Visiting aquariums is a great way to spend a peaceful time both on your own or with someone else. And it is a good way to shelter yourself from rain. Many of them also organize special events or informative experiences that help children grow their interests in the ocean as well. Although Japan has a number of aquariums located in countryside or remote islands, you can still find enjoyable ones that is accessible from Tokyo. Here is a list of top 10 aquariums around Toyo!
1. Sunshine Aquarium
Sunshine Aquarium is located in Sunshine City, a huge multifunctional complex in Ikebukuro area. Situated on the rooftop of one of the main buildings, it offers exciting experiences that allow you to get a glimpse of marine life while you are in Tokyo. It is designed based on a concept of “the oasis in the sky”, bringing a peaceful time for visitors in the tropical resort atmosphere. It owns a large collection of marine creatures, approximately 550 species displayed on two indoor floors and one outdoor space.
Walk through a transparent tank tunnel which allows you to watch penguins swimming gracefully around and above your head! Sea lion performance is one of the most popular events especially among families and children. “Sunshine Lagoon” refers to a giant tank which stores thousands of small fish and beautiful rays creating a perfect ecosystem with a white sandy beach and coral reefs. Don’t forget to check out their new exhibit featuring countless numbers of jellyfish floating peacefully in the 14-meter-wide tank!
9.30am – 9pm
Admission ¥2,400 (adult)
How to get there About 8 min walk from JR Ikebukuro Station
2. Sumida Aquarium
Sumida Aquarium offers a new style indoor aquarium experience with unique features. Conveniently located on the 5th and 6th floor of Tokyo Skytree Solamachi, it has successfully realized the use of artificial seawater which helps them maintain the quality of water throughout year without replacing it. It also contributes to decrease the amount of CO2 released to the air because of the frequent seawater transport from the ocean. It offers an ideal environment for creatures and animals which is similar to their natural habitat.
Let your children observe penguins and fur seals swimming in huge indoor pool-type tanks closely. “Edorium” is a perfect dating spot for couples with a memorable display of colorful goldfish. “Water’s Blessing Tokyo Tank” is home to schools of valuable fish living in the sea around the Ogasawara and Izu islands!
10am – 8pm (weekday), 9am – 9pm (weekend)
Admission ¥2,300 (adult)
How to get there Within walking distance from Tokyo Skytree Station
3. Aquapark Shinagawa
Only 2-minute walk from JR Shinagawa station takes you to Aquapark Shinagawa, an exciting theme park with a number of unique exhibits. Enjoy the collaboration of bright lights and cutting-edge technologies with a rich marine life at “Magical Ground”. Get a refreshing drink at “Coral Café Bar”, and continue your journey to the upper floor. “Little Paradise” houses 9 tanks which fascinate visitors with exhibits regularly changed according to different themes. Enjoy the dynamic dolphin performance at “The Stadium”, which is enjoyable from any direction with a circular tank at 25 meters in diameter. “Wonder Tube” allows you to explore the world under the sea as you walk through the 20m tunnel of tanks keeping 10 types of rays swimming gracefully!
10am – 6.30pm (weekdays), 10am – 8pm (weekend)
Admission ¥2,300 (adult)
How to get there About 2 min. walk from JR Shinagawa Station
4. Art Aquarium
Art Aquarium is a very unique aquarium as they have only one type of exhibit: gold fish!
They started its history in 2007 as a temporary exhibit which used to be held at famous art museums or historical places around Japan only for limited period of time. This summer in 2020, they finally opened “Art Aquarium Museum” with permanent exhibits in Nihonbashi area, Tokyo. Thousands of colorful gold fish welcome visitors with a variety of tanks gorgeously designed based on several themes and concepts.
“Oiran Dochu” is the highlight which got an inspiration from “Hanamachi”, a dazzling area back in the Edo period full of momentary dreams between courtesans and customers just for one night. “Mystery” is another exhibit with a number of small tanks illuminated in different colors with grace gold fish swimming peacefully. Get memorable gifts at a gift shop and relax at a cozy cafe!
10am – 10pm
Admission ￥2,300 (adult)
※Free admission for elementary school student and under
How to get there 2 min walk from Mitsukoshimae Station or 7 min walk from Nihombashi Station
5. Tokyo Sea Life Park
Tokyo Sea Life Park is a public aquarium located in Katsushika Rinkai Park. Since its opening in 1989, it has been visited by a number of people because of the reasonable admission and a range of marine life you can see there. The attractive grass dome is a symbolic structure which has a huge tank storing approximately 2,200 tons of water and a school of bluefin tuna. You can also come across about 100 penguins playing around freely both in the water and on land. Taking a relaxing stroll in the park is also a great way to relax!
