In the three years that I have been living in Tokyo, I have finally managed to visit all of the main aquariums in and around Tokyo.
I’d like to say all of them, but the Japanese like their fish and not just as sushi! It is not uncommon for there to be a tank or two at a shopping centre and it called an aquarium.
So here are my top 5, and why I like them.
This is part of Tokyo Rinksai Park and is a lovely place to spend the day. We went on a wet day, so it was challenging to get there from the station. From the outside it appeared to be quite small, but it felt spacious once inside. The shark tank is disturbingly small, the tuna tank fascinating, but here the touch pool is what wins the prize!
2: Yokohama Sea Paradise
This is the only aquarium in the Tokyo area to house whale sharks. They aren’t as big as the ones in Okinawa, but they are still impressive. The show that they put on features a variety of mammals and some penguins, and the whale sharks get fed during the show.
The disturbing tank here must be the tanks that the performing dolphins and belugas are housed in.
The touch area is amazing and we struggled to get our children out of the area. Besides the usual starfish, carpet sharks, rays etc, it is also possible to touch/stroke beluga whales, false killer whales and sea lions.
A definite winner!
This aquarium has the best show for me. It is vibrant, exciting and full of fun. It has a large splash zone, and they hand out ponchos if you don’t wish to get wet. I think the reason I like this show the best, is because there is a nominal amount talking, lots of leaps, splashes, music and the animals look like they’re all having fun.
The rest of the aquarium is very small and it only opens at lunchtime. As it isn’t an overly large aquarium, it is perfectly doable in a couple of hours and a great outing on a wet day.
4: Enoshima Aquarium
Ok, so it’s not exactly in Tokyo, but it is only 1 hour by train from Shinjuku so perfectly doable as a day trip.
The layout is a simple design, yet the children were fascinated by the various tanks. The layout also allowed for ease of movement so there wasn’t an over riding feeling of congestion.
The show was good, but as the talking was all in Japanese, it struggled to hold the children’s attention. The arena is also outdoors and facing west, so certain positions of the stands are very unpleasant in the afternoon.
5: Sunshine City Aquarium
This aquarium is on top of a shopping centre in Ikebukuro. It has a variety of tanks- some of the usual and then some more exotic tanks. The show area is outdoors and the show interesting. We visited in October and saw the sea lion show which was heavily themed round Halloween- no surprise there!
Let me know what you think. Which is your favourite aquarium?