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Sendai Yagiyama Zoological Park

Monkeys, elephants, and hippos

There are many ideas and rumors about the state of Japanese zoos, but Yagiyama Zoo was a true pleasure to visit. The zoo has all the highlights—monkeys, elephants, penguins, and tigers—and the animals are quite fun to watch. Yagiyama Zoo opened in 1965 and has 144 different species of animals, according to its official website. The zoo’s layout is a bit confusing, but there are signs and maps around the park, including signs in English. The animal exhibits also have some explanations in English. The right side of the zoo has various animals such as monkeys, goats, birds, and red pandas. The left side of the zoo is mainly the African animals—zebras, elephants, and giraffes. As a zoo, of course, the real treat is watching the animals.

The best exhibit was the monkeys. They had a large area with rocks, ropes, and wheels to play around in. And play they did! You can buy monkey food for 100 yen from a nearby vending machine and feed them. The monkeys might compete for the food, and they get very excited. A few of the monkeys were babies, and they were very cute. One of the mothers was carrying her baby around on her back, jumping from place to place.

The elephants and the hippos were also entertaining, mostly because you can get ridiculously close to them. Watching the elephant use his trunk to bring water to his mouth was educational, and something I had never noticed before from far away. Seeing the hippos close up and worrying about being splashed was also amusing.

The zoo also has some different animals from what you might see in other countries, such as llamas, Japanese horses, and tanukis. There are a variety of birds as well. The Reptile House is decently sized, and you can touch an old turtle shell. There is another monkey exhibit on the right side of the park, with Colobus monkeys. They were also enjoyable to watch as they swung and climbed around their habitat. The polar bears were also fun to watch lumber around, and the tiger was majestic as he proudly sat on a rock.

The zoo has a couple small restaurants on-site with ramen, udon, and the usual fare for decent prices. There is also a small gift shop near the main entrance, and a play area for the children.

The admission fee for the day is 400 yen, but you can buy an annual pass for 1000 yen. The zoo is definitely more than worth this cheap admission fee! Yagiyama Zoo is a good-sized zoo with a variety of animals to see. If you enjoy animals, or just want to spend a few hours strolling around a natural area, I highly recommend a visit.

Getting there

To get to Yagiyama Zoo, you should take a bus from Sendai Station. Bus Lines No.9, 11, 12 from the West Bus Station should take you to Dobutsuen-mae, which is where you should get off. The bus ride will take about 30 minutes from the station.

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Rebecca Daum Author 10 years ago
I'm glad you liked the article! I enjoyed my time with the animals. :)
Shih Ting Lee 10 years ago
I am highly interested in visiting Sendai Yagiyama Zoological Park through your introduction. Not only the signs in English which shows much welcoming to foreigners, I also enjoy the precious opportunity such as getting more interactions with animals just like this zoological park. I like your such detailed and clear introduction, which makes me want to visit this place more! I love animals, hope everyone loves them as well.

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