tennoji zoo

April 15th, 2013 / by / in: travel / 1 Response


Tennoji Zoo is right beside Shinsekai in Osaka and takes up most of the surrounding Tennoji Park. I had no real desire to go to this zoo (I’m not particularly fond of Japanese zoos) but it was right there and it was a sunny day, so why not? It only costs ¥500 to get in, and I think it’s free for kids. We went on a weekday and it was busy but not too crowded. It seems popular with Japanese families.

It opened in 1915 and is one of Japan’s oldest zoos. (Ueno Zoo in Tokyo is the oldest zoo and it opened in 1882!)


One of my favourites is the zo (elephant).


Weird artwork by the entrance.




A spectacled bear. They have a weird mask-like face.


Looking at the fish.


Cute tiger sleeping.


I wonder if the sheep enjoy the cherry blossoms?


When we went, the cherry blossoms were still in bloom. So pretty!


A lot of the sakura trees had hand-painted signs made by kids. (The sign says “sakura.”)


This camel is also enjoying some cherry blossom petals.


I’ve seen complaints from Westerners about this zoo online — that the animals display stress behaviour (pacing, overgrooming), and while that’s true, I’ve seen that in zoos everywhere, including in Canada and the US. Some of the animals at Tennoji Zoo have massive enclosures (the koalas, the tigers) and some have tiny ones (the wolves), which some people seem to find upsetting. But again, I don’t think that’s specific to this zoo — it’s more of a general Japanese zoo thing. I’m not going to complain because I don’t think enforcing my standards of animal welfare on another country is fair, but the Japanese treatment of animals isn’t the same as in Western countries. Just something to be aware of, I guess.

I had a pleasant time wandering around the zoo, but your mileage may vary.

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