A surprising addition to Minamo Mitrai district’s list of attractions is Nogeyama Zoological Garden, which despite being just a short walk away from Sakuragicho Station, offer a relaxing contrast to Minato Mirai`s ever bustling and futuristic landscape.
Located on a hilltop in a quiet residential neighborhood, Nogeyama Park is a great place to escape the crowds and enjoy the peaceful greenery and wide open spaces. When walking around it is hard to believe that you are only a few minutes away from one of the liveliest parts of Yokohama. A short distance away from this park is another interesting place worth visiting, Nogeyama Zoological Gardens.
Opened in 1951, Nogeyama was the first zoo to be opened in Yokohama. Covering an area of 8 acres, Nogeyama is the only centrally located zoo within Yokohama, making it very convenient and easy to access. More importantly, it is free!
The zoo has initiated a number of improvements including the construction of a new `Nakayoshi` area allowing children to interact freely with smaller animals. Many new programs have also been introduced including a `Night Zoo` during the summer months.
Because of its compact size, this Zoo makes a nice place to spend several hours wandering around the various enclosures. There are about 100 different species of animals including monkeys, wild cats, birds and several Red Pandas.
Without doubt, the Red Pandas are the star attraction of this zoo and are therefore located close to main entrance, making them the first and last animals that you will see. Having seen a couple of Red Pandas recently at another zoo, I was very impressed by the design of the enclosure which almost (but not quite), allows you to get within touching distance.
Along with the usual array of animals that can be found in many other zoos, are several `Tuften Capuchin`, (a small South American Money). Perhaps it`s because of their cute features or their interesting personalities that I found it hard moving on to the next enclosure.
The next interesting creature which I encountered was a Kagu, (A bird). Indigenous to New Caledonia and a little similar to the New Zealand Kiwi, this was the first time I had seen this bird. Indeed, Nogeyama can boast about being the only zoo in Japan and perhaps one of the few places in the world to host this bird.
From JR Sakuragicho Station it’s a pleasant 15 minute walk. Alternatively, from Keikyu Hinodecho Station it’s an even shorter 10 minute walk.
Closed on Mondays (open if holiday, except May & Oct.), year end & new year holidays
15 min. walk from Sakuragicho Station: JR Keihin Tohoku Negishi Line / Municipal Subway Line