Saitama Prefecture is getting a new indoor petting zoo in Ageo City!
The information is a bit thin on the ground, but from what we can tell the new “Ikimono Tankentai” is a type of petting zoo aimed at children. Ikimono means creatures or living things. Tankentai means expedition or exploration party. An exploration of living things! The only official information available currently is that it is a facility that offers you the opportunity to interact with 30 kinds of “sea, land, and air creatures”. Ikimono Tankentai will also allow petting and feeding.
A little sleuthing on the net revealed that Ikimono Tankentai seems to be a new chain store. They opened branches in Nara, Ibaraki and Kanagawa Prefectures last year (2022). However, nowhere can I find information about the organizers or an official website for the chain. Moreover, the Nara branch seems to be a one year only – pop up – branch. Therefore, there is a chance the branch in Ageo may also be for a limited time only.
So the only other thing we currently know is that the Saitama Ikimono Tankentai is scheduled to open on the 1st floor of PAPA Ageo Prince Building at the end of January! It sounds a bit like the private zoo (of sorts) in Kawagoe city, but cheaper. Although, we don’t actually know the official price for the Ageo branch yet, their other branches are very reasonably priced. Presumably the PAPA Ageo branch will be too. Kawagoe’s petting zoo costs you at least 1000 yen, whereas the Ikimono Tankentai that are currently open cost less than 1000 yen. On average, they seem to charge about 800 yen per person.
I haven’t been in PAPA Ageo in at least three years. We visited a few times for the Namco Asobi Park that used to be in the center, but I don’t think we’ve been to PAPA since NAMCO closed in 2018. I read about this new attraction in PAPA on the Saitamapple blog. I’ve mentioned Saitamapple a few times over the years on this blog. It was my go to for Ageo City information. Particularly, new play areas in the Ageo area. But as my kids get older we’ve graduated from play centers so I actually hadn’t visited the website for a while! I’m not sure what made me think of it today, but I am so glad I popped by and saw the information for Ikimono Tanken.
Unfortunately, Saitamapple also didn’t know the date of opening, so I rang PAPA Ageo directly. They are
aiming to will open on the 28th of January, but can’t guarantee it right now. They announced the date on the official site for PAPA on January 26th. You will find the site linked below.
New Attraction: Ikimono Tankentai PAPA Ageo Shopping Avenue. いきもの探検隊 P.A.P.A 上尾ショッピングアヴェニュー
Opening: January 2023 – the tentative date is Saturday January 28th, but there is a possibility of delay. They
will announce have announced on the homepage that the 28th is the opening date.
Hours: unknown, presumably 10 am to 6 pm or thereabouts
Cost: yet unknown, about 800 yen based on other branches of the attraction.
Venue: 1F Papa Ageo, 3 Chome-3-11 Midorigaoka, Ageo, Saitama 362-0015. View on Google Maps.