Immerse yourself in the natural habitats of some of the world’s most intriguing animals at Osaka’s Tennoji Zoo. Housing species from the Asian Tropics to the African savannah, this park gives you the opportunity to see up and close a diverse collection of exhibits, making for a great day out.
When it was opened in 1915, the Tennoji Zoo was only the third zoo in Japan. Today this historic establishment houses around 230 different species on an 11-hectare (27-acre) area in downtown Osaka.
Enter the park from the Hanshin Expressway or from Tennoji Park and see the distinct Snow White Clock Tower. Food and drink options are available here if you get hungry during your stay.
Head to the north side towards the African Savannah section of the zoo. Watch snakes slither under logs at the reptile house or observe the underwater behavior of the hippopotamus in their state-of-the-art enclosure. Gentle herbivores like the zebra and rhinoceros graze in their natural Savannah environment next to thrilling carnivore enclosures housing tigers, lions and hyenas. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the bird of prey exhibit.
Follow the well-marked pathways south and head towards the Asian Tropical Rainforest zone. Here, you’ll find playful monkeys from the Asian continent, koalas and Japan’s only kiwi bird from the Australasian islands. Pay a visit to the elephant enclosure to see the majestic beasts in a realistic environment. Purchase a map from the entrance to make sure you don’t miss any of the intriguing habitats.
For a heartwarming treat, enquire at the information desk about feeding times and watch the animals getting their meals.
If you have some time after a walk around the grounds, be sure to take a relaxing stroll through the traditional Japanese gardens of the adjacent Tennoji Park.
The zoo charges a very cheap entry fee and is open from 9:30am to 5pm every day except Monday, when it is closed. Exhibit maps can be downloaded online.