Visiting aquariums is a great way to spend a peaceful time both on your own and with others. They can be a good destination to shelter yourself from the rain and also to take your children to since many of them organize special events or informative experiences that help kids grow their interest in oceans. Although Japan has a number of aquariums located in the countryside or remote islands, you can also find some wonderful aquariums in and around the Tokyo area. Here is our list of 10 of the best aquariums around Tokyo!
1. Sunshine Aquarium
Sunshine Aquarium is located in Sunshine City, a huge multifunctional complex in the 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 the concept of “the oasis in the sky”, providing visitors with a peaceful time in somewhat of a tropical resort atmosphere. Here you will be able to see a large selection of marine animals, as there are approximately 550 species spread throughout two indoor floors and an outdoor space.
Walk through a transparent tank tunnel that allows you to watch penguins swimming gracefully around and above your head! The sea lion performance is one of the highlights, especially among families and children. “Sunshine Lagoon” refers to a giant tank that stores thousands of small fish and beautiful rays creating an amazing 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)
Get your tickets online and don’t wait in line!
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 made use of artificial seawater which helps them maintain the quality of water throughout the year without replacing it. It also contributes in decreasing the amount of CO2 released in 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. “Edorium” is a perfect date spot for couples with a memorable display of colorful goldfish. “Water’s Blessing Tokyo Tank” is home to schools of fish that can be found 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 a 2-minute walk from JR Shinagawa station, Aquapark Shinagawa is an exciting theme park with a number of unique exhibits. Enjoy the combination of bright lights and cutting-edge technology with 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 that is home to 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!
It started back in 2007 as a temporary exhibit which used to be held at famous art museums or historical places around Japan only for limited periods of time. In the summer of 2020, they finally opened the “Art Aquarium Museum” with permanent exhibits in the Nihonbashi area of 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
Explore Nihonbashi area after the aquarium, check out this article to find more things to do; Brief History of Tokyo and things to do in Nihonbashi Area
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 endless people because of the reasonable admission price and their range of marine life you can see. The fascinating glass 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 out Enoshima Aquarium which boasts a large collection and marine life exhibits! It combines both the sightseeing and educational opportunity which helps visitors learn about the marine life through several experience-based events.
Their dolphin show is one of the highlights held at the outdoor pool with a spectacular view of Enoshima and Mt. Fuji! Enjoy watching beautiful Jellyfish swimming 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 makes for a similar environent to their natural 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 in tourists all year round. “Hakone-en” is an exciting spot which includes a small zoo, restaurants, a botanical garden, hotels, and more! “Hakone-en Aquarium” is a small aquarium located 723 meters above the sea level, making it the highest elevated aquarium in the country!
It’s divided into two main 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 Lake Baikal in Russia. They entertain visitors with a variety of performances such as high jumps 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)
See more things to do from Hakone Day Trip – Perfect Access & Area Guide
8. Hakkeijima Sea Paradise
Hakkeijima is an artificial island situated in Yokohama city of 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 to 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 can help your children deepen their understanding of life through a cooking experience with fish that they catch 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. Shinagawa Aquarium
Since it opened in 1991, Shinagawa Aquarium has been loved by locals. Omori Kaigan Station, which is 10 minutes away from Shinagawa Station by train, is the nearest train station to the aquarium. On the first floor, the dolphin and sea lion stadium host exciting performances with cute dolphins and sea lions. This is not a big aquarium but you can see unique fish, seals, penguins and other sea creatures. Every day the staff host talking sessions explaining the sea animals in front of the water tanks several times of day (only in Japanese). Dolphin is a restaurant on the water that is a family friendly restaurant where they offer lunch and some light meals and drinks. You can also have some take outs at the park.
10am – 5pm
Admission ¥1,350 (adult)
How to get there 8 min walk from Omori Kaigan Station
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)
Some might think that aquariums are for families with little children, but there is always something that entertains everyone regardless of age. Head to a romantic aquarium for a date, or just stop by at the convenient ones located in the center of big cities to destress from work life. It doesn’t have to be a special day to visit aquariums and get a taste of marine life up close!
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