA MARINE PALACE AQUARIUM - UMITAMAGO
    2200 yen, open 9:00 to 18:00
    Must species: Pantropical spotted dolphin
    Other important species: Bearded seal

    OKINAWA CHARUMI AQUARIUM
    1850 yen, open 8:30 to 16:00
    Must species: Tiger shark, Pacific white-sided dolphin, Japanese sawshark, False killer whale, Whale shark, Pantropical spotted dolphin, Rough-toothed dolphin
    Other important species: Giant manta ray, Indopacific bottlenose dolphin

    SEA PARADISE YOKOHAMA HAKKEIJIMA
    4550 yen (the most expensive!), open 10:00 to 21:00
    Must species: Commerson's dolphin, hagfish, Pacific white-sided dolphin, false killer whale, whale shark
    Other important species: Giant isopod, bearded snailfish, oriental flying gurnard, urchin clingfish, lumpsucker, horn-nosed boxfish, armoured sea robin, spotted seal, golden cuttlefish

    SUNSHINE AQUARIUM
    2200 yen, open 10:00 to 20:00
    Other important species: giant isopod, striped eel catfish, Baikal seal, bigfin reef squid, butterflyfish collection

    TAMA ZOO
    600 yen, open 9:30 to 17:00
    Must species: Japanese crested ibis (Behind the scenes)
    Other important species: Japanese serow, sika, Himalayan tahr, Japanese bagder, Japanese giant flying squirrel, least shrew, mole, biggest insectarium and butterfly house in the world

    TOBA AQUARIUM
    2500 yen, open 9:00 to 17:00
    Must species: Commerson's dolphin, dugong, finless porpoise, African manatee
    Other important species: giant isopod, Clione, Baikal seal

    TOKYO SEA LIFE PARK
    700 yen, open 9:30 to 17:00
    Must species: Japanese sawshark
    Other important species: White-banded boxfish, sea toad, old wife, lumpsucker, spotted ratfish, armoured sea robin, bigfin reef squid, tunas

    TOKYO TOWER AQUARIUM
    1080 yen, open 9:00 to 22:00
    Other important species: Great collection of local fishes

    UENO ZOO
    600 yen, open 9:30 to 17:00
    Must species: Varied tit
    Other important species: piping guan, three-toed amphiuma, Japanese giant salamander, Japanese blue flycatcher, Madagascar leaf-nosed snake, Budgett's frog, Chinese pangolin, Japanese bagder, leopard cat, greater siren, lesser mouse-deer

    ZOORASIA
    800 yen, open 9:30 to 16:00
    Must species: Crested argus
    Other important species: dhole, Goliath imperial pigeon, grey woolly monkey, black-tailed gull, Japanese hare, Tibetan macaque, Japanese bagder, proboscis monkey, leopard cat

    Total: 26590 yen = nearly 200 €, that for 17 collections is a very good price!
     
    Last edited: 11 Jan 2018
  17. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    Yokohama don't have whale shark anymore,according to devilfish.
     
  18. Kakapo

    Kakapo Well-Known Member

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    Shame, is still listed in JAZA. But is not too important because they are also at Okinawa Charumi aquarium.
     
  19. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    Ok, sorry for the delay. A lot of people have already answered most questions, and I also advise that you get in touch with @FrancoiseLangur, who has been very helpful in preparing for both of my visits. Sorry too for the repetition, it's pretty hard to answer the initial questions when so many others have offered further information.

    The JR (Japan Rail) pass was very helpful for me - I bought a two week pass for the duration of my 2017 visit and it covers local JR trains too. We also used Pasmo cards, which are transport cards you can load with credit and 'touch' on panels to gain access to public transport, but they can also be used in shops and vending machines as if they were contactless bank cards.

    Spotted seals are probably the most common seal species displayed - you'll see plenty of them if you visit a handful of aquariums.

    Toba Aquarium is great. Mammal/reptile exhibits can be a bit tighter than we'd desire, but it's a fascinating aquarium. I'm not aware of any Southern elephant seals in Japan since the last one died in 2013. The dugong, manatees and finless porpoises are still around, as are Steller's sea lions, Baikal seals, Commerson's dolphins, sea otters, walruses...

    Ise (Futami) Sea Paradise: If you're on the train from Nagoya to Toba you can stop near this park and visit briefly. Highlights are a large sawfish, Cape clawless otters, and huge Steller's sea lions and walrus which walk in between the crowds watching them. The downside is that the bigger the animal is here, the smaller and less acceptable the housing.

    Sunshine Aquarium: An interesting aquarium in Tokyo. The Baikal seal exhibit here is poorer than in Toba and houses two animals but you're right that the butterflyfish collection is very impressive. A few unusual enclosures here too.

