Nagasaki

Capybaras in warm open-air bath, exceptional winter scene

Winter, get close to wildlife

Nagasaki Bio Park

Capybaras in an open-air bath are a winter scene that you can see at the Nagasaki Bio Park in Saikai, Nagasaki Prefecture. Native to South America, capybaras do not like the cold, and love to stay in a warm bath during winter. The sight of the adorable capybaras comfortably getting warm as they soak in the open-air bath up to their backs is popular with visitors to the park. Some capybaras even let the stream of warm water cascade onto their backs just like humans. What a heartwarming sight!

Photo credit: Nagasaki Bio Park

Part of the rodent family, but they swim well

Capybaras grow to about one meter long, and weigh about 50 kg, and are the world’s largest rodents. In the wild they live in groups of 20 to 30 near the water, such as the rivers, lakes and marshes of South America. They have webbed feet and are good at swimming. They have been seen swimming across the Amazon River.

Winter Solstice-limited pomelo bath

During the period of the winter solstice, the “zabon” pomelos that are unique to Nagasaki are floated in the warm water to make a “zabon bath”. At the capybara open-air bath you can often see them sleeping with just the tips of their noses above the warm water. It is common for wild capybaras to stay under the water for more than five minutes as they hide from their natural enemies. Capybaras are absolutely good at divers.

Grilled oysters (Uzushio Oysters)

The season for uzushio oysters is midwinter. They are cultivated in Omura Bay (Saikai) in Nagasaki Prefecture, which is famous for its whirling tides (“uzushio” in Japanese means whirling tides). It is a delicacy that is full of good flavor, and the local way to eat them is grilled.

Nanatsugama Limestone Caves - the nationally designated natural monument

These are limestone caves that rose up from the seabed about 30 million years ago, and they have high rarity value as something formed in a new age. They are located in the city of Saikai, and have been nationally designated as a natural monument.

INFORMATION

Location/Access Nagasaki Bio Park: 2291-1 Seihicho Nakayamago, Saikai-shi, Nagasaki Prefecture
About 1 hour and 10 minutes by car (rental car) from Nagasaki Airport (via Saikai Bridge).
Opening hours Nagasaki Bio Park
10:00 – 17:00 (last entry 16:00)
Open seven days a week.
Inquiries Nagasaki Bio Park
TEL 0959-27-1090
http://www.biopark.co.jp/

Saikai City Tourist Association
0959-37-5833
http://saikaicity.jp/

Nanatsugama Limestone Caves Office
TEL 0959-33-2303

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