For something different check out the Nagano Zoo. Along with all the usual favourites there is a new enclosure that allows you to get up close and personal with the lesser panda also known as the red panda (Ailurus fulgens, or shining-cat), It is a small arboreal mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and south western China. Slightly larger than a domestic cat, it has reddish-brown fur, a long, shaggy tail, and a waddling gait due to its shorter front legs. It feeds mainly on bamboo, but is omnivorous and may also eat eggs, birds, insects, and small mammals. The area allows the animals to wander around the people and they are very cute and playful. It is a good day out especially for the kids.
Prices are 500 yen for adults and 100 yen for children. Unfortunately it is closed in January and February understandably due to the snow and cold temperatures..