Whilst the Alps do, as one would expect, give rise to a huge amount of winter sports tourism, they also have the added benefit of limiting the number of inhabitable areas within the prefecture. However, the cities of Matsumoto, and the prefectural capital, also called Nagano, offer plenty of sites for an avid tourist to see.
Although it can be difficult to have a pet of your own in Japan as an expat, especially if you live in a city, there are plenty of places to go where you can spend time with cute animals and get your fluff fix. One of these is “Sekai no Meiken Bokujo” a communication park for dogs and people, in Gunma Prefecture.
The Japanese serow is an animal that has appeared in pop culture as well. It has been seen in the soccer based game and anime, “Inazuma Eleven GO”, and it is also said that the Ghibli character, the “Forest Spirit” in its deer form from Director Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke is based on the Japanese serow. Even the ever-so-popular Pokemon that a lot of us grew up watching has a character representation of this animal.
Soft meowing played over a loudspeaker outside the cafe. For me, a feline fan, the lure was irresistible!
This zoo is in Yokohama ward, and is more than just a zoo; it also resembles a safari park. Fortunately for the animals, cages are really big and fences are as little as possible as to get the animals to live in an environment that is parallel to their native one.
I met my first stray cat when I went jogging in Japan. There are many domestic cats walking around (so far I have never seen a stray dog here), but strays always look different and give me different looks. That skinny cat I met had white fur, with lots of dirty stains and even some blood ones. Luckily, I could see him/her again when I went to the same spot again.
To be honest, I didn’t like Maruyama Zoo when I first went there about 15 years ago. The enclosures were small and made of concrete and the animals seemed unhappy. But the zoo has changed and is still changing. There has been a large amount of construction work to enlarge the animal's space and to improve the viewing experience.