The Chiba Zoological Park, first opened in April 1985, is located about halfway between Tokyo and Narita, just outside of the city of Chiba.
The zoo is divided into seven sections: the Zoological Hall, the Small Animal Zone, the Steppe Zone, the Monkey Zone, the Avian and Aquatic Zone, the Ancestors of Domestic Animals Zone, and the Children’s Zoo. The Small Animal Zone houses Futa, the red panda who in 2005 became a television celebrity because of his ability to stand on his hind legs. His son, Kuta, now has the same ability, so you have twice the chance to see the spectacle when you stop by! The park map has pictures of the animals (at their locations), so there is no need to worry if you cannot get ahold of an English map.
There is a restaurant and a gift shop on site. Neither are included in the cost of your tickets, so make sure to bring extra money in case you would like to buy something (about ¥1000 for the restaurant and ¥1500 for the gift shop, give or take accordingly).
If you can, it is extra special to visit the zoo between mid-March and mid-April, when the many cherry blossom trees onsite are in full bloom!
In the event that you wish to drive instead of taking mass transit, there is a large parking area open from 09:00 - 17:00 for a fee of ¥500.
Driving or by taking the Chiba Urban Monorail Line 2 to Dōbutsukōen (seven stops from JR’s Chiba Station)