An Osaka Family Favorite! Tennoji Zoo - Kansai Odyssey
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  • An Osaka Family Favorite! Tennoji Zoo

    One of Osaka’s favorite attractions, especially for families, is Tennoji Zoo [天王寺動物園]. Opened in 1915 it is the 3rd oldest zoo in Japan, Tennoji Zoo currently houses 200 kinds of animal on 27 acres of land. This is the 2nd biggest zoo in Japan following Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. Though there are several zoos in Osaka, Tenoji zoo is easily the most popular.

    Tennoji Zoo

    Japanese cherry blossoms at Tennoji Zoo and Tsutenkaku in background
    Tennoji Zoo in the spring

    One of the reason why Tennoji Zoo is so popular is that admission is very inexpensive; adults are 500 yen and children are only 200 yen.
    The annual pass is only 2,000 yen too!

    Tennoji Zoo specializes in “natural exhibits” and strives to create the environment each animals actually live in the wild.

    ram standing on top of rock like mass with cherry blossoms in background
    Majestic goat is majestic

    Some of the more popular animals at the zoo are the big cats, giraffes and the polar bear!

    Here are just some of the other amazing animals at Tennoji Zoo!

    females lions grooming and a sleeping male in natural enclosure in Tennoji Zoo
    Lions!
    Tiger in caged enclosure at Tennoji Zoo
    Tigers!
    black bear in rocky enclosure at Tennoji Zoo
    And bears!
    Japanese wolf stretching on rock
    Oh my, it seems the wolves have a great yoga instructor
    Hippopotamus relaxing in pool at Tennoji Zoo
    Hippopotamus
    three emperor penguins sitting in their enclosure at Tennoji Zoo
    Penguins!

    Famous Animals

    Harukus the Giraffe

    male and female giraffes grazing on trees at Tennoji Zoo Abeno Harukus in background
    Kouya (left) and Harukus-chan (right)

    Tennoji Zoo own a pair of giraffes. The female was donated to the zoo from Abeno Harukus, the large skyscraper next to the Kintetsu station next to the zoo. Quite fittingly, her name is Harukus-chan.

    Go-Go Ii-chan the Polar Bear

    Ii-chan the polar bear at Tennoji Zoo
    Ii-chan

    Donated by locally famous Horai 551, Go-Go Ii-chan the polar bear is a crowd favorite. 

    wet polar bear with a fish in her mouth
    Such a mighty hunter…

    She is a real ham, we love going to see her. 

    Tennoji Zoo Ii-chan the polar bear
    Everyone has their own idea of fun, I guess…

    Masahiro, The Lucky Chicken

    When you think of famous animals at a zoo, a chicken would probably be that last thing to come to mind. One chicken at Tennoji Zoo, however, has really earned his keep. Originally purchased for food, Masahiro the chicken is one of the most famous animals at the zoo. Masahiro is taken out for walks at intervals throughout the day. Keep an eye out for this special chicken!

    white farm chicken on a wooden bench in front of a bush
    Masahiro the chicken

    First, the zoo purchased him as from a slaughter house, but the zoo decided to keep him around because he needed to teach the other birds how to peck. 

    After that, he was used a bait to lure out a weasel the zoo thought somewhere in the zoo, but it never appeared.

    Then they decided that if one of the tigers got sick, Masahiro would become a meal for them. Luckily for Masahiro, the tigers never got sick.  

    If all this wasn’t enough, now a number of birds at the zoo have bird flu! We have to hope his luck will hold out once again.

    Rani Hiroko: In Memorandum

    bronze statue of elephant at Tennoji Zoo
    Well miss you, Rani. ;_;

    Tennoji’s elephant, Rani Hiroko, came to Japan in 1970 from India. Sadly, on January 25, 2018 she passed away. She was the oldest elephant in Japan, aged at least 47 years old.

    Other Exhibits

    There are some other pretty fun enclosures for guests to the zoo.

    One is the large aviary located near the polar bear exhibit.

    Large aviary at Tennoji Zoo
    Aviary

    Another very popular exhibit is the petting zoo where you can pet and feed small animals such as rabbits, goats and sheep.  

    people lined up at the entrance of the petting zoo in Tennoji Zoo
    Petting zoo, entrance
    long-eared goat on grassy lawn
    Long-eared goat. <3

    Be sure to visit the nocturnal animal exhibit! The kiwi inside the exhibit is the only one in Japan!

    entrance of nocturnal animal house in Tennoji Zoo
    Nocturnal Animal House, entrance.

    Don’t forget the reptile house!

    Tennoji zoo reptile house
    Ifar Reptile House

    No matter your age, I think Tennoji Zoo is a really fun way to spend and afternoon. You should give yourself at least an hour to and hour and a half to walk around and really enjoy everything. If you really like animals, you might need longer. There are also a number of events held throughout the year at the zoo, like the Night Zoo, which takes place in the summer. Once you go, it is easy to see why this zoo is so popular!

    Inforamtion: Tennoji Zoo

    Address
    1-108 Chausuyamacho, Tennoji Ward, Osaka City,  Osaka prefecture 
    Website
    http://www.tenzoo.jp/english/tennnouji.html

     

    Getting To
    There are two ways to get to Tennoji Zoo: one is from Tennoji Station and the other is from Tsutenkaku.


    The zoo is within walking distance from Tennoji Station. In the station, take the “koen” exit up to the street. Cross the street and head towards a large lawn called Tenshiba. The entrance of the zoo is at the end of Tenshiba

     

    Hours
    9:30-17:00 (closed on Monday)

     

    Admission
    Adults: 500 yen
    Children: 200 yen 
    Note
     

     

     

     

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