Very popular, unique zoological garden

Located in the center of Hokkaido, Asahikawa (旭川) is the island’s second largest city after Sapporo.

The city is not known as a leading tourist destination, but its zoo, Asahiyama Zoo, is among Japan’s best and most popular. The local noodle dish, Asahikawa Ramen, is also quite well known.

Top Attractions

Best places to go in Asahikawa
Penguin Walks In Winter

Asahikawa Zoo

Asahiyama Zoo (旭山動物園, Asahiyama Dōbutsuen) is a very popular zoological garden just outside of central Asahikawa City in the middle of Hokkaido. Its popularity lies in the enclosures which allow visitors to observe the animals from various angles, many of which are unique to Asahiyama Zoo.



Animals in Nature

At this zoo, animals can behave naturally in an ecological environment with the large enclosures, which helps to lessen the stress on them. Also, visitors can observe the animals up close.

Penguin Walks in Winter

Highlights include a glass tunnel through the penguin pool that allows visitors to observe the birds’ underwater flights, and small glass domes in the middle of the polar bear and wolf enclosures that can get visitors right among the animals. The zoo was also one of the first to organize penguin walks in winter. 


Polar Bear Pool

The adorable polar bear is the most popular animal here. Visitors can enjoy watching the bear diving into the huge pool, or observe them through the “seal’s eye,” which offers a low perspective of the polar bear similar to that from a seal.

Tastings of Otokoyama

Sake Brewery Museum

Otokoyama Sake Brewery Museum displays materials about the history of Otokoyama and Japanese sake brewing culture. Rare documents from the Edo Period and sake drinking sets are also on display.

The beverage Otokoyama is brewed using the underground water from this mountain, and the harsh, frigid climate of Asahikawa is perfect for Japanese sake brewing. Otokoyama has a clear, dry taste, and is light on the tongue.

Plan your trip with us

Contact us for an customized tour?