As well as being home to some of the country’s best beaches, Izu also holds the title of being home to the country’s largest collection of reptiles and amphibians. Located in Kawazu-cho on the east coast of Izu peninsula sits iZoo, one of Japan’s most fascinating animal enclosures. What makes this zoo particularly special is its opportunity for once in a lifetime interactive experiences, here you can touch, pet, and hold some the zoo’s friendly inhabitants until your heart’s content. Home to both Japanese and foreign animals, a visit to iZoo is the best way to really discover some of the world’s most fascinating creatures.
As well as being a zoo, iZoo is also the country’s first breeding facility specializing in reptiles. Giving visitors insight into the true lifecycle of a variety of different reptiles and amphibians, the area’s environment is the closest you’ll ever get to being a part of the reptile world yourself. Alongside interactive exhibits, the iZoo staff also run semi-regular ‘backyard tours’; here guests are invited to witness the behind the scenes action and see just what goes into running a zoo of this magnitude.
Spread over three levels, most of the zoo’s main attractions are indoors which makes it the perfect rainy day back-up plan during Japan’s steamy and rather unpredictable summers. Inside you can live out all your wild, jungle warrior fantasies by wearing a boa constrictor and getting up close and personal with crocodiles (in a very safe environment). If slimy snakes and scaly crocodiles aren’t necessarily your cup of tea, there are a number of much cuter locals like baby turtles you can cuddle.
Given that this is the largest turtle breeding facility in Japan, the zoo is home to the only Galapagos Giant tortoises in Japan. Also living within the iZoo sanctuary is a number of Aldabra Giant tortoises. If you’re heading along with small children, Aldabra Giant tortoise rides are available for guests who weigh under 30kgs, offering a very unique photo opportunity and one that’s definitely worth taking for the holiday album.
Open from 9:00am to 5:00pm every day all year round, entry into the zoo costs 1,500 yen for adults and 800 yen for children elementary school age or younger. If you’re travelling by train the best way to get to iZoo is by catching the Izukyu line to Kawazu Station, from there you can transfer to the Tokai bus for Shimoda and jump off at the Shobusawa stop. From there it’s an easy five-minute walk. By car, it’s a 60km ride down the Tomei Expressway Numazu IC toward Shimoda via Higashi-Surugawan Kanjo Road. Free car parking is also available for guests.
- Facility Name
- Shizuoka Pref. Kamogunkawaduchou Hama 406-2
- Located in Kawazu Town, Kamo County, Shizuoka Prefecture, iZoo is one of the largest zoos in Japan dedicated to reptiles and amphibians. iZoo cares for a diverse variety of reptiles and amphibians, including an endangered Galapogos giant tortoise, iguanas, lizards, snakes, and frogs. In addition to indoor and outdoor animal exhibits, visitors can also enjoy taking commemorative photos, petting, and feeding some of the zoo’s creatures. Children 30 kilograms and under can take a photo riding the giant tortoise (extra fee required). Closest station: Kawazu Station on the Izu Kyuko Line. Closest bus stop: The “Shobusawa” stop on the Tokai Bus.
- Information Sources:
- NAVITIME JAPAN