Tokyo Notebook

-・- From My Everyday Life to Japanese Culture -・- Why don't you see the real Japan, not the typical foreigners' version.

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Posted by Kinakinw | --:-- | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | スポンサー広告

04 2012

Atagawa, a Hot Springs Town with Alligators

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I was in The Atagawa Tropical & Alligator Garden on January 1, 2012.

Facing the Sagami Sea, Atagawa is located along East Izu coastline (Higashiizu-cho in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan). The resort is one of the greatest ones in Izu in terms of its abundant amount of spring water. This tourist facility is made from the blessings of the hot water. Opened in 1958, the garden has remained a popular Izu area attraction for more than 50 years.

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The garden is divided into three zones containing an alligator zoo and a botanical garden with a lot of greenhouses heated by hot spring water

I visited it again for the first time since I was a child, and I enjoyed the garden very much.

Its most famous attraction is the world's biggest collection of alligator. It raises and breeds alligator species (20 kinds) from around the world including ones in danger of extinction.

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I don’t want to see them in nature, but it's really fun to observe the ecology of the animal.

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We can watch the adorable back shot and the charming full face.

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They look cute when one is asleep and show the bottom of one's feet to us.

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They give us eye contact.

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I found alligators are cute.

There are other cutie creatures.

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It’s Trichechus inunguis (Amazon manatee) that is the only one bred in Japan.

The idol of the garden is Ailurus fulgens fulgens (Nepal Red panda).

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This is the only place where you can see the subspecies in Japan because the other red pandas in Japan are Ailurus fulgens styani (Chinese Red panda). The facility got a breeding pair from National zoo in Washington, D.C. and then bred them. Now there are over 30 pandas, and it’s the world's highest number of Ailurus fulgens fulgens bred at zoo.

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It also provides the excellent botanical garden that’s worth seeing. There are 10 greenhouses with tropical plants, fern, orchid, foliage plants, tropical fruit trees, lotus, water lily, and so on.

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Left: the lotus greenhouse (giant lotus, etc) Right: the main greenhouse (hibiscus, orchid, etc.)
左:オオオニバスが見られる8号温室  右:熱帯植物が生い茂る1号温室

The highlight for me was the greenhouse with countless tropical water lilies. The big aquarium in the photo is divided into a square, 1.5 m on a side, and a different kind of lily is grown in each space. I believe it’s one of Japan's major water lily collections.

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Even more than the number of plants they grow, they made many rare orchids bloom for the first time in Japan. Even though it’s a tourist facility, it’s the number-one zoo for specific species and also the substantial botanical garden.

Well, I realized I was too young to understand the true value of the garden on previous visits.

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Posted by Kinakinw | 21:19 | Comment [0] | TrackBack [0] | Travel & Hot Spring

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