Kawaii!!! Perhaps one of the most popular words in the Japanese dictionary, kawaii, meaning cute, is something very much rooted in their culture, and what better way to celebrate all things cute than to pay a visit to the very cuddly animal residents of this Asian archipelago?
So here you have it, the must visit places for the animal lover when travelling in Japan:
Nasu Alpaca Farm
The largest alpaca farm in Japan Nasu Alpaca Farm in the Tochigi prefecture has been dubbed as the farm that raises the world’s friendliest alpacas. Visit the 400 alpacas that call this place home and in fact, you could get an alpaca to accompany you down the aisle. What a way to calm those wedding jitters!
Zao Fox Village
What does the fox say? Well, you’ll definitely hear the answer straight from the horse’s mouth at the Miyagi Zao Fox Village, located in the mountains near Shiroishi. The best place in the world for the fox enthusiast, if you are lucky, you just may be able to cuddle a baby fox on village grounds!
Nara Deer Park
Hello, Bambi! Located in the centre of the city of Nara, this UNESCO Heritage Site is a favourite amongst travellers who pass through the area. The 1200 deer that call this place home share it with several historical monuments such as Todaiji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine. For maximum fun, spend the whole afternoon exploring this area.
Ōkunoshima Rabbit Island
If your life goals entail being completely smothered by a herd of rabbits, then Ōkunoshima Rabbit Island is just what you need! There are several theories as to why there are so many rabbits on the island, but in the end of the day, all that matters is that they are super tame and ready to say hello!
Nagano Snow Monkey Park
Who says only humans know how to enjoy life? Clearly, these monkeys know a thing or two. Nagano is a paradise for these Japanese Macaques who come and sit in hot spring baths. When paying a visit, just make sure you don’t try to touch one of them lest you be rewarded with hisses and swpies.
Aoshima Cat Island
Either a dream come true for your inner crazy cat lady or a total nightmare for the allergic, Aoshima Cat Island is just one of the dozen or so cat islands you can find in Japan. Outnumbering humans 6:1, these cats can be seen almost everywhere you go in this fishing village.
Izu Shaboten Park’s Capybara Onsen
The Izu Shaboten Park in Ito, Japan, is home to the 10-20 capybaras who live on park grounds who love taking baths in the onsen built just for them! This was discovered by accident when a staff member found one of the capybaras soaking in a puddle and the rest became history.
Do you know of any other must-visit animal places in Japan? Do let us know in the comments below!
Curate your holiday, stress-free: