Japanese Animals: List of Cool Animals that Live in Japan

Last Updated on November 1, 2023

Welcome to an exciting journey through the diverse and fascinating world of Japanese animals. Japan is home to nearly 100,000 animal species. Though Japan is small in terms of land mass, its biodiversity outweighs anything we could imagine. The country’s diverse weather conditions, ecosystems, and long terrain made up of 7,000 islands make it ideal for supporting many kinds of wildlife. The people of Japan love their animals and many are symbolic in Japanese culture! Additionally, animals in Japan have had a great influence on media and continue to inspire creativity around the world.

Japanese Animals

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List of Japanese Animals

  • Macaque monkeys
  • Tanuki
  • Pika
  • Asian black bears
  • Tsushima leopards
  • Ussuri brown bear
  • Foxes
  • Sables
  • Japanese boars
  • Japanese serow
  • Sika deer
  • Green pheasants
  • Red-crowned cranes
  • Finless porpoise
  • Leopard cat
  • Giant salamanders
  • Mamushi snakes
  • Spider crabs
  • Iriomote cat
  • Japanese flying squirrel

Japanese Animals | Facts & Pictures

Macaque monkeys

  • The Japanese macaque (also called “snow monkey”) lives for about 27 years.
  • Macaques have a range of fascinating behaviors, such as making snowballs and bathing together just for fun. They also have different accents when “speaking” to one another!
  • Japanese macaques are the national animal of Japan!

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Tanuki

  • Tanuki may strongly resemble raccoons, but they’re nowhere near related. They are more closely related to dogs and wolves.
  • Japanese folklore is abundant with Tanuki symbolism. They are commonly portrayed as either cunning or a symbol of fortune. They’re popular in art, literature, film, and even video games.
  • Tanuki are much older than modern dog species. Today’s domestic dogs were more likely to resemble Tanuki thousands of years ago.

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Pika

  • The Northern pika is a species of pika native to Japan. Others are found in different parts of Asia and North America.
  • Despite their resemblance to mice and rats, pikas are not rodents. If anything, they’re a type of rabbit. They belong to the lagomorph family, which is represented primarily by rabbits and hares.
  • Does the name sound familiar? One of the most popular characters in Japan (and the world) was inspired by the pika. However, real pikas don’t discharge bolts of electricity!

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Japanese boars

  • Boars in Japan are viewed as “wild” and “reckless” animals. However, Japanese hunters see boars as a symbol of courage and are greatly admired.
  • They can be found all over Japan except for two regions: Hokkaido and Ryukyu.

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Japanese giant salamanders

  • The Japanese giant salamander is the second largest salamander species in the world. Their Chinese counterparts come in first. Both species are endangered to some degree, with the Chinese variant being critically endangered.
  • Giant salamanders breathe through their skin and have only one lung.
  • They can be found in Japan’s highlands near cold bodies of water. While most reside on the mainland, few have been discovered on smaller islands.

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Spider crabs

  • Spider crabs are perhaps the most terrifying creatures in Japan! Their long legs make them the largest crab species in the world. They are also the longest-living.
  • They shed their exoskeleton regularly and a new one forms in its place. Their exoskeletons are formed by hardened seawater.
  • In some restaurants in Japan, spider crabs are a popular delicacy. Fishermen find them easy to catch because of their size and slow speed.

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Sika deer

  • Sika deer are native to East Asia and can be found in Japan, China, Taiwan, and Korea. They are adaptable to a range of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and mountains.
  • Sika deer are smaller than most other deer species and are known for their distinctive spotted coat. They have a reddish-brown coat in the summer and a dark brown coat in the winter. Male Sika deer also have antlers, which they shed annually.
  • In Japan, Sika deer are considered a national treasure and are often featured in traditional art and literature. They are also a popular attraction for tourists, particularly in Nara Park where visitors can feed and interact with the deer. However, Sika deer can also cause damage to crops and forests, leading to conflicts with humans in some areas.

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An Extensive List of Animals

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