The Animal Kingdom in Kobe is a fantastic ‘petting zoo’ style place but with a fantastic twist! There are no cages here, all the animals are free to roam around their large rooms that are open to the public. You have the opportunity to walk through these rooms and interact with a wide variety of different animals. Visitors are encouraged to pet the animals, and most rooms sell feed for the different animals too. The range of animals here includes your average rabbits, sheep and guinea pigs, all the way to kangaroos, capybaras, giant turtles and penguins!
The penguins have their own outdoor pool, and at allotted intervals during the day, there is the chance to feed the penguins yourself! For 100Yen, you can buy a small bucket of little fish, and are given some tongs to use so your hand won’t smell. You can then use the tongs to encourage the penguin out of the water a little to feed them – so cute!
They have lots of different and exotic birds at the Animal Kingdom and, of course, you can feed them! They have a collection of owls that remain perched on their logs near the gardens, and a room filled with exotic and interesting birds that you can visit. Sadly, I am more than a little scared by any kind of bird so I never did go inside that room! Within the main rooms though, there are still a variety of colourful birds that you can see. You even have the opportunity to feed them, and invite them to perch on your own arm!
The best thing about the Animal Kingdom is how close you can get to these wonderful animals. I had the chance to pet and feed capybaras, kangaroos, and giant turtles. I even timed my walkthrough well enough to be able to interact with a seal on its way back to its pool!
Aside from the wonders of the animals here, there are also some spectacular gardens you can visit. Throughout the building, there are immense and beautiful floral arrangements hanging down from the ceilings, creating a fantastic atmosphere. There is also a beautiful pond, filled with flowers, lily pads and fish!
Kobe Animal Kingdom
In the immediate vicinity of the K- Computer Mae Station. Approx. 15 minutes from the Hanshin Kosoku/Kyobashi Interchange toward Kobe Airport.
Kobe Animal Kingdom Website