How To Get To Nagasaki Bio Park. It’s very easy. 長崎バイオパークへの到達方法。

    I am afraid I have had to remove the photos as some nasty person has been removing the watermark from my photos and uploading them to the internet. It is illegal to remove the watermark.

NWN view from top of hill 2012 Biopark

The View from the Top of the Hill Just before You Enter the Capybara Enclosure.

To see the Enchanting Capybaras.   Of course there are lots of other Animals, many of which you can pet, and Botanical Gardens.

Having a capybara come over to you and sit affectionately in your lap is the most wonderful experience. Many of the capybaras at Nagasaki Bio Park will sit on the laps of visitors these days.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdNE6omkqvM

Visiting Nagasaki Bio Park is very easy to achieve.  The Bio Park is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, The Saikai National Park with over 400 small islands (the Kujukushima Islands and the Gotō Islands).  Hiring a car is expensive, but with GPS you could easily spend a day or two driving around around this scenic area.   Road signs and route numbers are in English.

I would avoid major holidays like Golden Week which runs from about April 29th through May 6th.    This link gives holidays in Japan for 2015:

http://portalseven.com/calendar/Holidays_Japan.jsp?year=2015#page=divHolidayListTab

Nagasaki is an attractive city, with European architectural features from its past as one of the few places in Japan that allowed foreigners to settle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagasaki

NWN 2 black baby Aoba on Momiji 2014

Baby Aoba loves to sleep on top of her mother Momiji. Momiji is a fantastic mother. おめでとう!リトル青葉はミイラもみじの上で寝大好き。もみじは素晴らしい母親であります

Brief History of Japan’s Period of Seclusion:

From 1641 to 1853, the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan enforced a policy which it called kaikin. The policy prohibited foreign contact with most outside countries. However, the commonly held idea that Japan was entirely closed is misleading. In fact, Japan maintained limited-scale trade and diplomatic relations with China, Korea , the Ryukuyu Islands and the Netherlands”

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Sakoku—seclusion from the outside world.   During the early part of the 17th century, the shogunate suspected that foreign traders and missionaries were actually forerunners of a military conquest by European powers. Christianity had spread in Japan, especially among peasants, and the shogunate suspected the loyalty of Christian peasants towards their daimyō, severely persecuting them. This led to a revolt by persecuted peasants and Christians in 1637 known as the Shimabara Rebellion which saw 30,000 Christians, rōnin, and peasants facing a massive samurai army of more than 100,000 sent from Edo. The rebellion was crushed at a high cost to the shōgun’s army.

Missing photo:  Hinase’s 4 babies spent several hours sleeping as close together as they could possibly be. 

After the eradication of the rebels at Shimabara, the shogunate placed foreigners under progressively tighter restrictions. It monopolized foreign policy and expelled traders, missionaries, and foreigners with the exception of the Dutch and Chinese merchants who were restricted to the man-made island of Dejima in Nagasaki Bay and several small trading outposts outside the country. However, during this period of isolation (Sakoku) that began in 1635, Japan was much less cut off from the rest of the world than is commonly assumed, and some acquisition of western knowledge occurred under the Rangaku system. Russian encroachments from the north led the shogunate to extend direct rule to Hokkaidō, Sakhalin and the Kuriles in 1807, but the policy of exclusion continued.

The end of this period of seclusion was signalled by the arrival of Commodore Perry on July 8, 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry of the United States Navy with four warships, the Mississippi, Plymouth, Saratoga, and Susquehanna, which steamed into Yokohama bay. He requested that Japan open to trade with the West. These ships became known as the kurofune, the Black Ships.

During this period of isolation the culture of Japan developed with limited influence from the outside world.  Japan had one of the longest stretches of peace in history.   It developed thriving cities and castle towns and increased commodification of agriculture and domestic trade.   This, together with increasing literacy and the concomitant print culture, laid the foundations for modernization, even as the shogunate itself grew weak.

WN Crop XXX Doughnut guards babies 29 Sep 2019 016

Donut looks after Zabon’s babies just 10 days old

As a foreigner, you will find most people will go out of their way to be friendly and helpful;  they want you to have a good impression of their country.  You will be surprised how little English is spoken.   My Japanese friends tell me this is because English lessons at school concentrate on written English, so many people may be able to read and write a little English, but fewer will speak it.

It’s worth checking TripAdvisor to get information and other people’s opinions  on planned accommodation, etc.

www.tripadvisor.com

Missing photo:  Yasushi, who has longer hair then many capybaras, responds to being petted by “pilo-erection” – his hair rises in response to the pleasurable stimulus. 

