Best Zoos, Farms and Aquariums in Kumamoto

ByJustin Hanus
Jan 20, 2023

Best Zoos, Farms and Aquariums in Kumamoto

Spending time with nature and observing diverse animals and creatures in zoos and aquariums is a great way of relaxing for a few hours and providing entertainment and education for young children. Here is a selection of zoos and aquariums in Kumamoto, where you can see a range of species in their natural surroundings with some opportunities for feeding and petting.

Kumamoto City Zoological and Botanical Gardens

The central zoo in Kumamoto, the Zoological and Botanical Gardens, is located on the city’s east side, close to the fabulous Ezu Lake. The space consists of a zoo with over 1,000 animals from 120 different species, a beautiful and relaxing garden with plants and flowers, and a small amusement area with rides for kids spread across nearly 25 hectares of land. Animals include bears, elephants, giraffes, and the popular golden snub-nosed monkeys. There is also a petting area where you can stroke creatures such as goats and hold guinea pigs and rabbits. The cages are small by western zoo standards, but the animals are well looked after and friendly. Entry costs only a few hundred yen, and there is a small restaurant on site serving Japanese food.

Address: 5 Chome-14-2 Kengun, Higashi Ward, 862-0911

Aso Cuddly Dominion

This animal theme park sits in the shadow of Mount Aso and is a fun day for the whole family. Animals on display include alpacas, capybaras, chimpanzees, penguins, and several species of bears. There is also a petting area where you can touch the likes of dogs and cubs and an area where you can feed some of the bears. The park puts on animal theatre and shows most days involving creatures such as chimps and parrots. As with many other zoos and animal parks in Japan, living spaces for the animals can be quite small – especially for the bears here – which can be distressing for visitors from other parts of the world, so be prepared. There is also a play zone with rope bridges, slides, and swings for children. The park also runs helicopter flights allowing you to view the majestic Mt. Aso from above. The entrance fee to the park is 2,400 yen for adults and 1,400 yen for children.


Aso Farm Land

Aso Farm Land is a fully-fledged health resort within Aso-Kuju National Park. You can visit for just a day, although settling in for 2-3 days is recommended to give yourself a chance to unwind and soak up the vibes properly. Access to the resort is free, although many of the facilities within the site charge fees. One such attraction is the Fureai Dobutsu Otoku animal kingdom, a petting zoo featuring 35 animal species, including squirrel monkeys, lemurs, flamingos, iguanas, and horned owls. Visitors are encouraged to get up close and interact with the animals as part of a process of animal therapy. As the Farm Land brochure says, we can gain healing and learning benefits from engaging with such creatures!

The resort includes many other facilities and activities, including spa treatments, hot springs, and fruit & vegetable picking. If you want to stay overnight, you can rent one of the cute dome-shaped cabins on the site. Access to the petting zoo is 900 yen for adults and 600 yen for children.


Sea Donut Aquarium

So-called because of its innovative donut shape, this floating aquarium sits in the Yatsushiro Sea just off the Amakusa Islands, forming part of the Amakusa Pearl Center. Its circular design makes it very easy to navigate, and the aquarium has been split into seven sections – each named after one of the world’s continents. Marvel at the sights of European tropical fish, the axolotl, and the Mexican Tetra, a.k.a. the “blind cave fish.” Because the aquarium sits in the sea and is underwater, you feel you’re on an expedition and witnessing sea creatures in their natural habitat. The aquarium also runs sessions where you can touch and interact with dolphins, and there is the opportunity for a sightseeing boat tour. Entrance is 1,300 yen for adults.


Charles J. Sharp, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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