Okinawa’s Neo Park

CONTRIBUTED BY AMY MADDOCKS

An updated review of this animal park:

Neo Sign
Neo Sign

On our way to Okuma one weekend, we decided to stop and check out the Zoo I had heard so much about called “Neo Park Okinawa.” We weren’t disappointed! This place is a treat if you love animals. We first went on a train ride around the entire park (well worth the price). You get an idea on this ride of all the areas you’ll get to see up close.

Neo Train
Neo Train

Then, we purchased some food (100 Yen per bag) and went to the main park. Throughout most of the areas are all different types of birds that will eat the food right out of your hands. My husband even got brave and hand-fed the Ostrich’s…needless to say, they mistook his fingers for food and he got “nipped” a few times! But most of the little birds are used to eating right out of your hands, or you can toss the food in the air and they usually catch it.

Neo Feeding
Neo Feeding

There was a petting zoo for kids, but we didn’t see any tortoises (as they used to have). There was also a little shop you could buy refreshments and food from about half-way through the park, but we went on a cool day so we didn’t feel the need to sample anything. However, their prices looked very reasonable for the types of food and drinks offered. Also, there was a restaurant on the side of the parking lot right before going into the park where they offered shaved ice and other treats.

Neo Dogs
Neo Dogs

Overall, it took us about two hours to go through the entire park and give away all the food we bought. If you forget to buy food at the beginning, you will have a chance again just past the petting zoo.

Neo Peacock
Neo Peacock

On a side note, I know some people said they wouldn’t go to Neo Park because the animals looked neglected. I, for one, saw absolutely no neglect. All of the animals in their different areas had shade, water, food, and plenty of room to walk around. They all looked very well taken care of, and during our two hour walk we saw several employees working in the grounds and checking up on things. It was nice to go to a zoo where the animals weren’t all in tiny concrete cages with bars surrounding them!

Neo Walk
Neo Walk

Cost: adults = 630 Yen, students = 315 Yen, children = 210 Yen (group discounts offered). You can also get discount tickets through ITT. The train ride costs additional Yen, but if you buy a combo ticket that includes the park and train ride, it saves a little money.

Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. year round

Website:  neopark.co.jp‎

Location: take a left off of the 58 just on your way out of Nago heading north—just follow the signs.

Previous Post written in August 2007 —  CONTRIBUTED BY JOELLE YAMADA

What a deal!!  1500 yen per year’s membership for you PLUS 4 other family members (bought ahead of time at ITT).  Of course, it’s hardly nearby.  Neo Park Zoo is located in Nago City, so it’s a good hour drive from Kadena.  But since we stopped there on our way up to Okuma, it was the perfect way to spend the morning.

The MCCS website gives the following info about the park:  “The park is divided into four habitats, two of which are covered by large dome-like cages designed to house 873 species of birds. The covered habitats feature several smaller animal environments: Flamingo Lake, where flamingos, storks and other exotic birds flock to search for food; and Lemur Island, were visitors can purchase bananas and raisins to feed lemurs.”

But for my 2 year old, the most exciting part was that many of the animals can be touched or seen up close.  As soon as he walked through the main doors, he was surrounded by ibis & cranes (birds) and he got to feed them!  It’s basically nothing like any zoo you’d find in the States (insurance would never cover it) — but it was relatively clean and my son loved it.  The membership does not include the chance to feed & ride on the tortoises (300 yen) or the small fees for bird food or carrots for the horses/goats, etc.

Near the African (Afurcan) Savannah area was a little place to buy shave ice & drinks.  We had a fabulous concoction of shaved ice, coconut flavor and tons of mango spooned on top (400 yen).

My son’s other favorite part was the small gauge train (also not included — 600 yen for adults, he was free) that took us around the whole park, stopping periodically to tell us (in beautiful Japanese) about the animals (30 minute trip).  You can also have your/family picture taken in traditional costumes for 500 yen.

Again, not a zoo like at “home” — but was a great way to spend a couple of hours.

