We finally did it.
After nearly a year of trying to go to this zoo with Rika and her family, we finally did it. October 12 was a holiday and national day off from work. Mark and I normally take Mondays off, so we planned to spend the day with Rika and the family, rather than going over to their house for dinner that night after work.
Inokashira Park Zoo is located close to (surprise) Inokashira park. This is also one stop and 1km away from Mitaka station, and therefore QUITE close to the Ghibli museum!
To get there from the station, you can take a nice, leisurely stroll through the park itself before veering off to cross the street. Otherwise, you could walk along the main road with the normal traffic, but that’s not really as much fun.
Mark and I didn’t really know the difference between this zoo and the one in Ueno, but it turns out that this is the more kid-friendly one: it has a nice playground near the entrance, a guinea pig petting and play area, a full squirrel enclosure where you can wander around amongst these wild beings, and rides. For children. There were also some tents set up where the kids could draw and color in animals, and then take them home with a picture for mom and dad.
It was all very, very sweet, and if you just stood around at the park on a national holiday, you wouldn’t think that Japan is in the middle of a kids shortage, which it apparently is.
At the end of it all, it was a fun day, and not too stressful, even though we were effectively surrounded by the entire city of Tokyo and their kids. The weather was great, albeit a little bit warm for October, but it really was the perfect day for a petting zoo.
Mark really wants to go back to Ueno zoo. So I imagine we’ll be doing that again sometime in the near future.
I really want to go back to Inokashira to finally check out all of the cute little shops and boutiques that are near the park, but that might be better saved for a day when I’m on my own, or when we’re not with kids. The area around the park is such a sweet little neighborhood, with tiny shops and cafes. I want to walk through it very slowly. With my camera. And buy things.
After the zoo, we went home and had standing sushi at our favorite little sushi bar in Ikebukuro.
A delicious end to a great day:)