Best Zoos & Aquariums in Hiroshima

ByJustin Hanus
Mar 24, 2023

Best Zoos & Aquariums in Hiroshima

With some nice spring weather just around the corner, what could be a better day out for the family than a nearby zoo or aquarium? Observing animals and other creatures is the perfect way to unwind, entertain, and educate young children; who love getting close to furry and scaly beasts of all shapes and sizes. Here’s a pick of the best places to visit in Hiroshima if you fancy a bit of nature.

Asa Zoological Park

Commonly known as Asa Zoo, this is the city’s biggest animal attraction. Opened in 1971, it features around 170 animal species and a small aquarium with 15 fish species. You can see the types of creatures you’d expect at a good zoo, such as elephants, lions, monkeys, bears, giraffes, pandas, and penguins. There are also some cool local species, such as the Japanese giant salamander. The zoo is only a slight trek to the outskirts of Hiroshima, on the edge of the mountains. It takes around 20 minutes to reach by car, or you can get a bus from Kamiyasu station.

There is a petting area for kids and even pony rides at certain times of the day. You can observe zookeepers feeding the animals, who are kept in reasonably spacious and clean surroundings, and there are occasional special events such as talks. One of the zoo’s highlights is the summer night safari sessions, where you can observe the animals after dark. The zoo is family-friendly, with a children’s playground and a restaurant serving hot food on-site.


Mariho Aquarium

Located inside the Marina Hop shopping outlet in Nishi Ward, the Mariho Aquarium offers a few hours of tranquility, observing marine life and plants. The aquarium is divided into zones that are easy to navigate, including a jellyfish hall and a coral sea zone. Expect to see sharks, rays, octopuses, turtles, tropical freshwater fish, and coral reefs. There is plenty of accompanying information about the aquarium’s underwater inhabitants; however, this is in Japanese.

Website: (in Japanese)

Fukuyama City Zoo

The Fukuyama City zoo is located in the eastern part of the Hiroshima prefecture, about 15 kilometers northwest of Fukuyama station. It’s a smaller, quieter zoo than the Asa zoo but no less of a fun and educational day out. The zoo has 58 different animal species, including monkeys, lemurs, leopards, coyotes, ostriches, zebras, and emus. The zoo opened in 1978 and offers an annual Zoo Friends Association membership that costs just 1,500 yen. This entitles you to attend special events and a discounted general membership.

Website: (in Japanese)

Miyajima Public Aquarium

This aquarium facility is on the northern tip of Miyajima Island, a popular trek for tourists. The aquarium is an excellent addition to a trip to the island if you have an hour or two to spare. It’s a large structure with several zones, including a display pool with shows at certain times. You can view a range of fish and marine creatures, including whales, sea lions, sharks, otters, penguins, seals, clams, and many fish species.


Yoshio Kohara, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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