Neo Park is on Highway 58 in Nago City, just past the Nago Bus Terminal. The signs will lead you there. Or call them (098)-052-6348

More details linked from the wonderful internet:

Flickr said this.


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19 Comments
  • February 16, 2014

    We bought the family pass from kadena itt. Make sure you take yen coins to buy food. We ended up buying 2 bags at the entrance for ¥200/pack, a piece of bread to feed the ostriches @ ¥100, fish food – ¥200. I don’t think the train was operating in February but there was a mini horse ride (¥500) and you could ride a giant tortoise for (¥300). The place is a money pit but we had a blast feeding animals. My 1 year old thought it was awesome (as did my husband). Plus, I hand-fed a wallaby! We did notice that the wallaby was missing some fur, but it appears that the peacock bullies him for food and pecked him(her?).

    Molly
    Reply
  • December 22, 2013

    This place is disgusting. Everything seemed okay at first. The environments were decent but not ideal until we got to the petting zoo. I left in tears. Many animals are dirty and are obviously depressed. They don’t even have a clean place to sit. As we went further, we found environments that weren’t so bad (at least in comparison) and others that made us want to walk out and see no more. The zoo seems to care more about making money than anything else. They charge you fees for entering different sections of the zoo. Looking around you wonder where all this money goes if all of these animals are crammed together in small environments. The zoo also doesn’t seem to even know much about the animals it has. There was was tiny above ground ponds for the capybaras and a little basking ground for probably 30 turtles that is in the shade! Even I know more about these animals to realize this is not okay. If you are really an animal lover please do not spend your time and money here. My husband and I left wishing we never saw what we saw and never gave our money to this establishment who obviously is not using enough of its profit to take care of the animals it should be responsible for. For being such a kind and peaceful country, it really is a surprise how badly they treat their animals. There is no way this zoo would be allowed in the states. In fact, this zoo was worse than the zoo I visited in Ecuador, a third world country!

    Karla
    Reply
  • August 21, 2011

    I have to admit I’m really surprised at the recent reviews of this place. We went to Neo Park for the first time today and loved it (and I’m an animal person)! Yes, we spent 4100 yen while there on entry fees, train rides, petting zoo entrance fees, kiddie rides, and feeding the animals (myself, my 3 yr old and 1 yr old). But it was worth it. I do agree that it’s very weird to have to pay 300 yen to go inside the A/C to get to the snack bar (which we didn’t do) and also to pay 300 yen to get into the petting zoo in addition to having to buy the animal food (luckily my kids were young enough that I only had to pay for myself). Having read the prior reviews, I was prepared with plenty of extra yen and just spent as needed.

    I didn’t see any problems at all with the petting zoo. There was plenty of shade, lots of fans going, and all of the animals looked healthy. All of them had access to bowls of water. The dogs are on stakes so that you can take them for walks… I don’t think one of the other reviewers is familiar with this Japanese practice (Bios does it as well). In fact, there is a very large fenced in grass area to go on a nice walk. The shade covered ALL of the animals.

    The llamas and little ponies all appeared healthy… they even shaved the “hotpsots” on the llamas to help them handle the heat. I’ve worked with llamas and horses in the past… didn’t see anything wrong here. The aviary was great, impressive actually for a small Asian “zoo” – my boys had such a great time feeding all of the birds. I also appreciated that the wallabies also had a large open area to live in one of the aviaries.

    We loved the train ride as well. It will only take a couple of hours to see everything, and it’s not really a zoo, but we had a very good time despite the heat. I didn’t see the monkeys, so I can’t comment on their living conditions. The only thing I agree with was that the ostrichs clearly were stressed and were missing many feathers. Other than that, a great place to visit. We will be back! This is definitely something to do with younger kids and I think is easier to handle in the heat as there is much more shade than the Okinawa Zoo (and no sad looking tigers or bears to walk past).

    Kristin
    Reply
    • August 12, 2012

      This persons comments is exactly what I saw when I visited yesterday and I agree with every word of it unlike Travis & Stephanie’s comments earlier in this thread.

