One of the things that I found challenging when I first arrived was to find places to take the children to where they could have fun, learn new things and experience this amazing country. I have decided that I will write a review of the places that we visit, so to encourage others to experience this country with kids in tow!
My parents have heard me wax lyrical about the amazing Japanese weather, so they come over to visit and Japan have a week of English grey wet weather! Typical. One particular day on their visit we were planning to go to Showa Kinen Park and we woke to find it raining. So a quick search on the internet came up with a few museums and aquariums and we headed out to Tokyo Sea Life Park.
We caught the Keiyo Line train to Kansai Rinkai Koen station from Tokyo station. There is a bit of a walk across Tokyo station, and other than about 10 steps at one point, there are elevators and escalators for those of us with strollers. The journey took 15 minutes from Tokyo and we disembarked and found ourselves looking at the park by Tokyo Bay next to the giant ferris wheel. We followed the signs to the park and purchased our tickets for Y700 (about £6). (Elementary aged children, like the zoos here, are free.)
My father was a little concerned that we would be wandering outdoors all day as we walked towards a dome shaped building. The building seemed very small so we incorrectly expected it to be so. As we walked into the building a helpful security guard pointed me in the direction of the lift for the stroller. So off I headed and with the help of another helpful security guard was shown where to go. A third helpful security guard linked me with my parents (possibly as as Gajins we stood out a bit!) and told them where I was.
The initial tanks help some pretty big fish, and I found them rather small for the fish inside. The shark tank,for example, had a fair number of hammerhead sharks in it and it took the sharks about 4 seconds or so to swim across the tank. But the tanks portraying the other exhibits were smaller, as were the fish so I didn’t feel to disturbed by them.
All three children were thoroughly engrossed all day. J missed out on his afternoon nap and we didn’t suffer for it either! He loved matching the pictures on the side of the tank to the fish in the tank. K loved the touchy feely tank and spent ages stroking the rays and carpet sharks. E loved the penguins and watching them being fed. Dad and I enjoyed the variety of fish (especially the new ones for us) from all over the world- from the Caribbean, to the barrier reef to Antarctica (yes there are fish there!), and Mum enjoyed the one tank after a helpful staff member took the time to show her that the rocks, shells and seaweed in the tank were actually various living creatures. Admittedly though, the challenge of finding the sole still remains! We also managed to see quite a few tanks being fed, touch a shark skin and see some puffins.
In case you haven’t worked it out yet- Tokyo Sea Life Park was a great day out and I would highly recommend it. I would suggest that if you can leave the stroller behind- do, as we often left ours unattended as we looked at some tanks etc and while the stroller can reach most parts of the aquarium, it is much easier without.
I hope that you will visit Tokyo Sea Life Park and please let me know what you think.
Apologies that the photo quality is a bit erratic- we weren’t allowed to use a flash.