The children's zoo in Chikozan Park houses 110 different varieties of birds, animals, and reptiles. One of the biggest draws to this zoo is the hands-on experience with the animals.
In the winter you can see the monkeys and capybara bathe in the hot spring, while in the summer you can visit the firefly observatory. There are several events based on the seasons, and during Christmas season you can enjoy Christmas lights and decorations so that no matter how many times you visit, there will always be something new. Even the trees and shrubs bloom during different parts of the year so the scenery is always changing.
Some of the most popular animals include guinea pigs, capybara and Japanese rabbits. People flocked to take pictures with the baby goat born this year, which is the year of the goat according to the Chinese Zodiac.
On their Facebook page, the Chikozan Park Children's Zoo posts pictures of their cute animals everyday. This zoo also houses several unusual animals that you can't find anywhere else, including a wild goat called a markhor and an unusual duck called a Common Eider. Butterfly Koi, which are a type of fish that were bred in an experimental fisheries laboratory in Saitama Prefecture.
In the petting zoo, you can find animals like guinea pigs, chicks, goats, sheep and turtles. Petting times are limited to three times a day, but there is no entrance fee.
In addition, you can also feed the animals, including the fish in the pond, the pony, goat, sheep, Japanese rabbits and pigs. In front of each animal enclosure is a capsule-like feeder where you can buy food for the animals for ￥100.
As for pony rides, children between the ages of 4 and elementary school age are welcome to ride for ￥200. All of these opportunities are popular with visitors.
To access this zoo, there is a bus that leaves from Sayama City Train Station (狭山市駅) on the Seibu Shinjuku Line (西武新宿線). The entrance fee into the children's zoo is ￥200 for adults, ￥50 for elementary and middle school-aged children, and free for children below school-age.
The park is open on holidays and throughout the week except for Monday. Their business hours are from 9am to 4:30pm (last entrance into the zoo is 4pm). On weekends and holidays there is a catering stand providing a light lunch, or you can bring your own.
On days with good weather, it is fun to bring a lunch and have a picnic in the park!