      Larry
      Reply
  • July 9, 2011

    I couldn’t believe all the extra fees!! When we first got there we were very impressed with the birds and the turtles. Then we got to the petting zoo and they wanted 300 yen each to get in! Fine we dished out the 900 yen for the 3 of us and enjoyed the little petting zoo. We never saw monkeys other than the lemurs in their cages, which was a disappointment. After getting through the area with the bats and peacocks we saw a huge building. It had a little cafe with cold drinks and a bunch of animals inside. But there was a woman at the door asking for 300 yen each to get in!! It was cruel after the heat. Why should I have to pay 300 yen just to get in the building to buy a drink!

    Also a lot of the animals were decrepit to say the least. The birds looked in good health, but probably only because they are fed so well by guests! The llamas looked unhealthy and the ostriches were skeletons. None of them had full plumage. And one of them had no feathers at all.

    I’m torn because it was really cool to see the animals close up, but I wish I’d known about the extra fees, b/c it makes it so much more expensive.

    Ashley T
    Reply
  • June 10, 2011

    ABSOLUTELY HORRID place to visit on the island!!! For those of you who have posted less than positive posts, you are SPOT ON!! My wife and I took our girls there today for a visit. I am not joking when I say the few animals they had there were half-starved and emaciated, the birds were all sick with disease, the dogs and goats were staked out in a line with absolutely no freedom of movement. The few monkeys they had in a small, dank and horribly filthy cage looked to be on the verge of death. today was a stifling 97 degrees and the animals were all staked in a line out in the heat with no access to water and very little shade. It was a torture mill for animals…The crowning moment of absolute horror and disgust was when my 9 and 3 year old daughter pointed out what they thought was a large piece of smashed fruit on the path…upon my closer inspection and to my utter disgust, it was the BEAK of a large tropical bird. It appeared to have been TORN OFF the bird. The body was nowhere to be seen…all that was left was a large beak with gobbets of flesh and innards still attached. This, coupled with the wounded and lame peacock lying in the middle of one of the paths, starving to death and requiring urgent veterinarian care, made for a rather shocking experience for my girls. PETA would go into hysterics if they had seen the inhuman conditions the animals were stuck in there.

    The staff was not be found anywhere on the grounds minus the front desk, the grounds were in absolute neglect and in advanced stages of decay/collapse, flies were in abundance and it was heartbreaking/revolting to see the living conditions of the few animals they have there still. SO NOT WORTH 2300 yen for my family!! We did not make it halfway before we found ourselves hustling out as quickly as we could at the quick-step. A real “horrorshow” afternoon in Nago. DO NOT GIVE THIS BUSINESS ANY OF YOUR MONEY!!! If you care or have ever cared about animal maltreatment, abuse and neglect, you will avoid this place at all costs. I will be contacting MCCS later this week as well as ITT and other sightseeing agencies that cater to US military personnel and families and ask that they “blacklist” or “boycott” this location.

    Travis & Stephanie H.
    Reply
    • January 3, 2012

      Wonderful. You have an issue with it so you’ll try to ensure everyone else has a difficult time accessing it. I guess you’re the authority we should all be listening to.

      Dan L.
      Reply
    • August 12, 2012

      Some people have nothing but negative things to say. I was there yesterday and did not see any of this nor do I agree with the condition of the park as stated by this person. My wonderful pictures I took can back up my words.

      Larry
      Reply
    • August 12, 2015

      I hate to burst your bubble, but this is the exact type of behavior that PETA encourages. Do a little research on them. They are the animal activist version of Westboro Baptist Church. Utterly deplorable.

      Surra
      Reply
  • June 30, 2010

    Went to Neo Park today on the recommendation of a few people and was mortified at what we saw there. Emaciated horses, Ostrich’s with very few feathers (adult and baby ones), pigs in an enclosure that looked as if it hadn’t been cleaned in months, dogs tied to short leashes and stakes with no water…just to name a few. I felt sickened and dismayed that we brought our kids there to see such cruelty. The fact that we spent money to promote such a place was hard to swallow. It could be such an amazing place to bring your kids, but between the filth and the downright abuse of those poor animals-it taught the wrong lesson to our boys.

