Tokyo has several different zoos for those seeking an animal encounter, and two of the most well known are Ueno Zoo in the heart of the city, and Tama Zoo in Hino. I've visited both of those and had good experiences, but when my children were younger we frequented a smaller zoo that was easier for those little legs to navigate. Hamura Zoo is located in the outer Tokyo suburbs, and it's just the right size for early elementary school-aged students and younger. Of course, it's still plenty of fun for those above that age group, too!
There are a wide range of different animals to appreciate at the zoo here, from giraffes and zebras through to red pandas and lemurs. You'll also find more common animals that you can interact with, including goats and guinea pigs. Visitors can feed them at a cost of 200 yen for one cup of food.
For those who visit the park during spring, there are a number of cherry blossom trees on the grounds - it is my family's favorite season to visit in. There are also plenty of places for children to burn off some energy if walking around wasn't enough, including a wide open grassy field and playground equipment.
Admission to Hamura Zoo is very reasonably priced. Children below 4 years of age receive free admission, and preschoolers over 4 years of age are only charged 50 yen. Elementary and junior high school students are charged 100 yen, and for adults aged between 15 and 65 years of age it's 400 yen.