Inokashira Park Zoo

Resident Blog

Inokashira Park Zoo

I'm sure there's not many Social Residences which have a zoo just a 15 minute walk away from them. Here at Social Residence Kichijoji, you can easily walk to Inokashira Park, which is not only home to a great lake, running track and of course, the Studio Ghibli museum, but there is also a zoo.


The zoo is very affordable, the ticket prices are 800 yen for adults, with a discount being offered if you have a tourist visa. The ticket gives you access to both parts of the zoo; one part housing birds and fish and the other larger area, housing the mammals. Since it's not that expensive to go, it's a great place to bring your friends if they are visiting Kichijoji. Although the zoo is small and can't house exotic animals, it's great if you're new to Japan because you can get to see some unusual animals - one of my favourites being the raccoon dog (たぬき).


It was actually pretty hard to get a good photo of this guy, since he kept running around but it must've been entertaining for the other visitors watching me trying to get a good shot.

Another unique point about the Inokashira Zoo is that they have squirrel cage; I admit the name is a bit intimidating, but it's not as scary as it sounds. The squirrel cage is a large enclosure filled with squirrels which you can enter and walk around in. It was definitely one of the highlights of the zoo. The squirrels are pretty unpredictable, jumping around from branch to branch and hiding in their little houses. If you're lucky, some of them will get curious enough to come up to you. Of course, you can't pet them, but you can get some great photos if you have a bit of patience.


The two parts of the zoo are actually located in two different halves of the park. There's no rush to visit each part one after the other, so you can take your time and enjoy the full walk around the park before getting back into the zoo. If the weather is nice, I definitely recommend taking a relaxing stroll around the lake and seeing the bird and fish part of the zoo before heading over the bridge and entering the mammal area.

The Inokashira Zoo was also home to Japan's most famous and best-loved elephant Hanako, unfortunately Hanako is no longer living but you can still see her old enclosure, which is full of momentums of the elephant's time in the zoo. There is also a statue of Hanako just outside of Kichijoji station, you'll see lots of people coming to take photos with the statue.

There's lots to explore in Inokashira Park - so why not try out the zoo next?
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Roo ルー

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Irish photographer who calls Social Residence Kichijōji home.
You'll usually find me in a nearby coffee shop with my camera or working on articles in the shared living space.
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