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02/01/2012 [Wed]

Izu Shaboten Park1 ― Capybara no Yu ( Capybara in the bath ) [Ito]

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“Izu Shaboten Park” is a theme-park located right beside Mt. Omuro in Izu Kogen Highlands, Ito City, Shizuoka. There you can find one of the hottest animals this season in Japan. It’s “Capybaras” and of course they are by no means typical capybaras. Believe it or not, they bathe in the open-air hot water, and funny thing is that their faces look like old gentlemen in hot spa to me.^^; They take their time in it until they get tired of it, the very scene you can see in such a great onsen resort as Izu Peninsula.^^

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Capybara’s bathing time begins from 10:30 – as long as they like to be in. Basically around one hour, they say. While they are munching breakfast, the keeper gives us an interesting description of Capybaras. Of course, in Japanese, though. So I’ll here talk about it in English.^^
Capybaras live in South America and considered as a kin of rat. They eat vegetables such as cabbages, potato and carrots, and grow more than 50kg ! “Capybara” originally means “a ruler of the field” and it does look so dignified as the name says.^^;

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They say that capybaras basically like to be around water but their taking bath is totally another story. Once, they say, while the keeper was washing the floor with hot water, capybaras somehow flocked together around it. He wondered how it would it be if he filled a basin with hot water and the next moment, he saw capybaras bathing in it and thought that’s the very scene of Izu, the largest hot spring resort in Japan ! Now, capybaras of Shaboten Park are so famous and popular as to gather visitors from across Japan ! Please stop by to see them when you visit Izu area by any chance.^^

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Izu Shaboten Park
Access : 40 minutes by #6 bus from JR Ito Station / 20 minutes by bus from Izukyu Izu-kogen Station
Admission  : ¥1800/adult, ¥900/student ( 6 – 15 ), ¥300/children over 4 years old
Open Hours :
9:00 – 17:00( Mar 1 〜 Oct 31 )
9:00 – 16:00( Nov 1 〜 End of Feb )
※Capybara-no Yu bathing can be seen every day from 10:30 until Mar 31
※English brochure available at the reception desk

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Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 14:05

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