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 -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!