Spread out over 129 acres, Tama Zoological Park features animals free to roam in spacious, naturalistic habitats. The park, located one hour outside of Tokyo, allows travelers to observe native Japanese animals such as macaques, Sika deer and Yezo brown bears, as well as more exotic species from around the world.
The zoo is split into four major sections: the Asiatic Garden, African Garden, Australian Garden and Insectarium. Tokyo has a special relationship with its international twin area of New South Wales, so the Australia section is particularly well outfitted with koalas, kangaroos and more. Other highlights include a successful elephant breeding program and a lion bus, which allows visitors to view the lions in a safari setting.
Tama Zoo is open Thursday through Tuesday from 9:30am to 5pm. Admission costs 600 yen for adults, 300 yen for seniors and 200 yen for students. From Keio Line's Shinjuku Station, take the express train, change trains at Takahata-Fudo station and get off at Tama Dobutsu Koen Station (about an hour's ride). From Tachikawa Station, take the Tama Monorail for about 20 minutes and get off at Tama Dobutsu Koen Station. The zoo does not have dedicated parking, but there are paid lots nearby.