    If you're visiting Otaru I suggest you also choose a local zoo to see the endemic Blakiston's fish owl and local subspecies of various animals, including Hokkaido red fox and Hokkaido raccoon dog.

    As @aardvark250 mentions, Kamogawa isn't a theme park, it's just an aquarium complex. Some interesting fish, but the main highlights are the Caspian seals, Okhotsk ringed seals, and the orcas/white-sided dolphins. Bearded seals and an elderly Australian sealion are strictly off-show (although the bearded seals are apparently sometimes put on display in mid-winter). The belugas were off-display at the time of my visit and I get the impression that if they do have a porpoise they keep it with them (but forgot to ask when I visited). It's a long and expensive day trip from Tokyo - I would consider looking for a better way to spend the few hours you would have there.

    Aquamarine Fukushima has a reputation for excellence and innovation, but I've yet to visit.

    Numazu aquarium is fantastic, quite a small facility but it's absolutely amazing. You will see a few taxa you've never heard of before. I saw New Caledonian isopods and flapjack octopus...
    Just be mindful that most deep sea creatures enter aquaria over the winter, so you'll see much less if you visit in the summer.

    I've not yet been to Okinawa, but bear in mind that the Pseudorca, white-sided and bottlenose dolphins can all be seen much closer to Tokyo. There's still a lot to see here.

    Hakkeijima: It costs less than you think if you're only there for the aquariums (3000 yen). You seem to have already selected a list of highlight species, I'd also point out that here you can stroke the pilot whale too. :)

    Tokyo Tower Aquarium's opening hours are more limited than you've put down - they're tanks a bit like a fancy pet shop display, but home to very rare animals.

    I would strongly recommend that you visit all of four of the Tokyo Zoological Park Society zoos (they all have relatively cheap entry):
    -Ueno: a must, as you say. Don't forget the tarsiers!
    -Tama: magnificent. You can find king cheetah (early mornings only), an incredible invertebrate collection including an amazing butterfly hall and a glowworm cave (which was unfortunately closed when I visited). You won't be able to see the crested ibis. Mole house species:
    Japanese mole (Mogera wogura)
    Small Japanese mole (Mogera imaizumii)
    Japanese water shrew (Chimarrogale platycephalus)
    Japanese shrew mole (Urotrichus talpoides)
    Ezo least shrew (Sorex minutissimus hawkeri)
    Long-clawed shrew (Sorex unguiculatus)

    - Tokyo Sea Life Park: a fantastic aquarium, with so many unusual species from around the world, including fairy penguins.

    - Inokashira Park Zoo: focussed on Japanese endemics this is a little zoo with some fantastic species on display. It's near the Ghibli museum, if that interests your companions?

    Contrary to earlier suggestions, I wouldn't recommend Tennoji zoo. If you're in Osaka you'd have to visit the excellent Kaiyukan aquarium though, which features Japanese devil rays and Eastern rockhopper penguins (Eudyptes [chrysocome] filholi) among others.

    Higashiyama - A huge zoo, it feels like a small city zoo just keeps going. Volcano rabbits are an obvious highlight, although you might not even see them! The small mammal house and reptile/amphibian collection is also impressive. I had planned to spend two half days here, but wasn't keen to return after my brief first visit.

    I second the recommendation to visit Port of Nagoya Aquarium if you have time.

    I visited Hekinan aquarium near Nagoya to see the olm.

    Zoorasia is an excellent zoo and well worth visiting, but as has been mentioned you might also want to consider Nogeyama (although I've never been).

    Japan's monkey centre won't offer you a great deal which is new by the time you visit although it's certainly a unique collection.

    Aqua Totto Gifu (the freshwater aquarium north of Nagoya) has a reputation for being outstanding, but almost exclusively displays freshwater species.

    I would also recommend a day in Kobe to see Suma Aqualife Park, a (mostly) excellent aquarium with a great collection of sea snakes, and Oji Zoo houses Tibetan blue bears.

    Atagawa's Amazonian manatee is getting old and might not be around by the time you visit, but the great reptile collection at iZoo isn't far if you want to combine the two collections; travelling here by train (+taxi) isn't too difficult.

    Be prepared that you might still not see a giant flying squirrel after all of this.

    I would advise that you visit in Spring/Autumn - ideally early spring as the weather is warming, and you'll start to see blossoms, but there's still a good chance you'll see rare deep sea fish in the aquariums.
     
    Giant Panda and Kakapo like this.
  20. Kakapo

    Kakapo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Mar 2009
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    Location:
    Zaragoza, Spain
    Big thanks, devilfish!