TRANSPORT

There are Information Desks, with English speaking staff, at all the main airports (including Nagasaki), and main Bus and Rail stations, including Sasebo.

Most international flights arrive at Tokyo’s Narita Airport.  British Airways flies to both Haneda Airport, which is closer to Tokyo and from which most domestic flights go, as well as Narita.   From Narita there is a straight forward connection to Tokyo Haneda Airport.  There is a Limousine Bus which costs 3000 Yen per adult, and takes between 65 – 85 minutes depending on traffic.  There is also a rail link;  depending on the time of day, you may have to change trains.  Ask at the Information Desk for details.    For the latest transport information regarding travel into Tokyo, and between Narita and Haneda Airports, go to this site:

http://www.narita-airport.jp/en/access/haneda/index.html

British Airways has daily flights  between London-Heathrow (LHR) and both Haneda and Narita airports.

You can fly from Haneda to either Nagasaki or Fukuoka.  Nagasaki airport is more convenient for getting to the Bio Park, but there are more flights between Haneda and Fukuoka.

Domestic flights to Nagasaki go from Haneda Airport, Tokyo’s other main Airport.  There are flights throughout the day.  At the time of writing:

JAL has 6 flights a day.   This is their website:

http://www.jal.co.jp/en/dom/

ANA  has 8 flights a day, 4 of which are operated by its partner airline, Solaseed.     This is their website:

http://www.ana.co.jp/asw/index.jsp?type=de

The cheapest option is with Skymark, a low cost carrier.  Many of their pilots are Westerners.   http://www.skymark.co.jp/en/

Nagasaki Airport Website has information on how to get to and from the airport: including to Huis Ten Bosch , Nagasaki and Sasebo:

http://www.nabic.co.jp/english/access/index_kotsu.html

You can also fly from Tokyo Haneda airport to Fukuoka airport; Fukuoka is the main city on the island of Kyushu and there are more flights from Haneda to Fukuoka, than from Haneda to Nagasaki. The journey from Fukuoka airport to Huis ten Bosch is longer and costs more, than from Nagasaki airport to Huis ten Bosch. You will have to take the underground/subway called “chikatetsu” in Japanese, from Fukuoka airport to Hakata station. Then you will need to take the train from Hakata station to Huis ten Bosch; the journey time is 1 hour 50 minutes if you catch the direct train, otherwise you will need to change trains.

Missing photo:  Capybaras Resting on Capuchin island 

The best place to stay is Huis Ten Bosch,  (Huis is pronounced “Haus” in Japan).  There are a number of luxury (4 and 5 star) hotels here including the Lorelai (from which the Bio Park bus goes) which often has the best rates, the Nikko Hotel, and the Okura Hotel.   Holders of a Bio Park pass receive a 20% discount at The Lorelai.   The hotels run a free shuttle bus service to the central bus station, which is by the Okura Hotel.

Hotel Lorelei:  http://www.lorelei.co.jp/index.html

The Okura Hotel is a re-creation of the historic Amsterdam Central Railway Station.  You can’t miss it!  http://www.okura.com/hotels/huistenbosch/index.html

I recommend the Lorelei Hotel. I injured my foot badly and we had to extend our stay by 3 months while it healed. The hotel was incredibly helpful spending over an hour trying to find us an English-speaking doctor (in fact it turns out many of the doctors speak English) and later contacting the Immigration Office in Nagasaki as we had to extend our visa. Everyone working at the Lorelei Hotel was exceptionally helpful and one staff member gave us a huge bag of tangerines, which are in season in Kyushu at this time of year.

If you get a Bio Park Annual Pass you will get a 20% discount on room rates at The Lorelai Hotel.

If you are looking for budget accommodation there are hostels, including one run by the Catholic Church, in Nagasaki.   There is a public bus, bus number 20, which runs between the central bus station in Nagasaki and The Bio Park.  The fare in 2014 was 780 yen one way.  Journey time is approximately one and a half hours.

The Bio Park runs a free bus service from 2 points in Huis Ten Bosch to the Bio Park.    These are:  1) From outside the Lorelai Hotel and 2) from the Bus Station outside the Okura Hotel.   The journey from Huis Ten Bosch to The Bio Park takes about 45 minutes through sometimes stunning countryside and seascapes.  The bus schedule is available from their website:   BioPark access – http://www.biopark.co.jp/en/access/.

