Shinagawa Aquarium

shinigawa aqu by linda bellThis Tokyo aquarium is not big, but it is quaint and entertaining.  They have a small dolphin and sea lion show with two dolphins and two sea lions.  There is an extra sea lion show in the morning and on the weekends.  They also have an underwater tunnel with a massive turtle and stingray as well as other fish and eels. In smaller enclosures there are exotic crabs, jellyfish, penguins and two large sharks are located just before the exit.  Strollers can be used, but the place is quite small and on a busy day it may be difficult to move. On the Saturday we went, it was easy to use the ramps and elevators. Strollers can, however, be stored at the front of the Aquarium. There is no ramp to the Splash zone, but kids in strollers can see the dolphins and seals underwater when you take the elevator to the basement.  Bring extra clothing if you want to sit in the Splash zone.  Outside the entrance are lockers for valuables shinigawa aqu by linda bell 3and refreshments. You may enter and exit the Aquarium with your day-pass.  No food is allowed inside, but there are picnic tables right outside the entrance that overlook a small downtown lake -perfect for a stroll on a nice day. Adjacent are “Restaurant Dolphin” and other noodle and ice cream vendors. Drinks can be bought in the vending machines in the basement of the Aquarium.  Admission for adults: ¥1300.  Junior high – Elementary students: ¥600.  Children above age 4: ¥300.  Hours: 10am – 5pm, closed Tuesdays and Jan 1.  For more details check www.aquarium.gr.jp/en/.   GPS to parking: 35.588755,139.738924.

shinigawa aqu by linda bell2DRIVING: In light, Saturday morning, traffic it took 1 hour and 15 minutes from Yokota for me to get there.  Depending on your route, prepare for a few downtown tunnels to interrupt your GPS navigation. I drove because taking the train would take longer and be more difficult with small children.  If you take the train, make your way to Omorikaigan Station.  The aquarium is walking distance from this station.  If you don’t want to drive or take the train, check ITT.  They offer trips here on occasion also.  There is parking, but there are only 96 parking spots. I had no problem getting parking soon after it opened. It cost us ¥1000 for parking, and we were there for three and a half hours. I am not sure if it was a flat fee.  The parking lot is directly behind the main entrance of the Aquarium, and off of Route 316 (NOT Route 15 which is the Aquarium’s train-user’s entrance), near a tiny lake. You need to cross over a bridge just before the parking lot’s entrance which is on the left. Do not use the Aquarium’s physical address for a GPS destination as it will take a lot of time to loop around confusing traffic, and non-designated parking zones, to the ‘back’ side of the Aquarium.

After parking, head towards the booth that you bought your ticket, and away from the road entrance. Then turn left after a hedge/fence. The Aquarium’s entrance signs (the dolphin) are not apparent until you head left, around the tiny lake. You’ll eventually pass an exit ramp on your left, and then ~20 yards later find an entrance ramp with a blue and white awning. It’s about 100 yards from the Parking Lot to the Aquariums entrance.  Road tolls cost ¥3000 round trip. – Linda Bell, June 2013

Interested in Aquariums?  Also see the entry on Sunshine City and Tokyo Tower.

2 Responses to Shinagawa Aquarium

  1. My daughter and I loved the aquarium, the only thing I would suggest is if you go on the weekend make sure you get to the dolphin show at least 30 minutes early, we went 15 minutes early and all the seats were taken and we stood for the duration of the show. It was a cute show, but because of the crowd we decided not to stay for the sea lion show that I am sure was just as good. Also the aquarium is inside a park with running and bike paths, so watch out for those, but it was a beautiful park.

  2. We went on a Sunday and took a no tolls route. It took 2 hours to get there and 2 1/2 to get back. We got there an hour after they opened and the parking was just starting to fill up. We stayed for 4 1/2 hours and paid ¥1400 for parking. We got to the dolphin show 45 min. prior to the start and the only seats open were the ones in the back section which still had a good view! 30 min. till there was pretty much no seats left at all. My 1 and 3 year old really enjoyed it. It was a great day trip! 🙂

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