Marylee Krauss

Written by Marylee Krauss

Modified & Updated: 23 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


The Kobe Oji Zoo, located in Kobe, Japan, is a fascinating and renowned landmark that attracts visitors from all over the world. With its diverse range of animal species, beautiful exhibits, and exciting attractions, the zoo offers a unique and immersive experience for both children and adults alike.

In this article, we will delve into 12 astonishing facts about Kobe Oji Zoo that will not only amaze you but also give you a deeper appreciation for this remarkable destination. From its history and conservation efforts to its impressive collection of animals, there is so much to discover about this captivating landmark.

So, prepare to be amazed as we delve into the fascinating world of Kobe Oji Zoo and uncover some of its most astonishing features.

Key Takeaways:

  • Kobe Oji Zoo is the oldest zoo in Japan, home to rare animals, and offers interactive experiences like sloth encounters and dolphin shows. It’s a must-visit for families and nature lovers.
  • Visitors to Kobe Oji Zoo can enjoy a diverse collection of animals, thrilling performances, and immersive educational experiences. It’s a perfect blend of history, modern amenities, and natural beauty.
Table of Contents

The Oldest Zoo in Japan

Kobe Oji Zoo, established in 1901, holds the distinction of being the oldest zoo in Japan. With over a century of history, it has become a beloved institution and a prominent tourist attraction.

Home to Rare and Endangered Species

Kobe Oji Zoo is dedicated to the conservation of rare and endangered species. Visitors can marvel at creatures like the Amur leopard, Sumatran tiger, and Bornean orangutan, all of which are part of international breeding programs aimed at preserving these vulnerable animals.

Iconic Giant Panda Pair

Kobe Oji Zoo is famous for being home to a pair of giant pandas, an incredibly rare and captivating species. The zoo’s resident pandas, Liang Liang and Shin Shin, have been a major attraction since their arrival from China in 2010.

A Varied Collection of Animal Species

With over 800 animals and 160 different species, Kobe Oji Zoo boasts a diverse and captivating collection. From majestic lions and graceful giraffes to playful otters and colorful birds, there is something to fascinate visitors of all ages.

Aquatic Wonderland at the Dolphin Center

The Dolphin Center at Kobe Oji Zoo is a must-visit for those who are captivated by marine life. This state-of-the-art facility provides a truly immersive experience where visitors can observe and learn about dolphins and sea lions up close.

An Interactive Sloth Encounter

Kobe Oji Zoo offers a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with sloths. Visitors can join the “Sloth Encounter” program and spend quality time with these adorable and slow-moving creatures while learning about their habits and conservation efforts.

A Thrilling Rainforest Adventure

The “Rainforest Adventure” section of Kobe Oji Zoo is a fascinating journey through lush tropical landscapes. Visitors can explore the habitat of various rainforest dwellers, including monkeys, reptiles, and vibrant bird species.

Exciting Animal Performances

At Kobe Oji Zoo, visitors can witness engaging and informative animal performances. Watch as trained sea lions show off their agility and grace, and be amazed by the intelligence of parrots as they perform captivating tricks.

A Wonderland for Children

Kobe Oji Zoo is a perfect destination for families with kids. The zoo offers various child-friendly attractions, including a petting zoo, playgrounds, and educational programs designed to foster a love for animals and conservation in young visitors.

A Heritage Zoo with Modern Amenities

Kobe Oji Zoo seamlessly blends its rich history with modern amenities. The zoo features comfortable facilities, including rest areas, restaurants serving delicious local cuisine, and gift shops where visitors can purchase souvenirs to commemorate their visit.

Gorgeous Cherry Blossom Viewing

During the sakura (cherry blossom) season, visitors to Kobe Oji Zoo can experience the breathtaking beauty of thousands of cherry blossom trees in bloom. Strolling through the zoo’s grounds and witnessing this mesmerizing spectacle is an unforgettable experience.

Immersive Nature and Wildlife Education

Education is at the heart of Kobe Oji Zoo’s mission. The zoo offers various educational programs and workshops for visitors of all ages, providing valuable insights into the importance of conservation and our relationship with the animal kingdom.


In conclusion, Kobe Oji Zoo is a fascinating destination for animal lovers and nature enthusiasts. With its wide variety of species, unique animal interactions, and stunning natural surroundings, the zoo offers a memorable experience for visitors of all ages. From the majestic elephants and playful sea lions, to the rare and exotic bird species, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Kobe Oji Zoo. Whether you’re looking to learn about wildlife conservation, engage in educational programs, or simply spend a day surrounded by nature, this zoo has it all. Plan a visit to Kobe Oji Zoo and discover the wonders of the animal kingdom.


1. How do I get to Kobe Oji Zoo?

Located in Kobe, Japan, Kobe Oji Zoo is easily accessible by public transportation. Take the train to Oji-Koen Station and walk for about 10 minutes to reach the zoo.

2. What are the opening hours of Kobe Oji Zoo?

Kobe Oji Zoo opens at 9:00 AM and closes at 5:00 PM. Please note that operating hours may vary on public holidays and special events, so it’s recommended to check the official website for the most up-to-date information.

3. Are there any guided tours available?

Yes, Kobe Oji Zoo offers guided tours where knowledgeable staff members provide insights into the different animal species and their habitats. These tours are a great way to enhance your experience and learn more about the zoo’s conservation efforts.

4. Can I bring my own food into the zoo?

Yes, you are allowed to bring your own food into the zoo. There are picnic areas where you can enjoy a meal surrounded by nature. However, it’s important to dispose of any waste properly and not feed the animals with your own food.

5. Are there any souvenir shops or restaurants inside the zoo?

Yes, Kobe Oji Zoo has several souvenir shops where you can purchase animal-themed gifts and memorabilia. Additionally, there are restaurants and snack stalls offering a variety of refreshments and meals for visitors to enjoy.

6. Can I interact with the animals at Kobe Oji Zoo?

While direct interactions with animals are limited to certain designated areas and activities, there are opportunities to get up close to some of the animals at Kobe Oji Zoo. These experiences vary and may include feeding sessions or special animal encounters led by trained staff members.

7. Is Kobe Oji Zoo suitable for children?

Yes, Kobe Oji Zoo is a family-friendly destination with numerous attractions and educational programs designed for children. The zoo provides a fun and educational experience for kids, allowing them to learn about different animal species and the importance of wildlife conservation.

8. Can I purchase tickets online in advance?

Yes, tickets for Kobe Oji Zoo can be purchased online in advance through the official website. This allows you to skip the ticket lines and save time when you arrive at the zoo.

9. Are there any discounts available for students or senior citizens?

Yes, Kobe Oji Zoo offers discounted admission rates for students and senior citizens. It’s advisable to check the official website or inquire at the ticket counter for specific details and eligibility requirements.

10. Is photography allowed inside the zoo?

Yes, visitors are permitted to take photographs for personal use. However, there may be restrictions in certain areas to ensure the safety and well-being of the animals. Please be respectful and follow any guidelines provided by the zoo staff.

Kobe Oji Zoo's captivating wildlife and conservation efforts inspire further exploration. Discover how Prague Zoo champions animal conservation, protecting endangered species. Berlin Zoological Garden's rich history and diverse inhabitants make it a must-visit destination. Nihondaira Zoo's hands-on wildlife education programs engage visitors, fostering a deeper appreciation for nature.

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