4 Aquariums in Japan + One That’s Unique: Have Fun Indoors if You Can’t Outdoors
It would be great if you had good weather the entire time you were travelling in Japan. However, there are sure to be days when it rains or it’s too hot to spend outdoors.
For such days, we are introducing aquariums that are fun and at the same time let you stay cool.
1. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
This is an aquarium located within the state operated Ocean Expo Park in the north western part of Okinawa’s main island. It is a famous tourist spot of Okinawa Prefecture. Churaumi is a term in Okinawan dialect and means the beautiful, pretty or pure ocean.
A popular exhibit is that of the whale shark. They are the first aquarium to have succeeded in the long term breeding of this shark.The whale shark is also a mascot for the aquarium.The “Kuroshio Sea Tank” where the whale shark lives is so large that it goes through the 1st and 2nd levels of the aquarium. It is 35 meters (about 114 feet) long, 27 meters (about 88.5 feet) wide, 10 meters (about 32 feet) deep and holds 7,500m³ of water.
One of the largest types of manta rays, the “Nanyo Manta (manta alfredi)”.The way it swims is quite magnificent.It is only because they have this huge tank that they can keep such large manta rays. These tanks are indeed one of the largest in the world.
424 Ishikawa, Motobu-cho, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, Map
About 2 hours by car or 2-3 hours by bus from the Naha Airport to Ocean Expo Park (aquarium is located within).
Take Yambaru Kyuko Bus directly to Ocean Expo Park.
2. Hakkeijima Sea Paradise
The Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is an amusement park that is made up of an aquarium, attractions, shopping mall, hotel and marina. Within the aquarium, there are different areas called Aqua Museum, Dolphin Fantasy, Umi Farm, and Fureai Lagoon.
This is the popular Dolphin Fantasy. It has gained more popularity lately since a baby dolphin was born on July 16th. You can see them up close from the tunnel shaped tank. They say that the dolphins react to the people and try to get closer to you from the other side of the glass.
This is the Umi Farm. The scenery is a little different from your standard aquarium. The reason is that the concept here is to feel closer to and learn about the atmosphere of the ocean through “growing” “catching” and “eating” the ocean and the living creatures in it. What this means is that you can catch fish here, and eat it too. It makes you realize the preciousness of life and the importance of food. So it is fun and learning at the same time, a good place to take the kids.
The Kaiyukan is an aquarium located in Tenpozan, Minato-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka Prefecture. What is unique about this aquarium is that the exhibits are “displayed similar to the natural state”. It is an aquarium that attracts attention not only in Japan but on a global scale as well.
This is not an ocean creature but the capybara. The trainers and special guides provide fun explanations on the nature of the animals while they feed them.
Check out the time schedule for an efficient tour.
After 5 in the evening, the Kaiyukan turns into the “night ocean”. You can see the creatures sleeping as well as their activities in the night. A little dark and also a bit romantic.
1-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Map
From Osaka Station：
JR Kansai Main Line to Bentencho Station (7 minutes)> Osaka Municipal Subway Chuo-Line (4 minutes)> 5 minute walk from Osaka-ko Station
4. Kamogawa Seaworld
They are famous for having trained killer whales, which were thought to be ferocious animals and thus, the popularity of the killer whale show. Once the show is over, the participants enter onto the ocean stadium stage and the killer whale comes to the poolside to give the participants a kiss.
A recent hot topic is that on July 16th 2015, they opened an interactive type display area for jelly fish.
You can enjoy the world of jellyfish, while feeling like you have become a jellyfish yourself.
1464-18 Higashi-cho, Kamogawa City, Chiba Prefecture, Map
By train (2hrs 15 mins from Tokyo Station)
JR Tokyo Station> Wakashio Express> JR Awa Kamogawa Station>Courtesy bus (10 minutes) to Kamogawa Seaworld
By Express Bus (about 2 hours from Tokyo, depends on traffic conditions)
Tokyo Station, Yaesu-guchi Exit> Aqua Line, Aqusea Express Bus (2hours)> JR Awa Kamogawa Station>Courtesy bus (10 minutes) to Kamogawa Seaworld
5. Yokohama Omoshiro Aquarium
This aquarium has a completely different concept from the 4 aquariums introduced earlier. Even the entrance has a different vibe. We want to leave some surpises for when you actually visit, but a little sneak peak.
The hermit crab has a house on its back.…So you see, as the name of the aquarium Omoshiro (funny) Aquarium shows, there are jokes here and there.
144 Yamashitacho, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Map
JR Keihin-tohoku line(45 minutes)>Ishikawa-cho>Exit Chukagai-guchi, 5 minute walk
Minatomirai Line (8 minutes)> Motomachi-Chukagai Eki Station> 8 minute walk from Exit 2
How was it?
Please do enjoy the marine creatures that live in large aquariums that have been attracting attention worldwide!