Epson Shinagawa Aqua Stadium
- Aquarium: Shinagawa [Open noon-10pm daily.]
This unique aquarium features walk-through viewing tunnels where you can see some of the 350 species of aquatic animals on hand. Several dolphin and sea lion shows are presented every day.
- Aquarium: Shinagawa-ku [Open 10:00-17:00 (last admission at 16:30). Closed Tuesdays (except during school holidays).]
They're wet. They're slippery. And frequently, they're delicious. Yes, fish, squid and other treasures of the sea are vital to life in Japan, but there's more to their story than what comes on your...
- Aquarium: Oshiage [Open 9am-8pm (last entry) daily.]
Penguins are the star performers at Sumida Aquarium, where they cavort in a 350-ton indoor tank at the center of a two-story atrium space. Overall, the aquarium is on the compact side, and may seem...
- Aquarium: Ikebukuro [Open summer 10am-8pm; winter 10am-6pm daily.]
You'll see marine life from all over the globe swimming and splashing around in this big, three-story aquarium, which was completely renovated in August 2011. The biggest draws are probably the...
Tokyo Sea Life Park
- Aquarium: Kasai Rinkai Koen [Open 9:30am-5pm. Closed Wednesdays.]
This beautifully designed aquarium focuses on local marine life in Tokyo Bay, and it includes a hands-on section where you can pick up starfish and other sturdy specimens. The main attraction is a...
Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise
- Aquarium: Yokohama Hakkeijima [Open hours vary between 9am-9pm (summer weekends) to 10am-5pm (winter weekdays). Open every day.]
This entertainment complex, located on a large man-made island at the southern tip of Yokohama, includes one of the biggest aquariums in Japan as well as an amusement park, a hotel, shops and...
Inokashira Park Zoo
- Zoo: Kichijoji [Open 9:30am-5pm (entrance until 4pm). Closed Mondays.]
This low-key zoo specializes in animals that are native to Japan, so don't expect to see lions and giraffes, although they do have an Asiatic elephant and many tropical birds. Some of the other...
- Zoo: Hino-shi [Open 9:30am-5pm (enter by 4pm). Closed Wednesdays.]
The goal of Tama Zoo is to display animals from various parts of the world in naturalistic habitats. Spread out over the vast 129-acre grounds an hour from central Tokyo are three distinct...
Tobu Dobutsu Koen
- Zoo: Saitama-ken [Open 10am-4:30pm. Closed Mondays.]
Rare white tigers are the stars at this suburban zoo, which houses around 1200 animals from 150 species. There's also a petting zoo and a summertime firefly area. Attached to the zoo are an...
- Zoo: Ueno [Open 9am-5pm (tickets sold until 4pm). Closed Mondays.]
Perhaps best known for its beloved giant pandas, Ueno Zoo is home to more than 2600 animals from more than 450 species. Zoo highlights include a petting zoo, a small-mammal house with a nocturnal...
- Zoo: Yokohama [Open 9:30am-4:30pm (enter by 4pm). Closed Tuesdays.]
Established in 1999, this modern, animal-friendly zoo shows off its residents in spacious habitats that mimic their natural environments. It's divided into seven separate ecological zones - Asian...
More animals and nature
Abiko City Museum of Birds
- Museum: Chiba [Open 9:30am-4:30pm. Closed Mondays.]
Located on the north shore of Teganuma Lake, around 45 minutes from central Tokyo, the museum focuses on the avian wildlife of the lake as well as the world of birds in general. After a visit to the...
- Park/garden: Setagaya-ku [Open March-Oct 9am-5pm; Nov-Feb 9am-4pm. Open every day.]
Run by the JRA (Japan Racing Association), this horse-centric park has both indoor and outdoor riding grounds, and over 100 resident horses. Equine-related shows and more informal events are held...
Himonya Koen Kodomo Dobutsu Hiroba
- Park/garden: Meguro-ku [Open 10-11:30am, 1:30-3pm. Closed Mondays.]
The petting zoo here lets you play with rabbits, guinea pigs and dogs, and ponies are available for riding (at Y150 per ride). Note the limited hours of operation. Other attractions in the park...
- Park/garden: Hachioji
Located less than an hour from Shinjuku station, Mount Takao is a popular hiking destination, drawing some 2.5 million visitors every year. There are several different trails to choose from, and the...
Tokyo Port Wild Bird Park
- Park/garden: Ota-ku [Open 9am-5pm (Nov-Jan -4:30pm; last entry 30 minutes earlier). Closed Mondays.]
Open to the public since 1989, the Wild Bird Park (Tokyoko Yacho Koen in Japanese) is a 24-hectare nature preserve built on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay. Within the park are several diverse habitats...
Tokyo Riding Club
- Sports facility: Sangubashi
If you're bored with the ski machine and the stairmaster at your gym, why not limber up with a little horseback riding? Tokyo Riding Club has everything you need - horses, saddles, stirrups - and...
Yatsuhigata Nature Observation Center
- Park/garden: Minami-Funabashi [Open 9am-5pm (enter by 4:30pm). Closed Mondays.]
Yatsu Higata, a 1000-acre mudflat connected to Tokyo Bay, is one of the better bird-watching spots in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The wetlands here are an excellent place to see migrating...
Yumenoshima Tropical Greenhouse Dome
- Park/garden: Shin-Kiba [Open 9:30am-5pm (enter by 4pm). Closed Mondays.]
More than 1000 varieties of tropical and subtropical plants grow inside this 1500-square-meter dome-shaped greenhouse located in a park next to Tokyo Bay. A separate greenhouse area is home to a...
- Cat cafe: Kichijoji [Open 11am-10pm (LO) daily.]
One of Tokyo's largest cat cafes, with 28 resident felines to hang out with. Y900 for one hour; soft drinks are Y100-200.
- Cat cafe: Shinjuku Kabukicho [Open 10am-9:15pm (LO) daily.]
This more centrally located branch of Calico in Kichijoji, one of Tokyo's pioneering cat cafes, is staffed with dozens of cats. The entry fee is Y1000 per hour, and food and drink are also...
Curl Up Cafe
- Cat cafe: Meguro-ku [Open noon-8pm (11-7 Sat, Sun). Closed Mondays.]
When they aren't modeling for magazines or winning prizes for best in show, the twelve cats at this friendly cafe can be found stretching out on the cream-colored leather couches or curled up in cat...
- Rabbit cafe: Roppongi [Open 2-10pm (Sat, Sun 12-9). Closed Mondays.]
A pet shop specializing in rabbits, Ms. Bunny also runs a rabbit hotel, a rabbit grooming service, and a small rabbit cafe where you can play with the resident rabbits. The cafe entry fee is Y300...
- Cat cafe: Ikebukuro [Open 11am-11pm daily.]
The welcoming staff and softly lit, comfortable atmosphere make Nekorobi a popular destination. So popular, in fact, customers may encounter a wait on weekends. For Y1000, you'll get an hour with...
- Rabbit cafe: Harajuku [Open noon-7pm (LO; Sat, Sun 11-7:30). Closed Fridays, 3rd Thu.]
Visitors are encouraged to pet, play with and feed the dozen or so rabbits "on staff" at this small backstreet cafe. Several different breeds are represented, and most of them seem to be quite...
Tori no Iru Cafe
- Cafe: Kiba [Open 1-10pm. Closed Wednesdays.]
Cat cafes are so 2011 - bird cafes are the next big thing. Enjoy the company of owls and parrots while sipping your herb tea and snacking on owl-shaped cookies and coffee jellies. They also offer a...