Around 750 animals representing approximately 150 species inhabit this lush, spacious park spanning 152,000 sq.m. in the suburbs of Asahikawa. Asahiyama Zoo is famous for its unique viewing areas, named Action Exhibits, which are designed to showcase the animals' natural lifestyles and abilities. The zoo is a very popular spot and Hokkaido icon, with over 10,000 visitors a day. The park hosts 27 animal houses along with many restaurants and shops. One circuit of the zoo takes 2 to 3 hours, but stay for 4 to 5 hours for a more in-depth experience.
Winter in Asahikawa is extremely cold, with temperatures hovering below zero even in the daytime. During this season, some animals that do not adapt well to the cold will be out of view. That said, it's prime viewing time for the penguins, polar bears and other animals that thrive in the chilly conditions.
Remember that flash photography both indoors and outdoors is prohibited throughout the zoo. Feeding the animals is also strictly prohibited, as the animals are fed with special food.
From Asahikawa Airport, take the Asahikawa Electric Railway Bus for 35 minutes and get off at JR Asahikawa Station. From JR Asahikawa Station, ride the Asahikawa Electric Railway Bus headed to Asahiyama Zoo for 40 minutes. It's a short walk from the nearest stop to the zoo. A bus runs directly from Asahikawa Airport to Asahiyama Zoo as well, taking 35 minutes.
Costs 820 JPY for adults, and free of charge for junior high school students and younger visitors
Action Exhibits Expertly Designed for Keeping the Animals
This zoo features spacious areas designed to allow animals to display their natural abilities and habits rather than keeping them in cages. Watch the animals as they behave in the wild in the Action Exhibits, something you can only see at Asahiyama Zoo.
(1) Penguin house
A tube-shaped pathway passes through a huge water tank, where you'll watch penguins darting about right beside you and overhead as well. The penguin house is home to king, Humboldt, southern rockhopper, and Gentoo penguins. Each of these four species have different features and swimming styles; try and spot the differences!
(2) Seal house
Seals move to and fro along a 1.5-m diameter cylindrical water tank called the Marine Way. The seals are very curious and will sometimes stop swimming to gaze at the visitors outside. While the seals move around energetically in the water, they often relish a good lie-down on land, too.
(3) Polar bear house
Come at just the right time and you might catch the sight of polar bears making powerful dives or playing together in the water of the enormous tank, all visible behind a glass wall. Don't miss the polar bears diving to catch food thrown into the water by zoo staff at Mogumogu Time, held twice a daily (times may vary according to the season). You can also enter a glass dome called Seal's Eye. From there you'll get a seal's-eye view of the land and imagine what it's like to be one of the polar bear's favorite foods.
Watch the Animals Eat during Mogumogu Time
Mogumogu Time is feeding time, when zoo staff explain how they feed each animal and talk about the animals' behavior and characteristics. Check the zoo's website, the entrances, or the support center to see the day's feeding timetable.
Higashiasahikawachokuranuma, Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido, 078-8205
- Nearest Station
･ Sekihoku Main Line
- Phone Number
0166-36-1104Available languagesonly in Japanese
9:30am - 5:15pm
*[Summer] April 28, 2018–October 15, 2018
9:30am - 4:30pm
*October 16, 2018–November 3, 2018 (Last admissions 4:00pm in summer)
10:30am - 3:30pm
*[Winter] November 11, 2018–April 7, 2019(Last admissions 3:00pm in winter)
*April 9–27, 2018; November 4–10, 2018; New Year's holiday season (Open every day during open periods)
- Public Site
- Official Site