Holiday Fun At Itabashi Children’s Zoo

Out And About

By Kirsty Kawano
July 21, 2016
Families, Lifestyle

Feed a goat, pet a sheep, ride a pony! There’s lots of holiday fun to be had at Itabashi Children’s Zoo, a petting zoo located in a large, leafy park that is also fitted with a variety of play equipment for infants and older children, too. Grab the kids, pack a picnic and have a relaxing family day out.

Located just a 10-minute walk from Mita Line’s Itabashi Kuyakushomae station, this lovely outdoor zoo is free, including all activities within the park. Due to a limited participant number, however, you need to pick up a ticket from the staff in advance. Activities will be cancelled if it rains, so make sure you check the weather forecast before you head out the door.


Pet a goat

Pet a goat or a sheep while they roam the main enclosure area between 10 a.m. and 11:20 a.m. and again in the afternoon, from 1 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. Before entering the zoo, pack away any plastic bags you might be carrying or other dangling items, because goats will be goats and we don’t want them getting sick.


Feed a sheep

You can feed the sheep and goats from 11:30 a.m. and again in the afternoon from 3:30 p.m. You will first need to get a ticket from the staff. Tickets are handed out from 10 a.m. to 11:20 a.m., and again from 2 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. Numbers are limited to 40 people for each session. The zoo will provide the feed. The animals are generally gentle, but watch your child’s fingers, just in case. 


Cuddle a guinea pig

About twenty of these critters, sporting various colors and hairstyles, are available to hold. Pick up a towel at the enclosure entrance and place it on your lap when you sit down. A staff member will hand you a guinea pig. When you are ready to finish, call the staff and tell them you’re done: “owari (ni shimasu).”

Time: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Ride a pony

Children from age three and up to the sixth grade of elementary school (12 years old) can take a short, guided ride on a pony. Each child is allowed only one ride each session, and kids under five need to be accompanied by a parent. This is a great fun for the kids and parents alike! 

Time: 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.


Take a carriage ride

Once a month the zoo holds carriage rides for parents and children up to sixth grade to enjoy together. Rather than a grand, horse-drawn carriage, this is a cozy affair, with just one pair at a time seated on a buggy pulled by a staff-led pony. The morning session starts from 11 a.m. and the afternoon round from 2 p.m. Tickets are available from 30 minutes in advance. Numbers are limited to just 20 pairs each session. This event is usually held on the first Sunday of the month.


Play in the park

The zoo is located within the spacious Higashi-Itabashi Park, which was renovated a few years ago to add a range of modern, fun play equipment. There’s a slide and climbing structure for infants and one for older children, too, a sand pit, a pyramid-shaped rope climbing structure, stretch and workout equipment for adults and lots of space to run around. During summer the water-play feature is up and running, so pack a towel and change of clothes for the kids. Don’t forget the bug spray too! 

A lunchtime picnic in the park is a good way to while away the time between the end of the zoo’s morning activities and the start of the afternoon ones. If you haven’t packed anything, no worries — there are plenty of convenience stores nearby and even a McDonald’s on the way from the subway station to the park.

The zoo also has a satellite premise further along the Mita Line at Takashimadaira. It is similar to the main zoo, but pony rides are held only occasionally, as a special event. The feeding sessions start earlier, from 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., with tickets available an hour in advance.

The Deets

Itabashi Children’s Zoo
Address: 3-50-1 Itabashi, Itabashi Ward (within Higashi-Itabashi Park)
Open: Daily, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (Closes at 4 p.m. December – February)
Admission: Free!
Closed Mondays (or the following weekday when a public holiday falls on Monday), and December 29 – January 3.

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