Kitanomori Garden Bear Ranch (北の森ガーデン くま牧場)
From Kamikawa Station (上川駅) it’s approx a 15-20 min walk to the ranch. As much as I love bears, I didn’t stay long because this was not what I pictured when I heard the word ‘Ranch’ in the ‘North Forest Garden’ (北の森ガーデン Kitanomori Garden)
I felt a sad for the bears walking on concrete floors, no shelter or shade and 2 were still in the red cage, it was during the start of June and it was hot with temperatures reaching 28° during the day. One of the bears was in the water tub for a while to cool down from the heat, then a couple of tourists came by with bear-snacks, and by throwing the snacks in the bears would sit upwards then try to catch it.
I know bears were a big part of Ainu Culture, where they were used as a blood sacrifice in rituals. Of course it is banned now. I wish the conditions were made better for the bears to live in, especially if they can replicate the environment as if they were to live in the wild i.e. Grass, trees, soil…It is up to you if you wish to visit, for me I will never return.