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Introducing the Open-Air Capybara Bath of the Izu Shaboten Zoo

This video, titled "Capybara with mandarin orange on head in the open-air bath☆みかんを頭にのせるカピバラ 伊豆シャボテン動物公園【元祖カピバラの露天風呂】," was released by "HIRO@sea." The video shows capybaras enjoying a relaxing soak in an open-air bath.
The capybaras can be found at the Izu Shaboten Zoo, in Futo, Ito City, Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan's Tokai Region.

Just like humans, the capybara enjoy a warm bath. The water is filled with yuzu, a type of citrus fruit.
You can see the capybara with a yuzu on its head at 1:46 in the video!

In this article, we'll introduce the Izu Shaboten Zoo and its open-air capybara bath.

The Izu Shaboten Zoo

Image of  Izu Shaboten Zoo
Photo:Izu Shaboten Zoo

The Izu Shaboten Zoo is a theme park in Futo, Ito City, Shizuoka. The Zoo is known for animals and cacti.

The zoo was opened around 60 years ago, in October of 1959.
The 200,000-square-meter park, which opened around 60 years ago in October 1959, has a greenhouse with cacti and succulents from all over the world. There's also kangaroos, capybaras, anteaters, squirrel monkeys, red pandas, chimpanzees, ponies, wild birds, the ever-popular motionless bobwhite stork, and a variety of other animals.
The zoo is home to around 800 animals and birds, including flamingos, peacocks, and fennec foxes.
The cacti are divided into five sections: the South American Pavilion, the African Pavilion, the Madagascar Pavilion, the Mexico Pavilion, and the Forest Cactus Pavilion.
There are edible cacti available for tasting as well.

In 2016, the official Japanese name of the zoo was changed from the former "Izu Shaboten Park" (伊豆シャボテン公園) to the current "Izu Shaboten Zoological Park" (伊豆シャボテン動物公園).
A little to the east of Izu Shaboten Zoo, there's Izu Granpal Park, Izu Kogen Tabi no Eki Granpal Port, New York Lamp Museum & Flower Garden, and the Izu Oceanic Park Diving Center as part of the Izu Shaboten Zoological Park Group.

Izu Shaboten Animal Park also has life-size replicas of a sculpture of ancient American civilization, and the entire Izu Shaboten Zoological Park Group has a wide range of attractions, from animals and plants to artifacts, park golf, the "Ship-shaped 3D Maze KAiZOKU," "Zip Line 風KAZE," "Water Balloons," and more. There's also "Wan Wan Park," a dog run where you can enjoy taking your dog, and the "Izu Kogen Grand Illumination," a hands-on style illumination.

Nearby, the official hotels "Izu Shaboten Village" and "Izu Shaboten Village GLAMPING" can be found.
You can fully enjoy your Izu Shaboten experience with an overnight stay at either one of these locations.

The Open Air Capybara Bath

Image of open-air capybara bath
Photo:Open-air capybara bath

Firstly, what exactly are capybaras?
Capybaras are members of the caviidae family of rodents, native to South America.
They can be found from Panama to the northeast of Argentina.
They are large (106-134 centimeters in length), have a gentle nature and are known to be very friendly towards humans.
They tend to be found in groups of 10 to 20. A group of capybaras can be seen soaking in the bath together from 0:07 in the video.

The open-air capybara bath shown in the video has been a tradition of the Izu Shaboten Zoo since 1982.
At that time, the zookeepers were washing the exhibit with warm water when the capybaras began to soak in the puddles.
Thereafter, the zookeepers came up with the idea of preparing warm baths for the capybaras.
Now, the capybara bath has become a winter tradition.

Nowadays, many zoos in Japan have introduced their own capybara baths, but the originator is none other than the Izu Shaboten Zoo.
The zoo even has a capybara mascot known as "Capyba."

Summary of the Izu Shaboten Zoo

Due to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, to uphold social distancing rules, capybara and red panda plush toys are placed between seats at the zoo as well as the restaurant "Forest Animal Restaurant GIBBONTEI."
The adorable image of the plush toys seated in the restaurant has generated buzz online, and has even been shown on the news.

The plush toy and calendar can be purchased at the gift shop within the zoo.
Many goods are also available on the official online shop "IZU SHABOTEN HONPO," so do take a look!

Take a moment to relax and check out this heartwarming video.

◆Izu Shaboten Zoo Facilities Overview◆
【Address】1317-13 Tomido, Itou City, Shizuoka Prefecture
【Access】From JR Atami Station, get off at JR Ito Station on the Ito Line, and take the Tokai Bus for Shaboten Zoo (~35 minutes).
【Admission Fee】Adults: 2,400 yen
Elementary School Students: 1,200 yen
Children (over the age of 4): 400 yen
Discounts for groups, seniors, and persons with disabilities, as well as coupon deals, are also available.
【Avg. Time Spent Here】2+ Hours
【Parking】400 regular spaces, 500 yen|Buses: 18 spaces, 1,000 yen

【Official Website】Izu Shaboten Zoo

【Tripadvisor】Izu Shaboten Zoo

Written By
Last Updated : Oct. 19, 2020
A writer who loves Japan
Cute Capybaras Enjoying Hot Springs With Fruit on Their Heads at Izu Shaboten Zoo!
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