Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.
Fireball’s summer holiday is coming to an end. Since his mummy and eight months old baby sister are not big fans of intense summer heat, he pretty much had to stay indoor. So when Daddy had day off last Friday, we decided to visit Ichikawashi Dousyoku Butsuen (市川市動植物園 / Ichikawa-Shi Zoological & Botanical Garden), a mini local zoo.
9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Usually close on Mondays
Please check the official website for closing dates.
Adult: 420 yen
Elementary/Junior High School Children: 100 yen
Children before Elementary School: Free
500 yen per day
In the Nakayoshi Hiroba (なかよし広場 / “Buddy Area”), there are many friendly tamed animals for the children to interact with, such as the guinea pigs, chicks, ducks, sheeps, goats, rabbits, pot-bellied pigs, etc. When we were there, a zoo-keeper was giving a talk on how to hold the guinea pigs and chicks before we were allowed to handle them. Sadly, my son wasn’t interested at all. So we skipped the next session with bunny hand-ons, which is scheduled in the afternoon (2 – 3:30 pm).
In the same compound, we got to see a couple of gorgeous Snowy Owls in a cage. They used to have a Gin Kitsune (ギンギツネ/ Silver Fox) but it past away due to old age.
Donkey, cow, pig, ponies… I understand. Not sure why a family of Capypara (カピバラ) are staying in this particular compound. I didn’t dare to touch them because they don’t look so domesticated to me, and I know so little about them. LOL
Apart from the domesticated animals, they do have different areas for Wild Birds (Emu, Flamingoes, etc.); Small Wild Animals (Red Lesser Panda, Meerkats, Raccoons, Tanuki, Foxes, Porcupines, Otters, etc.); a wide range of monkeys (which includes Lemurs, Orang utans, etc.). Not bad for a small zoo!
Unfortunately, since Japan’s Summer is sooooo HOT, majority of the animals were snoozing away! We didn’t get to see any “Nagashi Kawauso” (streaming otters) in action. Of which, the Asian small-clawed otters playfully slide down water pipe installations in their area.
All aboard! Here is my personal favorite – Mini Tetsu Hiroba (ミニ鉄道広場). I think no little boy can resist a train ride! Especially a toy Shinkansen (bullet train)! Best of all, it costs only 100 yen per ride for an Adult or Child (must be above one year old).
9:45 am – 11:45 am
12:45 pm – 4:00 pm
Municipal Museum of Natural History in Ichikawa (自然博物館) is located on the third floor, near the zoo entrance. This is an informative place, which introduces the various living creatures staying in Ichikawa City.
A serene Shinsui Hiroba (river/water area), where one can relax, or try to catch a Zarigani (Clayfish). The zoo actually prepares simple fishing rods and baits for us. Thank goodness the lobster-like thingy was not in the mood to be caught, otherwise I really do not know what to do with a pet clayfish. Whew!
The day ended with BUMPY finale. Fireball being his usual self, ran amok despite of his mother’s stern warnings, fell head down, and ended up with a big bump! SIGH… So we had to cut short the trip, and did not venture to the nearby Botanical Gardens (自然観察園) or Rose Garden (バラ園), which is within 10-min & 5-min walk from the zoo entrance respectively. Both places are admission free, open from 9am to 5pm.