The easiest way to get to Huis Ten Bosch from Nagasaki Airport is by bus.  Buses run at frequent intervals.  The Information Desk at Nagasaki Airport will give you all the information you need, including bus timetables, fares etc.

Information about the Japanese Railways (JR) Pass and the Timetable can be found at this website.  It is hosted by a Japanese gentleman who is only too happy to answer in English your questions about the rail system:   http://jprail.com/travel-informations/fare-calculation.html

Japanese Railways  have an excellent timetable at this site:  http://www.hyperdia.com/en/

The nearest railway station to Nagasaki BioPark is Huis Ten Bosch.

NWN capybaras waiting for breakfast

Capybaras sleeping waiting for breakfast. 長崎バイオパークで眠るカピバラ。ミドル、リアビューでどんぐり

BUS

There is a bus from Nagasaki Airport to Huis Ten Bosch Bus Station which is in front of the Okura hotel.  From here there are free shuttle buses to other hotels in Huis Ten Bosch

There is also a free shuttle bus from Huis Ten Bosch Bus Station to the Bio Park (see above and below).

By bus from Nagasaki city to Nagasaki Bio Park:

To get to Nagasaki Bio Park from Nagasaki City go to Shinchi bus station (there are several bus stations in Nagasaki so be sure to go to this bus station). Then take a number 1 bus (see next paragraph). There are about 7 buses a day. The Bio Park is open from 10 AM to 5 PM. Not every bus makes the short detour from Futamata to Nagasaki Bio Park: 1 in the morning arrives at approximately opening time at the Bio Park, and one late afternoon which leaves the Bio Park at approximately 16. 50 p.m. (I would be there for 16. 45 p.m.). Otherwise you get off at Futamata, which is a very short 5 minute walk from the Bio Park. The Biopark is clearly signposted at the traffic lights at Futamata. When you get off the bus at Futamata, cross the road at the traffic lights, and continue across the first bridge. Then turn right and cross a second bridge. You will see the entrance to the Bio Park car park to your left. Futamata is tiny.

Please note: not every number 1 bus goes to Futamata. You can get a bus timetable in English from the Information Office at Nagasaki train station (not Nagasaki bus station!) if you happen to be going to Nagasaki train station. At Shinchi bus station ask at the information kiosk which platform the bus to Futamata or Nagasaki Bio Park goes from – not every number 1 bus goes to Futamata/Nagasaki Bio Park. The journey time by bus from Nagasaki Shinchi bus station to Futamata/Nagasaki Bio Park is approximately 1 and half hours if you take the direct bus. It’s a very beautiful drive for much of the way. You should allow plenty of time to find your way around the bus station and connect with your bus. Make sure you have plenty of change. The bus fare in 2018 was approximately 1,100 yen. Board the bus at the door in the middle of the bus, and take a ticket. You pay on reaching your destination when you exit at the front of the bus beside the driver.

The bus back from the Bio Park is the number 20. You can catch this bus at the Bio Park; it leaves at approximately 16. 50 p.m. (bus times do change from year to year so check the times. The Bio Park can give you an up-to-date timetable for the journey from Nagasaki Bio Park back to Nagasaki city). You can also catch bus number 20 from outside the supermarket at the red sign. There are many more buses from here, at the supermarket in Futamata, to Nagasaki city than from the Bio Park.

If you are planning to travel round Kyushu, there is more information about Long Distance Bus Routes in Kyushu at this site:   http://www.rakubus.jp/english/

Tips
* When you get on the bus, greet the driver by saying “Onegai shimasu.”   Then, thank the driver by saying “Arigatou gozaimashita” when getting off the bus.
In the Flower Dome

In the Flower Dome

ACCOMMODATION

The best place to stay is Huis Ten Bosch,  (Huis is pronounced “Haus” in Japan).  There are a number of luxury (4 and 5 star) hotels here including the Lorelai (from which the Bio Park bus goes) which often has the best rates, the Nikko Hotel, and the Okura Hotel.   Holders of a Bio Park pass receive a 20% discount at The Lorelai.   The hotels run a free shuttle bus service to the central bus station, which is by the Okura Hotel.

Hotel Lorelei:  http://www.lorelei.co.jp/index.html

The Okura Hotel is a re-creation of the historic Amsterdam Central Railway Station.  You can’t miss it!  http://www.okura.com/hotels/huistenbosch/index.html

I  recommend the Lorelei Hotel. I injured my foot badly and we had to extend our stay by 3 months while it healed. The hotel was incredibly helpful spending over an hour trying to find us an English-speaking doctor (in fact it turns out many of the doctors speak English) and later contacting the Immigration Office in Nagasaki as we had to extend our visa. Everyone working at the Lorelei Hotel was exceptionally helpful and one staff member gave us a huge bag of tangerines, which are in season in Kyushu at this time of year.

