※ This article discusses Sunday, 8th of January 2017.
Oji Zoo is located in Kobe City and a common weekend activity for fathers with their children. As fathers are mostly working during the week and come home when children are already in bed, I literally mean. We saw several fathers with their children.
This sunday it was open between 09:00 and 16:30. The tickets cost 600 Yen, which is not much in my opinion. We already knew the path to the Zoo, because close to the Zoo, the Sports Center is located. I sometimes have Aikido there and Martina sometimes has Volleyball at this place. It is easy to find, because Oji Zoo has an amusement park inside with a Ferris Wheel. This Ferris Wheel sticks out from all the surrounding houses in this area. Oji Zoo is split into six sections:
Zoological Science Center
Wild Animals Circle
Polar Bear House
Children’s World Animal Land
Foreign Settlement, Former Hunter’s Residence (only open in April, May and October)
I want to provide a complete list of animals at Oji Zoo:
Flamingoes, ducks, peafowls, cranes, pheasants, sheep, geese, rabbits, goats, otters, squirrels, red pandas, koalas, snow owls, giant panda, eagles, elephants, leopard, snow leopard, jaguar, tiger, parrots, pelicans, storks, penguins, hippopotamuses, ostriches, kangaroos, sitatungas, zebras, giraffes, giant anteater, chimpanzees, capybara, orangutans, slamangs, ring-tailed lemurs, sea lions, crocodiles, turtles, fruit bats, bears, bobcat, porcupines, polar bears
We have been there early (9:20). This was good and bad. On the one hand, weather was turning worse in the afternoon. On the other hand, it was bad already. This day, it was quite cold, a few raindrops were recognizable and clouds covered the sky. Anyways, we started visiting the flamingoes' cage. Their feather is very beautiful, but the large crowd of flamingoes made quite some noise. We continued to see some peafowls, snow owls and cranes. All animals were rather passive this day, because of the cold and rain. We decided not to visit the Children’s World (pandas, squirrels, otters including a petting zoo) and saved it for later. The Giant Panda was currently not visible and we visited the elephants. The elephant in the outside area was throwing soil onto her back. Elephants do that to protect themselves from the sun. Because it was cloudy, we suspected she was actually drying her back from the raindrops. The elephant outside seemed fine, but I got relent, when I saw the elephant in the smaller cage. The elephant was going forth and back under the roof, which was a thin strip. I felt pity for him.
I found it very interesting that the toilet nearby featured a baby desk inside the men’s toilet. I haven’t seen this before in Japan. We visited the parrots next to the wild animals cages. One of the parrots was even able to say "Ohio" (Good morning), "Bye Bye" and his own name. It was funny that little birds living in freedom slipped through the thin grid and joined the parrots in their cage. I guess they enjoyed the available water and remaining food. In the following, we saw the Wild Animals Circle. Because of the circular shape, we visited the parrots twice. The tiger was walking around, but also within a limited space. I guess he was also not very happy with the weather. Lions, jaguars and cheetah were only sitting in silence (I got one photo of the cheetah walking, but he was just about to sit down when we came).
For children they have an Amusement Park with the aforementioned Ferris Wheel. It features a few Japanese statues made of stone, which I used for photographic opportunities. In the Zoological Science Center, a map of the world greeted us where areas indicated a certain type of animals. Japan, for example, was made of monkeys, boars and cats. Mosaics of drawn chicken where also presented. Remember that 2017 is the year of the chicken according to the Chinese calendar. The penguins in the pool close-by were active and enjoyed swimming. The Science Center itself was one of the nicer places within the zoo. It explained the behavior of animals in the African wild, how animals with a beak grab their food, displayed stuffed birds, explained defecation in videos, displayed eggs of various birds and exhibited the skeleton of selected animals.
Inside the Science Center it was acceptable warm, but outside it began to rain heavily. We decided not to finish the zoo today.
However, we also completed the Herbivores site. We saw a Hippopotamuses. First we weren’t sure it is still alive, but apparently it stayed underwater, except for the back and the face (in order to breathe, I guess). I assume the water felt warmer than the windy and cold outside. The ostriches were already very wet and two of them cuddled inside a small house. Most of the kangaroos also spent their time and we observed a mother nurturing her child. I am always impressed how muscular kangaroos are. Zebra also got wet and spent their time under the roof. Giraffes were not visible at all. They spent their time inside the house. We decided to briefly visit the sea lions. Just like the penguins, they were very active underwater. We also wanted to check whether the Giant Panda is visible now and we actually saw him. He was taking a nap on a wooden construction.
We headed home and covered approximately 70% of the zoo. I guess we picked a bad day and planned to come back in summer again. Consider that we skipped especially animals who are currently hibernating.
We decided to go to a restaurant in Sannoymiya, we have been before. When we looked for presents for the christmas party, we visited this restaurant already. It seems like an average family restaurant. I like the free refills for drinks. For the record: the menu has 35 main dishes out of 81 meals. 4 out of 29 are vegetarian. In the gallery, I posted the complete menu.