Asa Zoo

Family-fun day-trip only 20 min from the city center

By JJ Walsh    - 4 min read

A great zoo only 20 minutes from Hiroshima city, with lots of interesting animals to see. There is also a nice petting zoo, grassy fields, picnic areas, children playground in addition to all the interesting animals. This is a great place to spend the day with the family.

The animals seem very well taken care of and as happy as zoo animals can be. The park was opened in 1971 and is 25.6 hectares big, there are 160 animal species and 15 species of fish (aproximately 1500 animals and 5000 fish). The main section of the park is 2.2km long and the Western section of the park (walking trail) is another 1.8km. Since it is such a large park, it is a good idea to plan to spend the whole day there to be able to see it all at a leisurely pace. Be warned that the carparks fill up mid-morning on holidays and weekends, so get there by car early or after 2 to avoid the crowds- or better yet, use public transport. 

Asa-zoo is probably the most popular destination of families in Hiroshima and with such reasonable entry fees, many families visit quite often in good weather throughout the year. There is a nice playground and shaded area with picnic benches just left of the entrance gate up a slope. The first animals you see are the monkeys in the main enclosure in front of the gate and if you walk to the glass wall behind, you can engage in tug of war with those playful monkeys. If you turn right at the entrance, you can go into the zoo's information floor where you can do activities to learn about animals and get more details about the park. If you head down the path to the right past the pink flamingo's you will head down the hill past the zebras and giraffes in the largest enclosure.

At the bottom of the hill you will find the popular elephant enclosure where feeding time always draws a crowd. If you head up the hill, in the middle of the park is the indoor reptile enclosure which apparently has a great reputation. Nearby is the petting area where kids can sit and hold rabbits or hamsters at certain times of day. There are parrots, penguins, turtles, goats, and squirrels to see. In this area, pony rides are also possible for elementary aged kids at certain times of day. 

The park is quite big, so even when it is busy there is still plenty of space to walk around and view the animals. There are lots of grassy areas to sit under trees and have a picnic in the back-end of the park near the Lesser panda and Tiger enclosures. Semi-regular "night zoo" opening hours are held during the summer months when it is a cooler experience and a great opportunity to see the nocturnal animals at their most active time.

Food areas offer standard Japanese fare like noodles, fried chicken and curry & rice. The main food areas are near the koi pond and in the petting zoo section of the park. There are vending machines dotted around the park for all kinds of drinks both hot and cold as well as ice-creams. It is no problem to bring in your own coolers or baskets of food and drinks to eat at this zoo.

  • Guided tour to the park are available by advance appointment.
  • Discounts for groups of 30+
  • Parking fee- ¥440 for cars, ¥1350 for minivans, buses and trucks.
  • Strollers and umbrellas available for rent and some small coin lockers are also available near the entrance gate. Electric wheelchairs and manual wheelchairs are also available for use free of charge.

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JJ Walsh

JJ Walsh @joy.walsh

I've been living in Hiroshima since the mid 90's & still discovering new things to enjoy. I'm a big fan of both the old "wabi sabi" as well as modern and new designs, Japan offers both of these type of places to explore and enjoy. Even after many years here, I am still discovering surprising, fantastic and wacky things about this strange and wonderful land. I hope you enjoy your adventures around Japan- feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about traveling with kids, vegetarian dining or anything specific to Hiroshima.

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