If you get a Bio Park Annual Pass you will get a 20% discount on room rates at The Lorelai Hotel.

If you are looking for budget accommodation there are hostels, including one run by the Catholic Church, in Nagasaki.

Where to Eat in Huis Ten Bosch:

Lorelei Hotel Restaurant. I would recommend the restaurant at the Lorelei Hotel which serves both Japanese and Western food. The hotel restaurant has an excellent buffet with an extensive choice of dishes, both Japanese and Western. It is excellent value.

Huis Ten Bosch is the setting for a theme park in Nagasaki Prefecture which features many buildings built in the traditional architectural style of the Netherlands.  There are hotels, museums, shops and restaurants, canals and windmills.  Huis Ten Bosch itself may not be of great interest to Westerners, other than for its convenient location with accommodation and transport connections to The Nagasaki Bio Park.  It is named after Huis Ten Bosch one of the three official residences of the Dutch Royal Family located in The Hague, in the Netherlands.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huis_Ten_Bosch_(theme_park)

African Crowned Crane

Spectacular Grey Crowned Crane At Nagasaki Bio Park ( It is the national symbol of Uganda)

Here is an entertaining video of the Tapirs cavorting in their pond during a thunderstorm:       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDOeN-mxYDY

The Hashimoto Hotel, is only a 10 mins drive from the Bio Park, near the coast in a beautiful area.  However, I have not found an English language website to book this.      Tel: +81-959-28-0011      Location on Google maps:     https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=33.00143,129.730157&z=13

There is also a Minshuku (like a B&B but with dinner as well.   Yoshino (guesthouse)   Tel:  +81-959-27-1200   Location on Google maps:  https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=32.994989,129.754345&z=13

A cheaper option is to stay in Sasebo (which has an American Military Base) at the Toyoko Inn right by the train station.  However this increases your daily travelling time by at least one and a half hours, and is only worth considering if you are planning to visit the Bio Park for many, many days!    (We visited every day for a month, I found observing the capybaras social interactions fascinating, and of course I loved petting them).  For most people Huis Ten Bosch or Nagasaki are the best places to stay .   If you do stay in Sasebo you can buy a monthly rail pass, we organised this at the ticket office at Sasebo Station, where English is s spoken.

If you are looking for budget accommodation there are hostels, including one run by the Catholic Church, in Nagasaki.   There is a public bus which runs between the central bus station in Nagasaki and The Bio Park.

NWN flamingos Biopark 2012

Flamingos at Nagasaki Bio Park

We spent our first 3 nights at The Chisun Inn near Nagasaki airport, while we got onto local time, as it is much cheaper than Huis Ten Bosch.  The hotel is actually in Omura and we had lovely views over beautiful Omura Bay.   Rooms can be small in non-luxury hotels.  There is a large supermarket just across the road.  (You can sometimes get reduced sushi at about 6 pm!)  There is no public transport to the Chisun Inn, but it is a short 10 minute taxi ride, costing 1300 Yen.   3 men helped organise our taxi and lift our 4 heavy bags.   The Japanese tend to travel very light, so we felt quite conspicuous with our excessive baggage.   The Chisun Inn is part of the Solare Hotels Group.

http://www.solarehotels.com/english/

Accommodation in Japan can be expensive.  If you are travelling around Japan the 2* Toyoko Inn chain, is good value.   The hotels are usually very close to train stations, though no less attractive for that.  Rooms are small by western standards.  Some of the hotels have very thin walls.  We always travel with a Marpac ‘white noise’ machine, so for us noise was not such a problem. There is a Toyoko Inn near Haneda (2 actually side by side) which is probably the best value place to stay near the airport.  The staff at the hotels we stayed in spoke some English.  In Sasebo (at the Toyoko Inn) we had tasty, free Japanese breakfasts and free wifi.   http://www.toyoko-inn.com/eng/

NWN Wallaby surprised how soft fur

A Wallaby at Nagasaki Bio Park. I was surprised how soft their fur is. You can mingle in their enclosure and pet them

Nagasaki Bio Park

Information on how to get to the Bio Park from a number of locations including Nagasaki and Fukuoka, by bus, train or car can be found at the Bio Park website:

BioPark access:    http://www.biopark.co.jp/en/access/

This site includes information and the timetable for the free Bio Park Shuttle Bus from/to Huis Ten Bosch.

