| Hokkaido

The Polar bear family is popular at Maruyama Zoo!

There are something interesting animals in at the Maruyama Zoo. There is a Hokkaido brown bear, squirrel, and rabbit, and the very popular polar bear family. The wildlife is very active in the winter time and the zoo is open every day except the end of the year.
There are special events every day including the opportunity to visit the petting zoo and watch the animals being fed.
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From the Sapporo station it is 15 minutes by car. If going by underground it is a 15-minute ride to the Maruyama Park station, then a 15-minute walk to the Maruyama Park which is adjacent to the zoo.
There is also bus service. It is 7 minutes from ride from the Maruyama park station to the zoo.


The Polar Bear family is very popular!

The family of polar bears is very popular! “Denari” the male and “Rara” the female had a cub, “Rira” in 2014.
Typically breeding polar bears in captivity is difficult, but here since 2003 every 2, or 3 years they welcome a new cub into the family!
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Rira is now 3 years old but still has her childish perfect charm. She can often be seen playing in the snow in the winter or pool in the summer.

Animals from Hokkaido have a special name!

Until the Edo era Hokkaido was called Ezochi. So animals native to Hokkaido have the term “ezo” in front of their name.
Photos: Sapporo Maruyama Zoo
The Ezo brown bear is the largest of Japan’s land-based mammals. The zoo also has ezo-deers, ezo-squirrels, Siberian flying squirrels, ezo-snow rabbits ezo-racoons, and ezo-salamanders scattered throughout in the Park. You can find their location on the large map near the zoo’s entrance. In addition to their location the map also provides a written description of the animal.

These animals are perfectly suited for the winter.

Many of the animals in the zoo are native to the cool higher elevations in the Northern regions such as Hokkaido. This enables the zoo to keep open and active throughout the winter.
The ezo-rabbit has brown fur in the winter that turns white in the winter that makes it harder for animals that prey on it to see it.
The zoo is also home to a Red Panda, Siberian Tiger and Snow Leopard!

Watching the animals being fed and visiting the petting zoo are very popular activities!

Maruyama Zoo has various activities that will allow you to experience the animals up close. They have the petting zoo and open feeding times as well as trainers bringing animals out of their cages to give you a closer look. One such animal is Mimi-Chan. She is a great horned owl that was born in 2012. Every day she is perched on her keeper’s arms as they take a pleasant walk through the Park. It makes for a great photo opportunity.
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The Guinea pigs are very popular in the petting zoo!
If you are interested in seeing the animals being fed you should check the zoo’s website for scheduling. The feeding times might change due to the weather and how the animals are feeling.

The animals are exhibited in a natural habitat environment!

Maruyama Zoo has in recent years adopted using natural habitat environment to exhibit its animals. It’s a way to display them in an area that recreates their natural environment as much as possible.
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There is also a reptile and amphibian hall. It mostly houses creatures from the rainforest and desert. They are able to create in there an environment with the right temperature and humidity, along with the appropriate vegetation that is well suited for the various creatures. As a result, they have been successful in the breeding of many creatures. For example their hatching of the first muohirase turtle breed in captivity attracted worldwide attention.
In the summer the Zoo extends its’ hours in the evening until 9:00 p.m.. This lets you observe the natural appearance of nocturnal animals. This has become a popular event each year.
Maruyama Zoo does its best to exhibit their animals in their natural habitat. It is something worth seeing.

Smart tip
  • The time of that days feeding and event information is updated frequently, so visit their official website!
  • The animals are housed in close proximity. Often just behind a sheet of glass or wire mesh. It makes for a powerful experience.
  • there is an official souvenir shop, it has quality items such as the popular polar bear toys. There is also a cute café. So feel free to explore when you take a break from visiting the animals.
What's interesting

The polar bear cub "Lira" is now a 3-year-old. Along with her there are many other great attractions that make for a great opportunity to take a commemorative photo.