| Kansai

Meet ocean and river creatures, Kyoto Aquarium in the land of outstanding natural beauty

In front of the Kyoto Aquarium, there is Umekoji Park. It has a large grassy field of vivid green and World Heritage the “Toji Pagoda” is in your sight, too. The JR Kyoto Station is close and you can see the bullet train running very smoothly. There are no other aquariums like the Kyoto Aquarium.
The Kyoto Aquarium in the land of outstanding natural beauty was built in 2012. The aquarium uses artificial seawater, and rivers such as the Kamogawa River and the nature in Kyoto are also an important concept of the aquarium. It has nine zones that are rich in variety and you get to meet a lot of different kinds of water creatures. Dolphin shows are popular and hands-on programs such as special workshops are fun.


Kyoto Aquarium’s symbol!Giant salamanders swarming and welcoming you!

In “the River of Kyoto” zone, “living fossil” giant salamanders welcome you. Giant salamanders live in the Kamogawa River and are the biggest amphibians in the world. You might be shocked to see that so many giant salamanders are congregated in one place lying on top of one another.
They are nocturnal and don’t move around during the day, but once in a while they flap their tiny arms and legs and come up to the surface to breathe. Their eyes are as small as dots and they are very cute.

How humorous!The aquarium’s “marine animals”

“Marine animal” zone has South American fur seals and spotted seals. They take a nap on the rocks and swim in the water so fast! You can never get tired of watching them.
It is a fun sight to see lovely spotted seals emerging into the cylinder tank.
ottosei esayari
If you happen to be in for the feeding time, you get to see the breeding staff feed them and check their temperature. Don’t be shy to ask questions if you have.

Cape penguins are almost human?

Cape penguins toddle about on the land but swim so fast as if they were flying in the air. When I was covering the aquarium, it was autumn and a courting season for penguins. It is nice to look forward to newborn babies every year.
pengin kazoku
Penguins are monogamy and they are very nice to each other in the family. Each penguin has its own personality and it is interesting to watch the patterns of not human but penguin relationships. Some young boy penguins are very popular among some young girl penguins. How about observing how they interact one another?

Experience the curtains of light in the big water tank

The “big water tank” has water volume of as large as 500 tons, and rays and sea turtles are swimming there. You feel just like you are on the bottom of the ocean on the first floor, you can go up to the second floor to look down the tank. Watching the big water tank from different angles gives you different views.
You might see the curtains of light when natural light comes through the tank.
Floating fantastical jellyfish and colorful tropical fish are one of the most popular exhibits in the Kyoto Aquarium. You don’t want to miss the “Ocean Zone.”

Kyoto Aquarium dolphins’ performance has something different!

The dolphin shows are held in a stadium where you can see the spacious Umekoji Park, the Toji Pagoda, and the ancient capital Kyoto. In the season of colored leaves of autumn, you can see the trees in the park changing color.
The dolphin performance “Iruka Live Kiite-Ne” (Dophin Live “Listen to me”) is a fun program that the audience can participate. Penguins will join as the guests, too. The show will be crowded on Saturdays and Sundays, so it is better to seat yourselves early.
iruka jump
There are night shows that utilize different lights, too. Check their web site for the schedule. The night aquarium is very romantic and perfect for a date!

Smart tip
  • The city bus offers a one-day pass and the subway has a one-day free ticket. You can get 10% off the admission with the pass or the ticket. If you get a stamp on the back of your hand, you can re-enter the Aquarium in that day. You can go out to have lunch somewhere else or play in the park, and come back in the Aquarium.
  • You can take photos and videos in the Aquarium but no flash is allowed. The Aquarium’s Twitter and Facebook have a lot of the latest information from the staff. Check them out to see what’s new.
  • There are three nursing rooms and eight diaper changing tables in the Aquarium. You can leave your stroller at the Information Desk or walk around the Aquarium with the stroller, too.
What's interesting

At the museum shop, giant salamander goods catch your eyes. There are three cafes in the Aquarium and you can eat a Teppai chicken burger with leek from Kujo, Suizoku bread (ocean creature shaped bread) and a lot of popular menu items!