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and more about getting the most out of your experience in the City of Kyoto!
During your adventure in Kyoto, some of you might be looking for something on the wild side to add to your itinerary. In the east of Kyoto, in the Okazaki neighborhood, you‘ll discover the Kyoto City Zoo, just a five-minute walk from such famous spots as Heian-jingu Shrine and Nanzen-ji Temple. It’s a great place to explore with children, or even adults just interested in Kyoto’s local wildlife.
The Kyoto City Zoo is home to a wide variety of creatures from around the world, from the more ferocious, like tigers, gorillas, and bears; to the cute—squirrels, penguins, and even fennecs. The zoo offers an up-close view of the animals, so it makes for a particularly exciting experience. If you visit during the spring, you will get some amazing views of the cherry blossoms that are scattered throughout the grounds and along the Lake Biwa Canal that runs along the length of the zoo.
One of the most interesting parts of the zoo for those visiting from outside of Japan is the area called “Kyoto no Mori,” meaning the Kyoto forest. It is populated by some of the local Kyoto species that you probably won’t see walking the streets of the city. You may know some of their relatives from back home, but you will certainly get a surprise seeing some of the species that live in the area surrounding Kyoto, including the Japanese Squirrel, the Mandarin Duck, the Japanese Giant Salamander and many more!
The zoo very much values the welfare of its animals, and you’ll be glad to hear that some of the animals in this section of the zoo are actually rescues from the surrounding area. They cannot go back to the wild due to their injuries, but they are living comfortably at the Kyoto City Zoo.
The Kyoto City Zoo is also host to many events throughout the year. The zoo has hosted lectures, nighttime viewings, and even animal feeding events. For those not able to speak Japanese, lectures are sometimes offered in English as well. These events are held regularly throughout the year, so if the timing of your trip to Kyoto is just right, be sure to participate!
When you’ve finished exploring the zoo, take a rest at the library café. While you’re lapping up some refreshing coffee or gnawing on a scrumptious crepe, enjoy an amazing collection of books about wildlife around the world. You’ll see picture books by some authors you may already be familiar with, and other reference books that illustrate the fine details about animals in the world. There is more than your fill to read, so spend an hour or spend an afternoon!
During your Kyoto travels, do pay a visit to the Kyoto City Zoo and enjoy a bit of Kyoto’s wild side!