    Adriana O
    Reply
  • May 29, 2010

    We went here this past week. I liked the bird aviaries, but overall the park was kind of scary. I LOVE ANIMALS and I loved the birds and all. The dogs were pretty sad. One dog was tied up to a tree far away from the others and he looked ROUGH and he had no water. It was a very hot day. The other dogs were tied to poles in the sun, except for the chihuahuas, they were in an enclosure that you had to pay extra to go into. The small kangaroos (not sure of their name) had chunks of fur missing. I did not see any large turtles, just the smaller ones in what looked like swimming pools. I would go back for the birds, but I was kind of disappointed with the rest and felt bad for some of the animals.

    Just the opinion of an animal lover.

    Also, there is bird food to purchase at the very beginning and that was the ONLY place to purchase it. Buy more than one bag, you will need it!!

    Ashley
    Reply
  • November 29, 2009

    We just went to Neo park today and loved it. I have been on Okinawa for about 14 years and this is the first time I visited Neo park, what a great way to spend some time with your family. I felt like I had to take my shoes off at the dog pettinf section (felt and looked like a home). Dogs were all well mannerd and even the billy goats were friendly even though they crap all the time…lol. Go to Neo and have fun…if you want a year long pass you can pick one up at the Make Man (Monkey Man) just outside the park.

    Mark
    Reply
  • January 10, 2009

    We were at Neo Park today and thought the dogs were great! They were featuring all small breeds – Papillion, Chiuhuhas (or however you spell it), long-haired dauchsunds, etc. They weren’t staked out, they were all in an open enclosure, along with a baby (tiny baby!) pig. They were all adorable, and the Japanese children in the enclosure could have been making commercials for Kodak, they were so PRECIOUS holding the puppies up to their faces, rolling around, snuggling them. They were all well fed and obviously very happy. They had larger breed dogs (standard sized poodle, dalmation) in a different enclosure with a llama, the kids got to take them for “walks” around a maze like feature. Very cool for kids who may never get to see or pet dogs otherwise.

    dashagariepy
    Reply
  • October 22, 2008

    Hi,
    Just wanted to say that the dog thing is a visiting or rotating thing…it was there a time or two when I was there but then it gets replaced by another, like the dinosaur exhibit or art exhibit. So, don’t worry that it will always be there.

    shelly
    Reply
  • October 20, 2008

    THIS PARK IS NOW AWFUL!!!!!
    It used to be one of our favorite adventures. You can not ride the tortoises anymore but instead you can pay to feed and pet emaciated dogs. I’m serious! They have a field with skinny dogs tied to stakes for you to feed. It was creepy and terrible to explain to our toddler. Yes, the birds are cool, and the park itself is nice. Save your time and go to the Zoo and the Botanical Gardens instead!

    theroamingms
    Reply
  • September 3, 2008

    If you bring raisins and shake the box the lemurs come running!! We have gone many times and the climb allover my husband. Also the tortoises are now with the petting zoo part. You have to pay the charge and go in the back section.
    I personally LOVE this park, there is something for everyone here. Something that is fun to do is feed the giant fish in the pond where the concession area is. We always dress up and get our pictures taken in Okinawan clothing. For 500 yen it is worth it.

    Aimeelee
    Reply
  • January 13, 2008

    We were just at NEO park today and they no longer have the tortoises there!
    Also there are signs posted all over the place to only feed the food purchased at the park to the animals.

    Jennifer
    Reply
  • August 25, 2007

    How long has this park been around?

    Reply
  • August 9, 2007

    1 more thing, if you bring bananas sometimes the monkeys will climb down and take them from your hands. also you can bring your own bread and stuff like that or bring your own to feed the massive amount of birds there. also with little kids, definitely bring a stroller.

    Melissa
    Reply