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Photo By: yamauchi
Region
Hokkaido
Island
Hokkaido
Largest City
Sapporo
Population
5,682,950

Hakodate Tropical Botanical Garden

Hot-tubbing monkeys in winter and some of the world’s most exotic plants.

Strange-looking flowers and endangered plant species await visitors at the Hakodate Tropical Botanical Garden — Japan’s biggest collection of tropical plants. Even more strange and intriguing are the community of monkeys, whose favorite pastime is chilling in their winter-time hot tub while living on the grounds.

Photo by: gadenapaa More than 3,000 plants.

A vast colorscape that will brighten even the bleakest days.

Cacti, fruit trees and even some plants that can only otherwise be found in southern Japan are among the highlights of the garden, which prides itself on having 3,000 plants on display from over 300 species. The Angel Trumpet flowers and other plants inside the greenhouse create a vast colorscape that will brighten even the bleakest days.

The hot-tubbing monkeys

Rare, sprawling plants sound interesting for sure, but the real highlight of this place is the cheeky, bathing monkeys. Though some people have complained about the monkeys’ environment — a concrete jungle gym — it’s interesting to watch their quirky personalities.

Photo by: sam.luce They love it!

From Dec. 1 until Golden Week (the beginning of May) you can view around 100 monkeys bathing in their playground-esque enclosure. During these months, water from nearby hot springs is brought into a pool in the playground for them to warm up in. In other months, you can still visit the monkeys, but the quirky sight of them all relaxing inside the hot spring bath is the main point of interest for most visitors. It can only be witnessed in winter months. Inside the greenhouse you’ll also see different types of tortoises, Japanese carp and other tropical fish.

Photo by: rroylin Monkeys at the park enjoy a bath in winter.

In the area

The tropical botanical garden’s location is great for exploring some of Hakodate’s other famous sights.The famous Yunakawa onsen is located just around the corner, if you want to see even more bathing monkeys. If you’d rather stick to the botanical garden area, you can enjoy the free foot onsen spots just outside the greenhouse.

A popular choice for families will also be the big water square that operates in the summer. Other activities for children include the botanical garden’s play park and battery-operated go karts for the smallest children.

Whether you are visiting in the summer, or escaping the cold winters of Hokkaido, a trip to the botanical garden’s greenhouse facilities will liven up your day.

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Things To Know

Hours and fees

The garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in April-October and 9:30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. in November through March. Admission fees are ¥300 for adults and ¥150 for children. Free admission to see the bathing monkeys and for outside facilities. Additional ¥100 to feed the monkeys.

Events

The garden hosts different cultural events with its own in-house stage. Events are announced on the botanical garden’s website: http://www.hako-eco.com (Japanese)

How To Get There

Address

3 Chome-1-8 Yunokawachō, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaidō 042-0932, Japan

By train

Take the street tram to the Yunakawa onsen stop. From Hakodate station, the ride will be about 30 minutes. The garden is located within a 15-minute walk from the stop.

Where To Stay

Yunokawa Kanko Hotel Shoen
  • 2-4-20 Yunokawacho Hakodate Hokkaido Hakodate-Shi, Hokkaido 042-0932
  • 7.2/10
  • 0.2 km
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Yunokawa Onsen Emi Hakodateya
  • Yunokawa-cho 3-10 Hakodate-Shi, Hokkaido 042-0932
  • 8.4/10
  • 0.2 km
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Heiseikan Shiosaitei
  • Yukawa-cho 1-2-37 Hakodate-Shi, Hokkaido 042-0932
  • 8.1/10
  • 0.2 km
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Shiosaitei Annex Hanatuki
  • Yukawa-cho 1-2-37 Hakodate-Shi, Hokkaido 042-0932
  • 8.7/10
  • 0.2 km
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