The Sumida Aquarium is a fascinating feature of Tokyo Skytree Town. With over 10,000 sea creatures the modern aquarium is a fantastic way to spend a day.
I visited the Sumida aquarium and enjoyed every moment. The aquarium is easy to locate and travel to, the price is not too expensive, and the penguins are the highlight.
The Sumida Aquarium is located on the 5th floor of the Tokyo Skytree Town. There are signs everywhere within the complex so it’s easy to follow the signs to the aquarium.
Open Google Maps on your phone and type in Tokyo Skytree and click directions. Google Maps will give you easy to follow directions that include transfers, fare, and arrival/departure times.
If you’re taking the train to the SkyTree you’ll need to have a Suica/Pasmo card because the Japan Rail Pass won’t take you all the way.
Adult ¥2,300 or about $20
Child ¥700 or about $6.60 (age 3 and older)
The annual pass will let you enter the whole year for one price.
Adult ¥4600 or about $43.50
Child ¥1400 or about $13.25 (age 3 and older)
The Sumida Aquarium is open 9 AM to 9 PM 365 days a year. There are times when the aquarium will need to close like natural disasters and facility inspections.
After purchasing my ticket I made a left and walked into the aquarium entrance where there is a full moving background that starts your experience off. Everyone took a turn of getting into the show while their friends and families took pictures and video.
This was an unexpected experience that brought joy to everyone’s faces.
I continued to the 6th floor where I found a large tank with plant life and Cardinal tetra, rubra red phantom, black phantom tetra, rosy tetra, harlequin rasbora, lambchop rasbora, Denison barb fish. These are tropical fish you might find in your fish tank back home.
This natural landscape shows the circle of life. It’s a Natural aquatic ecosystem where the fish use the oxygen and the plants feed on the carbon dioxide.
The first room had several different sizes of aquariums showing off an array of jellyfish. I had no idea there were so many different types of jellyfish. I spent a long time in this room. The jellyfish would float all over the tanks and some used extremely powerful internal waterjets to push themselves around.
They were mesmerizing to watch and before I was finished two hours had passed. Moon jellyfish, Japanese sea nettle, spotted jelly, color jellyfish, Cassiopea, Rhopilema hisphidum, Tima Formosa, Leuckartiara octona, Sanderia malayensis were just a few of the types I viewed.
Water’s Blessing Ogasawara Tank
After viewing the jellyfish I exited the room to find an open hall. I turned to my right and discovered a huge tank called Water’s Blessing Ogasawara Tank and it had some of the largest Aquatic animals I have ever seen.
I followed a huge Manta ray around to the right thinking to myself that it doesn’t get better than this when all of a sudden something huge caught my eye. I turned back left to see the largest shark I have ever seen looking at me through the glass.
I was thankful that I wasn’t it’s lunch because I think it could have swallowed me whole. It was at least 8 feet long.
Finishing the 6th Floor
Turning around from the Water’s Blessing Ogasawara Tank and I was in front of 4 large tanks filled with coral and several aquatic animals that live around Coral. The tanks are well lit so I could see in every part of the displays.
Some of the Aquatic animals in this display are Yellow tang, manybar goatfish, whitetail dascyllus, blueband goby, tomato clownfish, Stichopus sp., Kenya tree coral, sarcophyton, bushy sea rod, Acropora tenuis, spotted garden eel, splendid garden eel, Japanese bullhead shark, humphead wrasse, redbanded grouper.
On the other side of the tanks is an overlook where everyone can look down on the 5th level and see the penguin area. This is amazing and you can spend a lot of time watching the penguins from this vantage point.
At the end of the room are two ramps (left and right side) taking you to the 5th level.
I came down the ramp on the right and had a great view of the lower part of the Water’s Blessing Ogasawara Tank. The Aquascope allows visitors to look through small windows while they walk under the tank. I felt a bit like Captain Nemo.
Exiting the Aquascope there is seating in front of the tank so I went over to the Penguin Cafe and bought an ice cream and took a seat. It was a fantastic way to relax and watch the sea life.
Some of the sea life in this area are Grey nurse shark, round ribbontail ray, spotted moray eel, giant moray, blotcheye soldierfish, red lionfish, starspotted grouper, honeycomb grouper, white trevally, bluestripe snapper, goldspot seabream, scissortail sergeant, and Pacific drummer.
The shark was by far the highlight of the whole tank.
Behind the seating area, I found several tanks full of Goldfish. I’ve never seen so many Goldfish in one area before. Different sizes, shapes, colors, and some with crazy eyes. There are over 20 breeds of Goldfish in this Japanese style display area.
Wakin, Ryukin, Ranchu, Telescope, Edo Nishiki, Azuma Nishiki, Comet, Tancho, Ping Pong Pearlscale, Sakura Ranchu, Bubble Eye, Celestial Eye are just a few of the types.
I know Goldfish are popular in Japan but I didn’t understand how much until I visited this area.
Continuing around the room I found myself in a tunnel when all of a sudden a group of seal came swimming by fast. I took a seat and watched as the seals swam around their habitat as fast as they could. It was as if they were having a race and the winner would get the biggest fish for dinner.
You can’t miss the Magellanic penguin’s tank because it’s one of the largest open tanks in Japan. I’ve never been so close to penguins before so this was a real treat. They kept splashing me so the feeling must have been mutual.
After a half-hour, it was feeding time for the penguins. Four animal handlers in blue wetsuits entered the tank with buckets of fish. They lured in certain Penguins to the feeding area and tagged them. After the tagging was complete the handlers fed the rest of the penguins.
Worth a Visit
The Sumida Aquarium is full of lively aquatic animals. While it’s not the largest aquarium in Japan it certainly is fun and enjoyable. If you’re visiting the Tokyo SkyTree or if you enjoy aquariums you should add the Sumida Aquarium to your list of must-visit places in Japan.
The Tokyo SkyTree website is here.
Have you visited the Sumida Aquarium? Let me know how much you enjoyed your visit in the comment section below.
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