9.30am – 5pm
Admission￥700 (adult), ￥250 (junior high school student),￥350 (65+)
How to get there 5 min walk from JR Katsushika Rinkai Park Station
6. Enoshima Aquarium
Enoshima is a beautiful island known as a popular day trip destination from Tokyo. If you are planning on visiting there, don’t forget to check “Enoshima Aquarium” which boasts a large collection and exhibits of marine life! It combines both the sightseeing and educational opportunity which helps visitors learn about the marine life through several experience-based events.
Dolphin show is one of the highlights held at the outdoor pool with a spectacular view of Enoshima and Mt. Fuji! Enjoy watching beautiful Jelly fish floating gracefully in the clear water at “Kurage Fantasy Planet”. At the “Sagami Bay Huge Tank”, you can observe a large school of sardines and rays swimming with artificial waves which make an ideal environment for them similar to their original habitat!
9am – 5pm (Mar. to November), 10am – 5pm (Dec. to Feb.)
How to get there 3 min walk from Katase Enoshima Station
7. Hakone-en Aquarium
Located in the western part of Kanagawa prefecture, Hakone is home to a number of tourist attractions that draws tourists all year round. “Hakone-en” is an exciting spot which includes a small zoo, restaurants, botanical garden, hotels, and more! “Hakone-en Aquarium” is a small aquarium located at 723 meters above the sea level, making it the aquarium sitting at the highest place in the country!
It can be divided into two areas: “Seawater Pavilion” and “Baikal Seal Plaza”. Enjoy watching colorful fish and cute penguins at Seawater Pavilion. You can also see the staff dive into the tank to feed them by hand closely. Baikal Seals are black seals indigenous to the Lake Baikal in Russia. They entertain visitors with a variety of performances such as high jump and dancing in the water!
9am – 4.30pm
Admission ¥1,500 (adult)
How to get there Take “Izu Hakone Bus” from JR Odawara Station (1.5 hours)
8. Hakkeijima Sea Paradise
Hakkeijima is an artificial island situated in Yokohama city, Kanagawa prefecture. Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is an amusement park comprised of several attractions: aquariums, amusement rides, shopping mall, and hotels. There are four types of aquariums which offer memorable experiences with a different concept and exhibits. “Fureai Lagoon” allows visitors get close to and personal with sea creatures such as dolphins and penguins. “Aqua Museum” fascinates you with a large collection of 700 species of marine life. Enjoy fishing at “Umi Farm” which helps your children deepen their understanding of life through a cooking experience with fish that they catch by themselves. “Delphine Fantasy” gives you an opportunity to observe beautiful dolphins swimming gracefully in an arch tank as you pass through it.
10am – 5pm (weekdays), 10am – 7pm (weekends)
Admission (※Aquarium Only) ¥3,000 (adult)
How to get there Short walk from Hakkeijima Station
9. Keikyu Aburatsubo Marine Park
Keikyu Aburatsubo Marine Park is another popular aquarium located in Kanagawa prefecture. “Sakana-no-Kuni” is one of the main exhibits which keeps about 450 species including a fierce bull shark that can be seen only here on the main island of Japan. “Kawauso-no-Mori” allows you to get a glimpse of cute otters living peacefully in the suitable environment close to their natural habitat. Enjoy the exciting shows by dolphins and sea lions at “Fantasium”, an indoor theater with a huge pool and air conditioning. Don’t forget to check the gift shop and try local specialties such as fresh seafood at the restaurant!
9am – 5pm
Admission (※Aquarium only) ¥1,800
How to get there Take the bus bound for “Keikyu Aburatsubo Marine Park” from Misakiguchi Station. (15 min)
10. Kamogawa Sea World
Kamogawa Sea World is a popular tourist attraction which can be described as a comprehensive marine leisure center. It is located in Chiba prefecture and attracts a number of visitors as a symbolic aquarium offering a range of experiences and educational opportunities to understand the marine life. Don’t miss the great shows and performances by dolphins and orcas which welcome visitors with refreshing splashes! Walk around the exhibits of sea animals and valuable creatures showcased according to their natural habitats varying from a beautiful river to the tropical islands. You might happen to come across the divers feeding walruses or penguins as well!
9am – 5pm
Admission ¥3,000 (adult)
How to get there Free shuttle bus service is available from JR Awakamogawa Station (10 min)
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Some might think aquarium is for family with little children, but there is always something that entertains everyone regardless of age. Pick up the romantic aquariums for your first date spot, or just stop by at the convenient ones located in the center of big cities to get rid of stress at work. It doesn’t have to be a special day to visit aquariums to feel the diversity of marine life closely!