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“Do not go to the lower crocodile park!”

Atagawa Tropical & Alligator Garden
Attraction details
Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
28 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Do not go to the lower crocodile park!”
Reviewed August 12, 2012

I left the park with very mixed feelings at the end of the day. As with some other attractions in Japan you can either purchase individual tickets for the upper Panda Park, the Botanical Garden and the lower Crocodile Park (which are connected by a shuttle bus) or a combined ticket.

We started in the big Panda park and it was quite astonishing. Red Pandas are certainly a rare site and you can really get up close and almost touch them and we left with a few dozen of amazing pictures. This part of the park also has some crocodiles, turtles, a smaller garden and a lookout point which has nice view over Atagawa and the cliffs so it is absolutely recommendable.
However, it is noticeable that the cages are kind of small and some pandas appear to be racy from that confined space but overall in a good condition.

The shock came when we went down the hill to the crocodile park. What we saw there was a really sad sight with crocodiles almost being stacked in cages of not more than 4 square meters, the pools and animals being very dirty and it was apparent that they were not well or at all looked after. Considering the entry fees, prices for merchandise and souvenirs I'm sure someone is making a buttload of money and it is not being reinvested into the park or the animals.

In summary, get the individual ticket for the Panda Park which is really amazing but save the money for the crocodile habitat and try to send a message that nobody wants to pay to see animals treated this way (even though hundreds of Japanese will probably not read or understand this).

Visited August 2012
1 Thank RobinHoese
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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190 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
200 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“Never seen so many species of crocodiles before!”
Reviewed May 26, 2012

This must be a hidden gem, hadn't heard much about such a wonderful place with tropical plants and a huge collection of crocs, turtle, tortoises and fish so near the Atagawa train Station! You just climb the rather steep flight of steps right in the station and you are led into this Garden of Eden, complete with the sight of a slithering live brown snake which crossed in front of me to go the opposite set of bushes! You do have to do a lot of climbing, getting past the caymans to the orchids and then the marvellous varieties of lilies in the ponds, of every colour imaginable. The lily pads are huge and the whole place so well-tended. There is the pitcher plant, the groves of tropical trees and their fruits (banana, starfruit, papaya) but most exciting of all the many species of crocodile (Siamese, Australian, Chinese) and many lively red pandas sleeping in the trees in their cages.
The place is not recommended for those with mobility problems, the elevators don't take you everywhere and you have to climb up and down steep steps to see everything, but it's worth it for the able-bodied. There is even a shuttle bus to take you to the section with red pandas, very considerate of the authority in charge.
However, be warned, there aren't many options for food here, only two eateries at the top of the stairs by the Railway station, good ramen served at the smaller one, and popular with the locals too.

Visited May 2012
2 Thank Bluesphynx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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