The Allen Centennial Gardens are conveniently located on my bike ride home from work. This public garden, open daily from dawn till dusk, is amazingly well-kept and in the heart of campus. I actually volunteered here as a Horticulture major when I was a freshman in college. The gardens are also surprisingly active on FaceBook!
While I admittedly had very low hopes for a 500 yen zoo, the Higayashima Zoo completely exceeded my expectations on every level. It was HUGE, clean, full of animals, and coupled with a massive botanical garden.
The Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium turned out to be way more “SeaWorld” than I was expecting, but it was still awesome. The dolphin show was so great that we watched it a second time!
The Botanical Gardens at the Higayashima Zoo was one of the standout highlights of my 10 days in Nagoya, and easily the best 500 yen I spent in Japan – especially since ticket price includes the entire Zoo as well! It includes acre after acre of outdoor gardens to explore, complete with ponds, rivers, waterfalls and other features. The seemingly never-ending greenhouse contained some of the most ridiculous flowers I’ve ever set eyes on.