Tsukuba Wanwan Land
Location: 〒300-4353 Ibaraki Prefecture, Tsukuba, Numata 5-7-9 (https://goo.gl/maps/WguvrbDV77n)
Hours: 10 AM to 5 PM
Official Website (English, limited)
Adult (ages 13 and up) – JPY 1500
Child (ages 3 to 12) – JPY 700
Senior (65 and above) – JPY 750
Infant (ages 0-2) – free
By Bus: From Tokyo Station, take the bus for Tsukuba Center (approx 70 mins). From Tsukuba Center, take the bus bound for Mt. Tsukuba and get off at Tsukubasanguchi Bus Stop. Tsukuba Wanwan Land is a 10-minute walk from here.
By Train: From Akihabara Station, take the Tsukuba Express to Tsukuba Station.From Tsukuba Center, take the bus bound for Mt. Tsukuba and get off at Tsukubasanguchi Bus Stop. Tsukuba Wanwan Land is a 10-minute walk from here.
One of the things I miss sorely about Manila is being in the constant company of dogs and cats. Living the single life in Tokyo doesn’t allow much room for pets, especially if you’re always out and about. Of course, if you live in one of the major cities in Japan, you can very well visit animal cafes to satisfy your need for a furry companion. But with limited hours, overpriced drinks and at times overcrowded shops, I’d say heading out to the Tsukuba is a much better alternative.
Tsukuba Wanwan Land is an animal park home to 500 dogs and cats of 90 different breeds. The park consists mainly of large dog pens that guests can enter to see, touch, and play with dogs. Some areas, however, are for viewing only.
A smaller, more intimate area called “Neko House” provides cats and cat lovers space to interact. From Persians to Sphynx cats, the place is graced by different breeds. I didn’t see any kittens, however.
Other attractions include animal shows featuring dog races and dog tricks. You can also “rent a dog” and walk it within the premises for a certain amount of time.
Despite the constant barking of dogs, the place has a relaxed atmosphere. The sight of Mount Tsukuba in the distance is arresting, and if you visit in spring you get to see sakura and tulips too. Guests with children will find the play areas delightful, while those who come on dates will have plenty of space to walk leisurely.
One downside, however, is that there aren’t many food options available within the park. There is only one food stall and it only sells snacks such as takoyaki and soft-serve ice cream. Going to a nearby restaurant is recommended for those looking for a proper meal.
Tsukuba Wanwan Land is best enjoyed as a half-day activity. If you’re traveling by car, I recommend dining at Seafood Restaurant Mexico, where you can be surrounded by pink flamingos as you enjoy your meal. A goat will also greet you at the entrance.
Another activity you can do is make your way to the entrance to Mt. Tsukuba, where you can admire the gigantic red torii gate prefacing Tsukuba Shrine and/or take a dip at the surrounding hot springs. You can also take a cable car or a ropeway to get all the way to the top of the mountain. The view from Nyotai Peak is amazing, but let me tell you about that in a different entry.