Neo Park

Friends of ours told us about a park in Okinawa where you can, among other things, take llamas for walks.  Say no more - we are there.

The park is called Neo Park and is up north in Nago.  It's difficult to describe Neo Park because it is different from anything you'd find in the states.  I'd put it under the general category of zoo, but it definitely had a bit of a twist.

Upon entering the zoo-like park, you first find yourself in a giant aviary with a pond in the middle and bird poop all around.  It is filled to capacity with all sorts of birds.  There were flamingos, different types of cranes, and a multitude of large birds that I had no idea what they were or where they came from.  As Fred was stalking the birds to take their pictures, I felt I was being stalked by the birds as they swooped dangerously close to my head.  Alfred Hitchcock would understand why I had to leave this exhibit quickly.

These birds wanted to kill me

After narrowly escaping with my life from the bird exhibit, we entered the Amazon exhibit.  This too had some scary birds, but not as many.  It also had flying foxes (giant bats) and some fish.  According to Fred, the flying foxes can be seen all over the island.  I have yet to see one.

Finally, we made our way to the "petting zoo" area with the llamas.  You pay an extra 200 yen to enter this area.  It was the best 200 yen I've spent so far.  In the states, petting zoos are usually filled with goats, rabbits, and maybe a pig or two if you're lucky.  But at Neo Park, the petting zoo begins with dogs!  I've noticed that the Okinawans really like dogs, especially little dogs.  Probably because little dogs are cute, and the Japanese are all about cute things.  Fred and I laughed when a group of Japanese girls walked in and  squealed with excitement upon seeing the little dogs.  I'm not sure which was more entertaining - petting the dogs or watching the Japanese girls flip out.

On to the main event - the llamas.  There were three llamas wearing dog collars tied to stakes that you could walk around.  While this is amusing in itself, what made it more amusing is that tied to a fourth stake next to the llamas was a poodle.  Picture this - llama, llama, llama...poodle?  I sang the Sesame Street song to myself, "One of These Things is Not Like the Others...".  Furthermore, the lone poodle had Japanese katakana letters shaved into his poodle coat.  I'm not sure what it said, but I'm certain whatever it said was funny.

After the llama/poodle exhibit, we checked out the huge pigs.  I was disappointed the pigs were not available for walking.  However, one of the employees came over and gave us some hot dogs buns to feed to the pigs.  I learned pigs LOVE hot dog buns.  If only they knew what we humans use hot dog buns for...

It was hard to tear myself away from the petting zoo, but all good things must come to an end.  The park concluded with some wallabies hopping around, peacocks, more assorted birds, and finally a lemur exhibit.  Unfortunately, the lemurs were in cages.  I would have liked to pet them too.

Impressing the ladies


For more photos from Neo Park, click here.


  1. We spent a good part of our evening laughing about the hot dog buns. The llama video was of course, brilliant--your "oh god, don't spit on me" spiced up the rather-boring fred walking with a slow llama. -Colleen

  2. Classic! Fred is a natural Llama handler... haha! I completely understand your fear of the birds... gross.

  3. I'm totally not a fan of birds either!

    Oh - and I had NO IDEA that's what a wallaby looked like! I think you need to send one to Vanessa...