    You never must apologize for help somebody! :) Now that I see that probably my travel will delay to 2023, I will contact FrancoiseLangur later. Maybe he/she is able to host me this year or even, in an ideal uthopy, do the zoo/aquarium tour with me and possibly the friends that will come with me :)

    Oh, I saw earlier in this post that Northern elephant seal disappeared from Toba, but as I said, it's still at Kamo aquarium (according to JAZA), right? I saw Steller's sea lions at Faunia last year, and sea otters at SeaWorld San Diego (tough not a good exhibit for take pictures, with glass splashed with water drops)

    Thanks for this new addition. I saw Cape clawless otter at San Diego zoo, a large sawfish at La Rochelle aquarium, and Steller's sea lions at Faunia, walrus at SeaWorld San Diego (and long time ago at Valencia Oceanographic, but with no photos). So I will not visit this park.

    Sounds good about the owl, although while interesting, is not a must. I'm not into subspecies, I can photograph hem for add variety to my photo archive, but I never would visit a zoo just for get new subspecies. I deleted Hokkaido from my plan, but it will depends of my chances of see harbour porpoise at other places... Or maybe I can just skip it and visit Netherlands other year...

    Well, bearded seals are also at Oita Marine Aquarium (Umitamago), and anyway I can skip this species since I have a photo of a taxidermy one (not the same but always enough, and sometimes even better, photographically talking). There are white-sided dolphins at Okinawa and Yokohama, so I also can skip. I have photos of belugas from Valencia and SeaWorld. The only Must are the ringed (including caspian) seals, but is not a too strong must (compared with ribbon seals, Commerson's dolphins and snub-nosed monkeys). But the most important thing here is the harbour porpoise, if you're telling me that is off-show, then I will probably skip this place and visit Toba aquarium instead! (tough, "long and expensive travel from Tokyo" applies much more to Toba than to Kamogawa, right?)

    Thanks for this extremely useful tip!!! Unfortunately I don't think that I can visit it in winter, nor early spring. My japanese-learning friend will get here in June, and due to my job (with alive seafood) I can't get holidays in winter, where are more work. Also, from the point of view of seeing insects and flowers, will be much better by june. I hope I always can see a wide variety of deep sea fishes and other creatures preserved in alcohol in the upper floor of the aquarium.

    On a side note, I smiled when I saw a report of this place claiming "The only aquarium in the world that have coelacanth!" as a footnote of a photo of a taxidermy coelacanth, haha. For sure, not even this specialized aquarium can hold an alive one... yet.

    Bottlenose of species aduncus? Well, probably I will skip this place, overall due to distance, but rough-toothed dolphin and tiger shark can't be seen in any other place, and I don't know if whale sharks and giant manta rays too. I also must investigate, when I have time, the chance to see Okinawa rails captive outside Okinawa.

    Great about the price reduction! I never stroked a cetacean, but probably I will be too busy trying to have photos of every species to have time for that, even if don't cost an additional fee, hehe.

    Oh, I,ve readed 9:00 to 10:00 and understood 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. So it's 9:00 am to 10:00 am only??? Just one hour? Seems strange for any kind of place with animals!

    Oh, thats a better collection of mole and shrew than I've expected! The glowworm cave is another nice surprise! Shame about crested ibis, I suppose I will end traveling to Ishiwaka unless I see a taxidermy one in a museum before...

    I will investigate, but I think that I can't add one more zoo to my hugue wishlist! Oh, I'm a big fan of Ghibli (or more precisely to Miyazaki), but I will be too blinded by zoos and animals for even think in it slightly hehe

    Oh, please don't tell me that! For me, volcano rabbits can be almost the total value of the zoo entry fee! Are you talking about being hidden usually, or behind the scenes? Any trick to see them? (early times, pre-feeding hours...)
    If you had no time to see the whole place in one day, for sure I will have no time for visit the Aquarium, hehe. What will be not a great loss if I visit tons of other japanese aquariums :p I have a photo of an alcohol-preserved olm so that is enough although of course a live one would be better.

    With the best monkeys of the world in other Japanese zoos (proboscis and snub-nosed), for sure I can skip this place, hehe. Anyway I will check the species for curiosity.

    Oh, great, I add Suma to my wishlist! The only sea snake related thing that I saw in my life, is the moulted skin in Berlin zoo/aquarium in the tank where supposedly is the snake! (unseen despite passing again by the tank various times and carefully looking each visible hide...)

    If I get here by 2023 as finally seems, probably the manatee will not last enough. Anyway it's not a collection that I planned to visit. I will have enough with Toba's africans and dugongs.

    You're talking about the Tama zoo ones? Hidden, behind scenes..? Anyway, although very good, theyre not "must".

    Wow, if the plan comes true, I will more than double in just one trip the quantity of zoos that I've seen in my whole life!!!!!!!!!