Animal Nature

7 Spots to Meet Wild Animals in Japan


What comes first when asked about an animal that reminds you of Japan? 

Monkey, fox, tuna, etc. any of them is a very typical kind of Japanese animal. 

As a matter of fact, the Bird of Japan is determined to be the pheasant, and the Fish of Japan is the carp. There are a variety of wild creatures habitating in Japan. Despite a rather small land area of 38 million hectares, it is said that the number of species is over 300 thousands. It is quite a large amount considering it to be about 400 times that of Pokemon, which has 801 species in total.   While in Japan, a country so abundant in animal creatures, why not try and meet some wild animals?   

In this passage, we would like to introduce several good spots where you can meet the wild animals.  

Snow Monkey:Jigokudani Yaen-koen (Nagano Prefecture)

Jigokudani Yaen-koen, a place locating in the north part of Nagano Prefecture, is considered to be the best place to watch snow monkeys in Japan. Here the Japanese macaque, which habitats in the most northern area among all species of monkeys, live wild in the nature. It is also famous for being the only place in the world where the monkeys bathing in an onsen can be observed.

You can find more informations about Snow Monkey on this article.

Jigokudani Yaen-koen

Address: 6845 Yamanouchi-machi, Shimotakai-gun, Nagano  381-0401
Tel: +81-269-33-4379
Opening Hours: April to October:Open from 8:30 a.m to 5:00 p.m November to March:Open from 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m ※Open 365 days a year
Entrance Fee: Adult:800 yen Child:400 yen
Home Page:

Deer:Nara Park (Nara Prefecture)

There are more than 1200 deers habitating In the Nara Park. Here everyone is free to watch the deers at any time. If you go during around 10 am to 17 pm, you can buy some senbei for deers usually sold at a 150 yen per 10 pieces, and experience feeding them. Apart from the deers, raccoons, wild boars, flying squirrels, squirrels are also said to be living around. You may have the chance to see them if with good luck.

Nara Park

Address: 30 Noborioji-cho, Nara City, Nara  630-8501
Tel: +81-742-27-8036
Opening Hours: Always open ※Open 365 days a year 
Entrance Fee: Free
Home Page:

Fox:Zao Fox Village (Miyagi Prefecture)

Over 100 foxes habitats in the wild. Not only red foxes, but also other five species of foxes which are silver foxes, blue foxes, platina foxes, shadow foxes, cross foxes, can be observed. There is even an experience activity to hug a fox in the arm for visitors who are high school students and above. 

Zao Fox Village

Address: 11-3 Kawarago, Fukuokayatsumiya, Shiroishi-shi, Miyagi  989-0733
Tel: +81-224-24-8812
Opening Hours: Open from 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m ※Open 365 days a year
Entrance Fee: Adult:1000 yen Child:Free
Home Page:

Cat:Tashiro Island (Miyagi Prefecture)

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It is an island with a population of about 80 people yet of over 100 wild cats. Surrounded by sea in a cobalt blue color, the island is just 40 min away by boat from Ishinomaki port, on which you can fully enjoy the beautiful nature. Another thing special about this island is that there is a jinjya that worships cats on the center of it, because cats are highly valued as a kind of guardian angel of big catch of fish.

Tashiro Island

Address: Tashirohama Ishinomaki-shi, Miyagi  986-0023
Tel: +81-225-95-1111
Opening Hours: Open 365 days a year
Entrance Fee: Free
Home Page:

Rabit:Okuno Island (Hiroshima Prefecture)

海辺のウサギ rabbit on the shore

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12 minutes away by boat from Tadanoumi port, there would be a warm welcome by rabbits on your arrival. There are more than 700 wild rabbits habitating in Okuno island, making it a must-visit place for rabbit lovers. You can buy some food for the rabbits on the island and have an experience feeding them.

Okuno Island

Address: Okuno Island, Tadanoumi-cho, Takehara-shi, Hiroshima  729-2311
Tel: +81-846-26-0321
Opening Hours: Open 365 days a year
Entrance Fee: Free
Home Page:

Dolphins:Mikurashima Island (Tokyo Prefecture)

Mikurashima is a unbelievable island located in Tokyo where people can actually swim together with wild dolphins. The dolphins inhabiting around Mikurashima are amazingly rare for not holding fear towards human beings. In order to swim together with dolphins, it is necessary to apply to your accommodation for Dolphin Watching. Please don’t forget.


Address: Mikurashima Village, Tokyo  100-1301
Tel: +81-4994-8-2022
Opening Hours: Open 365 days a year
Entrance Fee: Free
Home Page:

Crane:Tancho Crane Nature Park (Hokkaido Prefecture)


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Finally, let’s visit the cranes, a kind of beautiful animal that perfectly representing Japanese winter. The park is just a 10 minutes drive from Kushiro airport. Red-crowned cranes can be observed in any season, under any weather. We also recommend you to have a visit to the indoor part, there are photographs of red-crowned cranes on  scenery of different seasons, rest area and souvenir shops where red-crowned crane relating gifts can be found.

Tancho Crane Nature Park

Address: 112 Tsuruoka, Kushiro-shi, Hokkaido  084-0926
Tel: +81-154-56-2219
Opening Hours: April to October:Open from 9:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m November to March:Open from 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m ※Open 365 days a year
Price: Adult:470 yen Child:110 yen
Home Page:

Let’s go find wild Japanese animals!

How do you find the places introduced above?

We hope you a good experience being close to wild Japanese animals. If none of them are on your visit list, don’t worry and just listen with your heart to the surroundings, because there are wild animals living all around Japan. Perhaps there will be an encounter with some rare wild animal.

If you are interested in 6 of the top animal cafes in Tokyo, feel free to check out this article!

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Koki Miyashita

Author & Editor