The Bio Park runs a free bus service from 2 points in Huis Ten Bosch to the Bio Park.    These are:  1) From outside the Lorelai Hotel and 2) from the Bus Station outside the Okura Hotel.   The journey from Huis Ten Bosch to The Bio Park takes about 45 minutes through sometimes stunning countryside and seascapes.

Reservations should be made using the email address listed, or by telephone.  When we visited in August the bus was rarely full.  I had the impression people only booked up a few days in advance if that.  You might well be able to make a last minute reservation except at holiday times.  Weekends are busiest, with Sunday being the busiest day.   Weekdays are much nicer;  you might well get the capybaras all to yourself!

This is the countryside at the entrance to Nagasaki Bio Park with this beautiful Japanese house. I wonder who lives there, just a few minutes walk from the Capybaras? The photo doesn't do justice to how pretty and rural the area is.

This is the countryside at the entrance to Nagasaki Bio Park with this beautiful Japanese house. I wonder who lives there, just a few minutes walk from the Capybaras? The photo doesn’t do justice to how pretty and rural the area is.

If you would like More Information about Visiting The Nagasaki Bio Park, go to my blog:

https://capybaraworld.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/visiting-nagasaki-bio-park-was-one-of-the-best-experiences-of-my-life-if-you-love-capybaras-it-is-an-absolute-must-visit-before-you-die/

Here is a blog I have written about the capybaras at Nagasaki Bio Park. Like humans they are all individuals and have different personalities. And of course like humans you can recognise them by their faces – they all look different. Visiting them is so much more interesting when you know who they are

すべての動物は、個々のです。ちょうど人間のように。喜びははるかに大きいです。カピバラの名前を知っています。カピバラのキャラクターと個性を知ってい ます。あなたははるかにカピバラをお楽しみいただけます。あなたは彼の名前を知らない場合はカピバラを侮辱です。彼の性格。カピバラを認識してください。 彼らはこれを値しま:

https://capybaraworld.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/the-capybaras-at-nagasaki-bio-park-%E9%95%B7%E5%B4%8E%E3%83%90%E3%82%A4%E3%82%AA%E3%83%91%E3%83%BC%E3%82%AF%E3%81%AE%E3%82%AB%E3%83%94%E3%83%90%E3%83%A9/

Use of Credit Cards

Most ATM’s do not accept foreign credit cards.  Nagasaki Airport has one ATM which does.  Haneda International Terminal (but not the Domestic Terminal) and Narita also have ATM’s which accept foreign credit cards.

Some taxis in major towns do take credit cards, but usually only domestic ones;  these tend to have a sign on the rear left passenger door.   Whenever we tried to use a foreign credit card for a taxi  it was not accepted. You can always try though. Smaller businesses, super markets, restaurants, etc. in rural areas accept cash only. Indeed most of Japan is still cash only outside of the large towns and cities. You will always need to be prepared to be able to settle in cash.   The exceptions are  major hotel chains, rail pass, the gift shop at the Bio Park, and similar.

Another tip is that most large Post Offices have an international ATM in them with English instructions.

WiFi

McDonalds have free wifi if you get desperate.  There is also free wifi at Haneda Airport, depending where you sit.

Video Links:

There is nothing as magical as 14 Capybara singing (eeping) in unison. This chorus goes on for up to half an hour or longer.  I’ve tried to capture some of this magic in this short video. One person who has seen the video said “This sounds make me happier!” :    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z6o5DC3–A

If you want to see what a blissfully happy Capybara looks like when he is being petted, these 2 give an idea of how enjoyable petting a capybara is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9EHV-AvQyc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSvVHmoUHDQ

A couple of videos showing just how playful, and amusing to watch ,Capybaras can be:   (In the first video most of the action happens after about 1 min. 8 secs)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Id_pgMOib-Y

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szuhRSV6zMI

If you would like to see more Videos about Capybaras, go to Capybara World on Youtube:  http://www.youtube.com/user/rangdaaaa?feature=results_main

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Visiting Nagasaki Bio Park: The Best Place In The World To Be With Capybaras. 客員長崎バイオパーク:カピバラを表示するには、世界で最高の場所。

            I am afraid I have had to remove the photos as some nasty person has been removing the watermark from my photos and uploading them to the internet. It is illegal to remove the watermark.

The Biopark has a beautiful location, set over wooded hills on the stunning Saikai peninsular. Anyone who loves nature and animals will enjoy visiting, quite apart from meeting the exceptional capybaras.

