The Kyoto City Zoo: An Adventure for the Whole Family

The Okazaki area of Kyoto is home to famous sightseeing spots like Heian-jingu Shrine and Nanzen-ji Temple, as well as museums and parks, and is beloved as a great area to spend a relaxing time. At the Kyoto City Zoo, located in Okazaki, you can have a special experience coming into close contact with a variety of global animal species as well as animals local to the Kyoto area. On top of that, there are a ton of events throughout the year, such as lectures, night-viewing events, and animal feeding events. There are even some lectures in English, so visitors from abroad can take part without worry! This article will explain to you all the wonderful things the Kyoto City Zoo has to offer!


Things to Do

Discover Ozaki

After a long day of exploring Kyoto’s many temples, shrines, and museums, your family may be looking for a change of pace. In the east of Kyoto, in the Okazaki neighborhood, you‘ll be pleased to discover the Kyoto City Zoo loxated just a short walk from such famous spots as Heian-jingu Shrine and Nanzen-ji Temple. It’s the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon with your children!

The Kyoto City Zoo is home to a wide variety of creatures from around the world, from the more ferocious, like tigers, gorillas, and bears, to the cute squirrels, penguins, and even fennec foxes. The zoo offers an up-close view of the animals, so it makes for a particularly exciting experience. If you visit during the spring, you will get some amazing views of the cherry blossoms dotted throughout the grounds and along the Lake Biwa Canal that runs along the length of the zoo.

Kyoto Wildlife

One of the most interesting parts of the zoo for those visiting from outside of Japan is the area called “Kyoto no Mori,” or Forest of Kyoto in English. It is populated by some local Kyoto species that you won’t get a chance to see walking the streets of the city. You and your kids may know some of their relatives from back home, but it will certainly be a surprise to see some of the species that live in the area surrounding Kyoto, including the Japanese Squirrel, the Mandarin Duck, the Japanese Giant Salamander, and many more!

The zoo very much values the welfare of its animals, and you’ll be glad to hear that some of the animals in this section of the zoo are actually rescues from the surrounding area. They cannot go back to the wild due to their injuries, but fortunately they are living comfortably at the Kyoto City Zoo.


The Kyoto City Zoo is also host to many events throughout the year. The zoo has hosted lectures, nighttime viewings, and even animal feeding events, which are sure to enthrall you and the kids. For those not able to speak Japanese, lectures are sometimes offered in English as well. These events are held regularly throughout the year, so if the timing of your trip to Kyoto is just right, be sure to participate!

Library Cafe: Slow Jet Coffee

When you’ve finished exploring the zoo, take a rest at the library cafe. While you’re enjoying a refreshing coffee or a scrumptious crepe, the kids can enjoy an amazing collection of books about wildlife from around the world. They’ll see picture books by some authors they may already be familiar with and reference books that illustrate the fine details about animals in the world. There is more than your fill to read, so spend an hour or even an entire afternoon!

During your Kyoto travels, take the family to the Kyoto City Zoo and enjoy a bit of Kyoto’s wild side!

Rights to the text and photos in this article belong to the KYOTO CITY OFFICIAL TRAVEL GUIDE.

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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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