Travel Tokyo : Sunshine Aquarium @ Tokyo
Nestled atop the World Import Mart Building near Ikebukuro Station, the Sunshine Aquarium beckons as an enchanting oasis of water in the bustling heart of Tokyo. As you step into this unique attraction, the “open-air oasis” theme and resort-like ambiance welcome you, promising a memorable and immersive experience unlike any other. During our recent trip to Tokyo, we knew we couldn’t miss the chance to explore the wonders of Sunshine Aquarium, which occupies the top three floors of the iconic Sunshine City office and shopping complex in Ikebukuro.
Sunshine Aquarium is not just another ordinary destination; it holds a special place in the hearts of locals and tourists alike. The ease of access from major cities like Shinjuku and Shibuya has made it a popular hotspot for visitors seeking a delightful escape into the world of marine marvels. Moreover, what makes it even more appealing is that it promises enjoyment even on rainy days, offering a fascinating and fun-filled indoor adventure.
With approximately 70 tanks teeming with an incredible diversity of marine life, Sunshine Aquarium proudly showcases a mesmerizing collection of 23,000 creatures representing 550 distinct species. Each exhibit presents a captivating spectacle, with highlights including the expansive Sunshine Lagoon, a massive tank brimming with 240 tons of water, the newly-created Kurage Kukan jellyfish area, and the spectacular Sunshine Aqua Ring, where visitors can marvel at sea lions and penguins from below.
As we embarked on our journey through the aquarium, one of the most breathtaking sights was the stroll beneath a giant water tank, with charming penguins gracefully swimming overhead, all against the backdrop of Tokyo’s cityscape – a truly magical sight that we couldn’t get enough of. And if that wasn’t enough, the new skywalk area, home to playful pelicans, added an extra dash of excitement, especially during their feeding times.
The three main areas of Sunshine Aquarium are thoughtfully designed to cater to different facets of marine life, providing an all-encompassing experience for visitors:
1. Maria Garden: Captivating as a “journey in the sky,” this area offers fascinating insights into the lives of penguins, sea lions, and otters. “Penguins in the Sky” treats you to the dynamic swim of cape penguins in a 12-meter-long tank, as if they were gracefully soaring through Tokyo’s skyline.
The “Sunshine Aqua Ring” grants a rare view of sea lions’ stomach and limbs from directly below, creating an intimate and unforgettable connection. And not to be missed are the endearing small-clawed otters, who live in a delightful family setup and communicate with each other through a range of charming vocalizations.
2. A Waterside Trip: Located on the second floor of the main building, this area features diverse exhibits showcasing animals thriving in various environments. The captivating Baikal seals, native to the Baikal Lake, captivate visitors with their survival skills, even under ice. The amphibians’ exhibition, featuring frogs, salamanders, and geckos, showcases their incredible adaptability to living both in water and on land, leaving us in awe of their remarkable versatility.
3. Ocean Trip: This area on the first floor offers an immersive underwater journey, as if you’re exploring the ocean depths. The centerpiece, the awe-inspiring Sunshine Lagoon, captures the essence of creatures on white sands in the South Ocean, showcasing a captivating mix of small fish and magnificent stingrays, set amidst lifelike coral reefs – a pioneering feat in Japan.
The latest addition to the aquarium, the Jellyfish area, casts a spell with its enchanting display of water jellyfish and five other mesmerizing jellyfish species, transporting visitors into a surreal and ethereal realm.
How to Go?
Access to the Sunshine Aquarium is convenient, with multiple transport options available. An 8-minute stroll from the 35th exit of Ikebukuro Station (serving JR Lines, Toei Subway Lines, Seibu Line, and Tobu Line) brings you to this captivating attraction. Alternatively, a mere 3-minute walk from the 6th or 7th exit of Higashi Ikebukuro Station on the Yurakucho subway line leads you to this aquatic wonderland.
Our visit to Sunshine Aquarium proved to be an extraordinary journey, where we experienced the thrill of marine life like never before. With its inviting blend of relaxation, entertainment, and education, this aquatic oasis touched our hearts and left us with cherished memories. Whether you are an aquatic enthusiast or simply looking for a delightful day out, Sunshine Aquarium is sure to cast its magical spell on you, creating an unforgettable and enchanting experience in the heart of Tokyo’s bustling metropolis.
Entry varies by season: ¥2,600-¥2,800, primary and junior high students ¥1,300-¥1,400, children aged four or older ¥800-¥900, free for younger children.
Japan, 〒170-8630 Tokyo, Toshima City, Higashiikebukuro, 3 Chome−1 サンシャインシティワールドインポートマートビル 屋上
Opening Hours : 9.30 am – 9 pm (Daily)
Phone: +81 3-3989-3466
GPS Location : 35.7289254,139.7201573