For information on how to get to Nagasaki Bio Park, including from Tokyo Narita Airport:: https://capybaraworld.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/how-to-get-to-nagasaki-bio-park-to-see-the-adorable-capybaras-of-course-there-are-lots-of-other-animals-many-of-which-you-can-pet-and-botanical-gardens-its-very-easy/

Here is a blog I have written about the capybaras at Nagasaki Bio Park. Like humans they are all individuals and have different personalities. And of course like humans you can recognise them by their faces – they all look different. Visiting them is so much more interesting when you know who they are

すべての動物は、個々のです。ちょうど人間のように。喜びははるかに大きいです。カピバラの名前を知っています。カピバラのキャラクターと個性を知ってい ます。あなたははるかにカピバラをお楽しみいただけます。あなたは彼の名前を知らない場合はカピバラを侮辱です。彼の性格。カピバラを認識してください。 彼らはこれを値しま

https://capybaraworld.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/the-capybaras-at-nagasaki-bio-park-%E9%95%B7%E5%B4%8E%E3%83%90%E3%82%A4%E3%82%AA%E3%83%91%E3%83%BC%E3%82%AF%E3%81%AE%E3%82%AB%E3%83%94%E3%83%90%E3%83%A9/

This is the magical sound a mother capybara makes when her babies are suckling. The mother capybara goes into a trance and you can see her nose vibrating as she sings:

Missing photos:  Little baby Io. The youngest capybara, just 5 months old

Butter and Cookie, Maple’s babies, 6 weeks old. They always sleep together, resting their heads on each other. バターやクッキー。メープルの赤ちゃん。 6週齢。常に一緒に寝ます  

Having a capybara come over to you and sit affectionately in your lap is the most wonderful experience. Many of the capybaras at Nagasaki Bio Park will sit on the laps of visitors these days.

This is one of my favourite baby capybara videos: Doughnut being nibbled by Macaroni and Choco. Macaroni is the most enthusiastic nibbler.

Missing photo:  Baby Aoba loves to sleep on top of her mother Momiji. Momiji is a fantastic mother. おめでとう!リトル青葉はミイラもみじの上で寝大好き。もみじは素晴らしい母親であります 

One of the joys of the visit was hand feeding the capybaras.   They are so gentle as they take a pellet from you with their soft lips, and then tenderly rub their lips over your hand almost like a kiss, making their happy, chuckling call of gratitude and pleasure.

You can see just how affectionate the capybaras are at Nagasaki Bio Park in this video:

Syu is the most affectionate capybara I’ve ever met. シュー非常に愛情のカピバラ.  Syu was the sweetest capybara, very affectionate. He often used to put his nose up to my lips when I petted him.

Syu was the sweetest capybara, very affectionate. He often used to put his nose up to my lips when I petted him.

 

Missing photo:  Many of the capybaras will come and sit in your lap. Sometimes you may have to entice them by offering food, however in this photo Ryoko came and sat on my husband’s lap of her own volition. She looked so happy as she snuggled up to him 

Watching the Capybaras frolicking in their enormous pond was enchanting.   They are just so playful;  Great Grandmother Donguri, leader of the Bio Park herd loves to ride piggyback on her daughters.  The youngest Capybaras love riding piggy back on the older ones.  Several Capybaras might play ‘tug of war’ with a piece of bamboo.  They have mock fights and chases, or sometimes just nuzzle each other.   Nuzzling under the chin, a very sensitive spot,  brings on that amazing blissful state, where the hair rises (pilo-erection) and they go into a state of ecstasy.   Yasushi, the Boss Capybara (ie the breeding male) loves being nuzzled under his chin;   he is very amorous and sensuous.   This nuzzling can sometimes be accompanied by nips and the very occasional squeal.

Missing photo:  Yasushi Being Nuzzled by Donguri. He Looks so Happy 

Yasushi is adored by all the female Capybaras who follow him around and nuzzle him frequently under the chin in the pond.   He rolls over in ecstasy, sinking under the water and looks completely towsled and dazed when he surfaces.  Watching the Capybaras is a priceless experience, not to be missed for the world.   You can watch Yasushi being nuzzled in this video:

Missing photo:  Yasushi, King of Capybaras, All the Females Adore Him. Me Too. He Has So Much Charisma 

Yasushi is the only adult male;  he is the breeding male, known as the Boss in Japan.  He will spend about 3 years as the breeding male before a new male replaces him.   So the frolic is often amorous if Yasushi is involved.    He is also a wonderful father, always willing to take time off from his love making to play with his son, baby Io,  as in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaaaVHh-nh8 Little Io knows all the right strings to pull when it comes to playing with his Dad….like sucking father Yasushi’s ears, something Yasushi loves and which sends him into that amazing blissful state which Yasushi does so well with his amazingly long hair (see Photo above).

