There are many species of cacti from around the world that can be found at Izu Shaboten Zoo. Located in Ito City in Shizuoka Prefecture, visitors can find more than 1,500 individual cacti plants, including numerous rare species.
Izu Shaboten is divided into five distinct areas, such as the Mexico Hall and the South Africa Hall. The plants on display give a good glimpse into the world of cacti.
When you enter the greenhouse you will feel as if you are in another country. The flowers of the cacti are vivid and very beautiful. One of the cacti species on display, the sekko, looks like a snowball and its flower is in full bloom for about one to two weeks longer than other flowering cacti. Many people, myself included, have never seen cacti blooming, and to see just how beautiful they are can be quite a surprise.
Many cacti are potted and are available for purchase, a nice treat for those who are mesmerized by these most curious plants. I've noticed that these days, cacti seem to be becoming more popular, at least amongst the younger generation and you'll find many people at the store purchasing them.
Aside from the cacti, visitors can also take in the many animals on display, like the capybara and the lesser panda. There are also opportunities to pet and feed some of the animals. There is also an animal boat tour where you can bird watch from up close. Izu Shaboten Zoo really is a great place to spend the day with the whole family.
Close by can be found Mount Omuro, a symbol of Izu. A chairlift is available to take both adults and children to the summit, a nice destination that is easy to enjoy.