“World’s largest living rodents” can be a bit of a hard sell in terms of cuteness for the uninitiated, but anyone familiar with Capybara knows its quite easy to be converted by their incredibly relaxed disposition and general accepting nature of well…anything. The Izu Shaboten Zoo in Shizuoka prefecture is the perfect place to be swayed by chill adorableness, particularly as the Zoo has a tradition of letting Capybara soak themselves and relax in outdoor Japanese hot springs.
While the zoo has been running its “Capybara Open-Air Bath” for 37 years, as well as a separate bath where Capybara bathe in hot yuzu baths since 1996, this year’s event, which runs from November 23, 2019 to April 5, 2020, is a celebration of 2020 being the Year of the Rat. Not a “rat”, per say, but the world’s largest rodent does share some traits of the rat zodiac, including being sociable and outgoing–as well as stubborn, since you’ll have a hard time moving them once they settle into a relaxing spot!
On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, Izu Shaboten Zoo will be giving the Capybara floral, apple, and citrus baths.
Of course, plenty of Capybara merchandise and Capybara New Year’s cards will be available as well.