5 zoos at night! Have a special time with your kids at a night zoo near Tokyo!

“What is the appeal of zoos at night?” “Which popular zoos near Tokyo are open at night?”

During Golden Week and summer vacation from late July to August, many zoos extend their opening hours so you can enjoy night zoos. The biggest attraction at the zoo at night is that you can see animals that you don’t usually see, such as giraffes resting with their necks folded, and tigers and leopards moving around actively.

You may even discover a new side of your child, who looks at animals intently and has a serious expression on his face while sensing various things.

In this article, we will introduce five popular zoos near Tokyo that are open at night. Please check in advance and enjoy the night zoo.

■Explaining the charm and ways to enjoy the zoo at night

At the zoo at night, you will be amazed to see the faces of nocturnal animals that are different from those seen during the day.

During the day, you can see the animals in their true colors, such as the sound of a sleeping lion actively talking to its cubs, and the chilling, piercing glow of an owl’s eyes that glow in the dark.

In addition to observing these animals, the zoo at night also holds special events and sells night-only goods, giving you a different way to enjoy the zoo than during the day. We will introduce the charms and ways to enjoy each one.


The zoo at night is full of new discoveries

Giraffes are large herbivores, so they spend 18 hours a day eating 45 kg of leaves, bark, and twigs to get the nutrients they need. To protect themselves from predators, they only sleep for about 20 minutes a day and sleep standing up. The only time you can see such defenseless giraffes sitting and resting, or resting with their necks bent and resting on the ground, is at night at the zoo.

Lions, which are also popular at zoos, often sleep in the shade of trees during the day, but become active at night. Night zoos are unique in that you can see them moving around and hear their low growling voices, something you can’t see during the day.

Hippos may look gentle during the day, but they are actually very ferocious animals. When threatening, they attack by opening their mouths 150 degrees and showing their sharp fangs. During the day, they spend most of their time underwater, so you won’t see their mouths wide open, but at night, they’re often on land, so you’ll see a lot of them.


Enjoy limited evening menus and events

During the summer, opening hours are extended and night events are held at each zoo. In the past, the following events were held:

・A special guide where you can observe wild bats and hear the true appearance of nocturnal animals from a zookeeper (Ueno Zoo)
・Firefly observation event (Tama Zoo)
・Various dinner times (feeding experience) Cherry blossoms illuminated at night (Tobu Zoo)

Some zoos offer menus that can only be enjoyed at night, such as soft serve ice cream and penguin shaved ice, so you can probably see children enjoying them.


5 zoos you can enjoy at night near Tokyo

There are many popular zoos near Tokyo that have extended opening hours for a limited time. We will introduce the following five zoos that hold the most popular night ZOO.

1.Ueno Zoo
2.Tama Zoological Park
3.Tobu Zoological Park
4.Yokohama Zoo Zoorasia
5.Gunma Safari Park

All of the zoos are popular and have plenty of nightly events. I will introduce them one by one.


Japan’s most famous zoo | Ueno Zoo

Ueno Zoo is a historic zoo that opened in 1882. During World War II, elephants, lions, hippos, and other animals were destroyed as they were deemed food deprived or dangerous, and the area is also famous for its animal memorial. After the reconstruction, it has become a leader in Japan’s zoo industry, housing giant pandas, okapis, and pygmy hippos, which are known as the world’s three most rare animals, and boasts an annual visitor count of 3 million people.

It is one of the largest zoos in Japan, with 300 species and 3,000 animals, divided into the East Zoo, which has tigers, elephants, and bears, and the West Zoo, which has rhinos, hippos, and giraffes. It’s so worth seeing that you can’t see it all in one day.

In the forest at night, you can see nocturnal animals, such as actively moving tigers and flying bats, which you can’t see during the day. At Café Cameleon, where you can take out snacks, beer, and ice cream, the colorful lamps on the tables will entertain children.

Impressive viewing without fences|Tama Zoological Park

Tama Zoological Park is a vast zoo that opened in 1958. You can enjoy things like no other, including Japan’s first exhibition without fences and the world’s first lion bath. The sight of a lion visible through a single piece of glass is quite impressive.

At night, you can also enjoy “bat watching” where you can observe wild oil bats flying over the park.

There is also a pool and amusement park | Tobu Zoo

Tobu Zoological Park is a hybrid leisure land that combines a zoo, an amusement park, a pool, and an area with flowers and plants. There are approximately 120 types of animals and 1,200 animals, and there are plenty of events such as the opportunity to experience bait spearing with the zookeepers.

There is a night feeding experience and the “Firefly Komichi” where about 500 Heike fireflies are released in the park.
etc., where you can see the ephemeral light of fireflies shining little by little.

Feel the wild firsthand | Yokohama Zoo Zoorasia

Yokohama Zoo Zoorasia is a zoo with an area larger than 10 Tokyo Domes that recreates the wild. The attraction is that you can see animals that are designated as endangered species, such as the rare red-legged dolphin langur, white-legged kangaroo, white-breasted donkey, dhole, and proboscis monkey.

You can also enjoy food menus tailored to areas such as savannah terraces and tropical forests. There is also a service that allows you to ride a camel, which is one of the few in Japan.

There will also be zookeeper guides, night bird shows, craft classes and beautifully illuminated concerts.

See animals up close | Gunma Safari Park

Gunma Safari Park is a 45th-year-old zoo that was established as a full-fledged safari park in May 1979. Approximately 100 species and 1,000 animals from five continents live on a vast site in a state similar to their original ecosystem. You can also feed the lions and zebras from inside the bus, so the biggest attraction is that you can observe the animals up close.

Unusual food menu items such as ostrich skewers and crocodile karaage are also popular.

On the “Night Safari Tour,” you can take a tour bus around the park after dark and see nocturnal animals and the nighttime appearance of Sumatran elephants, which can only be seen here in Japan.

■Let’s make wonderful memories at the zoo at night

At the zoo at night, you will be impressed by the sight of animals that cannot be seen during the day. Also, during the summer vacation period, the zoo offers night-only merchandise and events, so there are even more ways to enjoy the zoo. It is sure to become a lifelong memory for children as they see the animals’ appearances and expressions that cannot be seen on TV.

However, the zoo is so large that it is difficult to see it all in one day. It’s best to plan your schedule in advance according to the animals you want to see, the goods you want to buy, and the events you want to buy.

Let’s go to the zoo at night to make wonderful summer memories.

Q: What are the interesting points about the zoo at night?
A: You can see the expressions of nocturnal animals at night and the lively appearance that you can’t see during the day.

Q: When is the night zoo held?
A: It is held for a few hours longer than usual during Golden Week and summer vacation from late July to August. You can also enjoy limited edition goods and events.