iZoo is a reptilian and amphibian zoo on the Izu Peninsula. We loved this place for the hands-on experiences we had with snakes, tortoises, and a crocodile. It’s a relatively small zoo with a wide variety of reptiles and amphibians, but they also have owls, emus, and a few farm animals. It took us under two hours to see everything. A majority of the animals are indoors, which makes it a good venue to visit on hot/wet days. There are opportunities to touch and hold reptiles with a zookeeper, at no additional cost. We were able to drape a small boa constrictor and bull snake around our necks, and we got to hold a small tortoise and baby crocodile (with an elastic band around its snout). Outside, there is a large pen dedicated to giant tortoises. For ¥1000 you can sit on a giant tortoise and get a Polaroid picture.
The inside floor is covered with loose bark, so you might want to wear closed-toe shoes. We wore flip-flops and didn’t have any issues. The zoo has 2 to 3 stories of exhibits and I don’t believe there was an elevator. At the end of the zoo tour, there is a restaurant and large gift shop with a lot of reptilian and amphibious toys.
Junior High School students and older cost ¥1500. Elementary School Students are ¥800, and kids under 6 years old are free. Parking was free when we went over Independence Day weekend in 2014. iZoo is open daily from 09:00 to 17:00 with the last admission at 16:30. For more information call iZoo’s front desk at 0558-34-0003 or translate their website, http://izoo.co.jp/. Linda Bell, July 2014.
DIRECTIONS: iZoo is a three and a half to four hour drive from Yokota Air Base in good traffic. The GPS coordinates for iZoo parking lot are N34.73121 E138.99453. It’s a great place to visit if you are going to spend time on the southern coast of the Izu Peninsula. It is only a 5 minute drive from Kawazu City or approximately 20 to 30 minutes from the Shimoda and Yumigahama beaches.