Missing photo:  Yasushi. He was the most wonderful Boss Capy, as the breeding male is called; very charismatic, caring and sensuous. He had the most beautiful long hair and he loved to be petted. 康。優れた上司カピバラ。美しい長い髪。素晴らしい人格。撫でするのが好きでした 

I hadn’t realised just how playful, and captivating, to watch Capybaras are when playing in groups in a large body of water.

Missing photo:  Donguri and her little son Io often play together in the pond. Here he is nuzzling his mother under the chin, which she adores 

And then there is the pampering.  Walking in to their enclosure  and seeing 14 capybaras sitting there, sweet and docile, just waiting to be petted is an experience I wouldn’t miss for the world.  Yasushi with his long hair, all pouffy, his mouth open in ecstasy, showing his beautiful teeth….or little baby Io, so soft and small, responding to your rubs and scratches….looking so, so happy.   Sweet, gentle Donguri, who mostly didn’t want any heavy duty scratching or pampering…she seemed happy to just sit beside me while I gently stroked her, only very occasionally rolling over to be pampered and going  pouffy.  Capybaras often like a vigorous scratch;  they have thick skin.   This is more stimulating, but often the Capybaras prefer more gentle pampering. They love being rubbed on their bottoms, as the sign on the Information Board says.  Their bottom is also furthest away from their teeth!

Missing photos:  Donguri, Sweet, Patient Gentle Donguri. My Favorite; the Gentlest Capybara in the Bio Park. Mother or Grandmother of 9 of the 14 Capys there. 

Donguri, number one in the Bio Park hierarchy. She is a wonderful leader, very wise, very compassionate. She watches over the herd and gives support to any capybara who is suffering or who is in a separate enclosure and missing the herd

Beautiful, affectionate Syu … deemed one of the most intelligent of the capys, one of the few capybaras who would come when called (though not by name as they do not know their names).

Maple, her mother Keide and Aki (no 1 in the hierarchy and Donguri’s younger sister, though quite different in personality) love to escape in search of long, green grass.  They will split up, waiting by the entry and exit gates, making it impossible for anyone to enter or leave without at least one capybara getting out.

Poor old Kobuko (the late Kobuko) had a gate stupidly slammed on her,  when she was half way through, to fruitlessly try to prevent from her getting out.

Missing photo:  Nina, 7 months old at the time of this photo, a young male who loves being fed and pampered. He will move to another ‘zoo’ when he is about one year old. Male capybaras tend to fight…. 

There is nothing as magical as 15 Capybara singing in unison.   This chorus goes on for up to half an hour or longer.   Some afternoons we were treated to the chorus on at least 2 or 3 occasions over the course of the afternoon, other afternoons no  chorus at all.   First there is watermelon time, followed by napping and pampering.   One or two Capys make their escape to the freedom of the pond, while the others remain in the pampering area.   Then the magical, singing chorus starts as the Capybaras begin to think about moving en masse into the water.  After about 10 minutes the exodus begins.  The 4 youngest tend to be reluctant to leave since they get the most pampering and feeding, and they know that if they stay behind every visitor who comes into their enclosure will buy at least one container of ‘Capybara’ pellets to feed them.

Missing photo:  Momiji, Sharpening her Teeth, at the Entrance to the Capybara Hideaway. For Part of Each Day the Capybaras Disappear Completely under the Walkway, on the Far Side of this Netting. You can often Hear their Magical Sounds, though

Reluctantly the young ones join the others in their hiding place under the walkway.   Their ‘singing’ continues to fill the air, the most captivating sound you can imagine.    This chorus is also triggered by thoughts of escape.  On several days some of the capybaras, occasionally as many as 8 or 10, have gathered beside the entrance/exit gates waiting for an opportune moment to make their escape.  It is always the same 5 who make it to freedom.  These include Maple, her mother Keide and Aki.  On Thursday, 9th August,  there would have been a very successful mass exodus if Marc hadn’t been there to keep pushing them back in, and direct people away from opening the gate right in front of a capy intent on escape.

