Around Tokyo there’s a score of small and relatively unknown places to see animals. Behind the huge Hikawa Shrine in Saitama prefecture’s Omiya, there’s a tiny zoo barely known even to locals and yesterday I was in the area so I went there to have a look at the flamingoes. It was biting cold and just a few days earlier I had seen ice along the rivers of western Saitama prefecture so I was hoping to see something I have always imagines: flamingoes hanging out in snow! Sadly enough for me but lucky enough for them there was no snow nor ice yesterday, but I still enjoyed seeing these gorgeous birds. The zoo itself is really old and run down but they have some interesting animals, a trio of Hyena for example, and until a couple of weeks ago, a talking crow who showed his temper by greeting visitors to his cage with a hoarse “bye-bye”! Sadly though, the crow recently passed away.
Best of all the zoo is free to visit! If you are in Omiya with nothing to do, you can impress your Japanese friends by taking them to a double treat of the beautiful Hikawa Shrine and the mini-zoo!