Get up close and personal with the TikTok viral capybaras at this zoo in Japan that has a capybara onsen, free-roaming animals and more

by Kylynn Seng

If you’ve been on TikTok over the past few weeks, you might have noticed a certain song playing on repeat, and it goes a little like this: capybara, capybara, capybara… You get the idea. As someone obsessed with those super cute creatures, I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to get up close and personal with them. If you’re like me, I’ve got good news for you — Izu Shaboten Zoo in Japan allows you to do just that, and more (hint: capybara onsen)! 

capybara onsen
Photo: Izu Shaboten Zoo

Located in Itō, Shizuoka Prefecture, Izu Shaboten Zoo houses both a zoological park and botanical garden. There are actually over 100 different animal varieties ranging from kangaroos to peacocks, and most of them are even allowed to roam freely around the compound. You’ll actually get to feed and touch llamas, spider monkeys and more, so it’s also the perfect place for kids (or your inner child).

Photo: 讓/google images

But first and foremost, the attraction we’ve all been waiting for — the Capybara Onsen. During winter, you’ll actually be able to witness the creatures having the time of their life in the open-air hot bath. 

capybara onsen
Photo: 秋山清仁/google images

Other days of the year, you might not get to see them relaxing in the hot springs. However, don’t fret if you’re visiting during other seasons, because you’ll still be able to feed and pet them as they wander around! Just look at that oh-so cute face — be sure to bring enough cash to splurge on food for them!

Photo: 小川由紀/google images

Don’t miss out on the botanical garden either, since Izu Shaboten Zoo is also known for its impressive collection of cacti from all over the world. 

capybara onsen
Photo: tiffany MAGIC/google images

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to pay the capybara onsen a visit the next time I’m in Japan (and hopefully get that song out of my head)!

Izu Shaboten Zoo
Instagram | Website
???? 1317-13 Futo, Ito-shi, Shizuoka 413-0231
???? 9am—5pm (Mar to Oct), 9am–4pm (Nov to Feb)

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