I hope the capys don’t hold it against ME, that Marc prevented them from escaping.   Only Keide escaped this time.   Her goal was the grassy hillside just round the corner from the Capybara enclosure.   She looked a little concerned to be separated from the herd.   And most of the Capybaras followed her trail from within the enclosure, walking along the boundary, looking very worried that she had become separated from the flock.  Yasushi, in particular, looked very paternalistic and concerned, as if he felt responsible for his flock of Capybaras.

Sometimes Kaede goes to visit Ran, the future Boss Capybara.  He is in solitary confinement in a small pen with nowhere to swim, so her visits are a real boost for his spirits.  (Not that she can get into his enclosure;  they can only sniff each other, separated by a tall concrete wall.)

Aki Sets Offf on her Great Adventure, having First had her Fill of Lush Green Grass

Everything comes alive with the magical sound of singing Capybaras.    You can hear them calling in this video.  In real life it is a million times more magical….more than a million times even…

What I find interesting is how little the proximity of large numbers of visitors has impacted on the group dynamic of this ‘herd’.   It’s almost as if the humans provide entertainment (pampering and feeding) the way a human might go to a Spa or restaurant.  As it is mainly a procession of strangers who visit the capybara enclosure,  the capybarass don’t bond with people the way a pet capybara does, so the social ties of the herd are not affected and are as strong as with a wild herd.   The Bio Park is only open 9-5 (5.30 in August) so the rest of the time they are free of humans.

In 2013 and 2014 the Boss Capy, ie the male capybara, was kept in a separate, small enclosure.  This is not ideal and creates a great deal of stress and frustration for both the female capybaras and the male, who want to be together as they would be in their natural habitat.

Missing photos:  Capybaras Playing Affectionately
 

If anyone wants any information on how to get there and where to stay:

Here is a link to my blog giving complete details on how to get to Nagasaki Bio Park from Tokyo, Sasebo or Nagasaki. There is information on accommodation as well: https://capybaraworld.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/how-to-get-to-nagasaki-bio-park-to-see-the-adorable-capybaras-of-course-there-are-lots-of-other-animals-many-of-which-you-can-pet-and-botanical-gardens-its-very-easy/

The Bio Park is in Saikai National Park, an incredibly beautiful area in north western Kyushu.  Rural and undeveloped, with stunning seascapes, mountains and over 200 small islands.  There are golf courses as well, but I can’t imagine you would want them. More Videos of these Irristable Animals at:   http://www.youtube.com/user/rangdaaaa/videos?view=0

Missing photo:  Capybaras Resting on Capuchin island 

Here’s a film NHK, the National Broadcaster in Japan, made of our visit to Nagasaki Bio Park;  the Capybaras are natural thespians:

Because of ‘zoos’ like Nagasaki Bio Park, where visitors can mingle with and pet the Capybaras, there are many more people who adore Capybaras in Japan, than in any other country.      

Linda Lombardi, one of the leading writers about animals in the Western world, has written this very informative and well researched piece about the history of Capybaras in Japan.

リンダロンバルディ(動物に関する有名な作家)は、日本のカピバラのこの歴史を書き込みます。非常に興味深い。賛美長崎バイオパーク

http://www.tofugu.com/2014/01/06/japan-capybaras-and-me-a-love-story/

  Of course there are many other animals at Nagasaki Bio Park.

Other animals you can see include: meerkats, beaver, prairie dogs, hippos, mara, coati, small clawed otter, Red Panda in winter, ring tailed lemur, rock hyrax, giraffe, zebra, ostrich, capuchin monkeys and many more.

There is also a petting zoo by the entrance to Nagasaki Bio Park, P A W (which stands for Pet Animal World), where you can pet guinea pigs, marmoset and many other small animals, and also dogs.

Red and Green Macaws from South America

The Tapirs got very excited during a thunder storm, frolicing and canoodling in their pond:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDOeN-mxYDY

If you walk past the spectacularly colored flamingoes at about 4.30, when they are waiting to be fed, their evocative calls recreate the sounds of the tropics, transporting you to some far off land.

Spectacularly Colored Flamingoes

There is also the Botanical Flower Dome where you can see a profusion of brilliantly colored tropical flowers

Many Different Beautiful Types of Orchids are in in the Flower Dome

Many Different Beautiful Types of Orchids are in in the Flower Dome

In the Flower Dome

In the Flower Dome

Here is a link to the Bio Park website: http://www.biopark.co.jp/en/guidemap/

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Here is a blog in French about Nagasaki Bio Park with lots of excellent photos including lots of photos of the capybaras:
http://www.anaisetpedro.com/divers/japon-2015-le-bio-park-de-sasebo-a-nagasaki/comment-page-1/#comment-356704

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