Stressed About COVID-19? Relax with Japan's Cutest Animals on Twitter

Nationwide Culture Zoo 2020.04.10
Social distancing might be stressful, but at least it gives us some time to check out some of the most adorable & exotic animal internet stars in Japan.

Japan's Most Soothing Animals

Now that Prime Minister Abe has declared a state of emergency for parts of Japan, it means that a lot of people in Tokyo are staying home and spending a little extra quality time with a special cat or dog. But what about those of us without pets? Well, that's where the zoos and aquariums of Japan come to the rescue, with some extremely cute (and very up-to-date) animal content. Here are some of our favorite animal stars to emerge from the turmoil of Japan's coronavirus outbreak.

① Melo the Baikal Seal (Sunshine Aquarium, Tokyo)

...who is the roundest animal we have ever seen. We absolutely cannot get enough of Melo's giant bowling pin of a body, and his very leisurely way of rolling across the enclosure. You do you, Melo.

▶︎ More on Sunshine Aquarium

② Boruta the Bengal Tiger (Nasu Safari Park, Tochigi)

...who looks about as bored as we do, but seems pretty happy about it. Just look at those sleepy eyes, slowly winking shut in the warm sunlight... We should all take a page out of Boruta's book, and let the nice weather calm our worries as we stay home.

▶︎ More on Nasu Safari Park

③ Yomogi, Misaki, Kashiwa, Omochi, and Sakura the River Otters (Enoshima Aquarium, Kanagawa)

...who are using their vacation days to make the most of the time spent with loved ones. Good thinking, guys! We might as well appreciate the silver linings of being stuck in the house.

▶︎ More on Enoshima Aquarium

④ Ri Ri the Giant Panda (Ueno Zoo, Tokyo)

...who is clearly snacking just as much as we are during the lockdown. Who knows, maybe if we join Ri Ri and switch to bamboo instead of snacking on cheese-flavored chocolate, we can also become adorable and fluffy-soft.

⑤ Shinmachi the Penguin (Kyoto Aquarium, Kyoto)

...who looks absolutely overjoyed to hug a friend - a feeling we can really empathize with right now. Sometimes there's really nothing better than a nice warm hug, is there Shinmachi? Hopefully we'll all be free to go out into the world and hug a friend soon!


While we can only enjoy the adorable animals of Japan from afar right now, we can certainly dream of future trips to Tokyo! And in the meantime, we're asking the important questions: which of these animals would you most like to hug? Tell us your answer on twitter, instagram, and facebook!
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NameJapanese Zoos & Aquariums

I came to Japan for a semester abroad, and have been here for over a decade now. Maybe it's a happy accident, but I'm not planning on leaving any time soon! So tell me all your Japan-related recommendations on the Japankuru instagram or X (twitter), @japankuru !

  • e 2020.04.09 reply
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