Thursday, April 11, 2019

When in Japan: Fukuoka City Zoological Garden

Zoos always seem to become part of our trips. Planned or unplanned, it never fails to be a fun adventure for us. And when we were running out of places to visit in Fukuoka City, R and I decided that it's time to pay Fukuoka City Zoological Garden a visit. 

Hello, Fukuoka City Zoological Garden.
We skipped visiting the Fukuoka Zoo last time as we opted to go for Uminonakamichi Seaside Park instead which also has a small zoo and huge garden.
This time around and with more time to spare, we decided to give the city zoo a try despite reading some not so pleasant reviews. 
It was pretty convenient to visit this place as it only took us one bus ride from our apartment (near Sumiyoshi bus stop) to the zoo which costs 190 Yen/person/way.
I wasn't expecting much from the zoo based on the reviews I read highlighting that the place is small. But I was impressed with the grandness of the entrance. It definitely doesn't look tiny to me. Or at least in my book. 
Entrance fee costs 600 Yen (or roughly PHP300) and you could enjoy both zoo and botanical garden within the same day of ticket purchase. It is best to come here early so that you have enough time to leisurely walk around the massive area. 
The first thing you'll see is the zoo where adorable penguins and red panda welcome you. If you're lucky, you could also watch the zoo keepers feeding them!
A huge dome cage sits near the red panda and houses flamingos and ducks of various kinds. 
As you walk along the curved path, you'd get to see colorful birds, powerful looking hawks, owls and cuddly bears.
There are also several monkeys near the giraffes. Its huge area is also equipped with branches for them to hang and slide for extra fun. 
I had so much fun watching the guinea pigs, rabbits and ducks being fed in the children's zoo which is an area of the Fukuoka Zoo. 
There are also a bunch of rides for kids but come in a hefty price of 500 Yen. Unless I got it wrong.
Heading back down, we saw the lone tiger and lion. 
Though the tiger looks like it is well fed, it circling around could mean that it is restless due to the insufficient space for it. 
The lion was a sad sight to see. It looked really thin and lonely. Considering that lions tend to live in packs, this one might feel very alone. 
There are also reptiles and amphibians in the zoo but limited.
I love that the zoo has a slope car and saved us from a tiring climb up to the botanical garden. It serves as the area's elevator. 
The botanical garden has several areas specific for a particular plant or tree. There's a bamboo lane, sakura area and rose garden
Sadly, we were there too early to see the roses. But we got to admire other blooms and plants.
Check out these cacti! It actually look cute and cuddly! 
The zoo and botanical garden close at 5 p.m. and we were still at the botanical garden at 4:45 p.m. with a few more animals to see at the end of the zoo. 
I guess we were too late to see the elephant but we got to enjoy watching sea otters play around with each other and get a glimpse of the evasive black bear. 
I honestly do not understand why guests think that this is a not so nice zoo. It was well maintained and pretty big too! You get your money's worth and perhaps a bit more. Food though, as most parks, are overpriced so try to bring your own snacks. 
Fukuoka Zoo & Botanical Garden is located at 1-1 Minami-Koen, Chūō-ku, Fukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan. 

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