Nagasaki is famous for many historical places; however, If you are looking for a place where you can visit with little children who are getting bored of history lessons, I really recommend you a zoo called Nagasaki Bio Park. It is the most amazing zoo that I have ever been to. I found this zoo when I was travelling from Nagasaki to Sasebo by a car and I found a sign saying “Nagasaki Bio Park” in the middle of nowhere. It is different from an ordinary zoo which every animals are retained inside of cages and even fences are standing in between you and the cages. Nagasaki Bio Park do not carry crazy animals like lions and cheetahs, but you would be amazed by how close you can get to animals. You can even feed them by yourselves.
Once you are in the park, you might think there are nothing to look at, just a forest. The amazingness starts when you enter Flower Dome where all sorts of tropical plants and exotic butterflies welcome visitors to the park. After going through beautiful greenhouse, you start seeing animals here and there.
Wherever you can feed animals, you find Gachapon machine nearby. You pay 100 yen to get a capsule filled with food for animals. You can hand-feed animals such as lemurs, squirrel monkeys, kangaroos, capybaras and a lot more. There are so many Gachapon machines in the park, so you feel like you are playing a treasure hunt.
The first animal you might get really excited to feed is the lemur. You will be testing your luck when you are going to feed lemurs since they spit at you like a firing gun. Luckily I didn’t get spat at but if you are interested, check out videos of lemur spitting before getting too close to lemurs!
Probably you have seen cute photos and videos of capybaras in hot springs in Japan. At Nagasaki Bio Park, you can get inside of capybara area where you can pet them and feed them. You would be amazed by how large full grown capybaras are; although, you have heard capybaras are the largest Rodentia in the world. If you are going to feed them, watch out for your fingers they get really aggressive once they see food in your hand. Until then they are calmly laying on the berries and don’t mind to be pat at.
Since you are going to encounter so many animals and going to have a lot of fun feeding them, I recommend you to wash your hands anytime you find water fountains after feeding animals.
I could spend only three hours at Nagasaki Bio Park and probably missed out so many things since there are about 2000 animals kept in the park with 200 different species. Although the most exciting thing was to feed the animals, Nagasaki Bio Park is also educative in how they maintain wild animals as close to their natural habitats as possible. If you are interested to visit the park, make a plan to spend a whole day just for Nagasaki Bio Park.
For opening dates, admission fees and other basic information, please check here: http://www.biopark.co.jp/en/