Best public aquarium for reefers in Tokyo?

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Dave-T

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Since I became a reefer about a year ago, I've made an effort to visit the local public aquarium whenever my wife and I travel. And we've done a lot of traveling! In the past year, we've been to the aquarium in Boston, San Francisco, Maui, San Diego, London, and Seattle (yesterday). I love aquariums in general, but what I appreciate the most is checking out the reef tanks - what corals they have, how they're scaped, and what corals will do when allowed to grow out in very large tanks. And of course, the fish.

Wednesday, we are off to Tokyo. So I googled "tokyo aquarium", and found a site - "The 20 Best Aquariums in Tokyo". What the?? There are more than 20 aquariums in Tokyo?!? If I play my cards right, I'm hoping I can drag her to one. Any suggestions? We will be staying in Ginza.

Thanks!

- Dave
 
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If I had a chance to go to Japan there are two places I would go.
Blue Harbout Aquarium shop.
The owner is a friend I have had the pleasure to know thru the years at MACNA.
Koji Wada. He is the go to man for unique fish a corals from around the world. He supplies the Aquariums of Japan with their stock.

The other place would be ADA’s headquarters. If you want to see jaw dropping aquariums this will not disappoint
While not marine the aquariums inspire people around they world with their layouts.
 
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Dave-T

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Thanks, but I'm looking for public aquariums in Tokyo, although those other places sound cool. ADA is 4 hours from Tokyo we won't be able to make it there. I can't tell where Blue Harbor is, is it in Tokyo?
 

Timbo13

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Hi Dave,

Tokyo Sea Life Park is the biggest and probably the most famous of the aquariums in Tokyo. My favourite though is the aquarium in Enoshima. It's about an hour from Tokyo and located on the beach. It's a popular beach spot so you can spend the day there, but during winter most of the festive things close down there except the aquarium itself and restaurants. There's lots of other tourist type things out that way though. Both the Enoshima Aquarium and Tokyo Sea Life Park have a lot of outdoor things so if you're visiting anytime between now and March bring a warm coat.
Don't bother with the Shinagawa Aquarium. It's actually attached to a hotel (I'd only visit if you're staying at the Prince Hotel) and is tiny. You could walk around the whole place in 15 minutes.
If there's anything else you're curious about let me know. It's always good to meet other reefers.


If you're after reefing gear, it's expensive here, but I can recommend some places in the Tokyo metropolitan area if you like.

Tim
 
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Dave-T

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Thanks Tim! We will be arriving Wednesday. I don’t think I’ll be able to drag the wife to Enoshima, but we should be able to make Sea Life. So they have a good reef tank exhibit?
 

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I went to the Sea Life Park years ago so I don't really remember it that well. If I recall correctly it was sort of broken up into different "seas" or areas from around the world. I don't remember seeing a "reef" there it was more focused on animals and sea life. They do have big tanks with sharks, tuna etc.
If you're interested in corals Maxel aqua park does a thing on corals once a month run by Coral Lab. It's in Japanese but they might have info in English. It's in Shinagawa (the smaller aquarium I was talking about). It's small but has a dolphin show (if you're into that) and some reef exhibits. It's a 2 minute walk from Shinagawa Station. Really close to downtown Tokyo.
Here's the link for the coral thing
You could try it and see what you think. Depending on where you are staying in Tokyo you could get there in 15 minutes, spend the morning there and do something else in the afternoon.
 

argiBK

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If by any chance you are taking a one-to-two day trip to Kyoto, Osaka might be a better city for you (and is literally 15 mins on the Shinkansen from Kyoto). Not only because Blue Harbor and all the super rare, unobtanium fish they have in stock, but they have one of the best public aquariums in the world.
 
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Dave-T

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Osaka sounds awesome for reefers, but we won't be able to make it there. My wife and I have two days in Tokyo before our kids arrive, and after that we have full days jam packed with planned activities. If I tried to drag her to Osaka to check out aquariums, it would not go well! But any reefing related opportunities in Tokyo, that would only take an hour or two, would be doable.
 

argiBK

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Osaka sounds awesome for reefers, but we won't be able to make it there. My wife and I have two days in Tokyo before our kids arrive, and after that we have full days jam packed with planned activities. If I tried to drag her to Osaka to check out aquariums, it would not go well! But any reefing related opportunities in Tokyo, that would only take an hour or two, would be doable.

Got it! BUT... If your wife enjoys shopping, Osaka is also where it's at

I did a little digging on TripAdvisor and aside from the Sea Park, Sunshine seemed to be the most interesting. The 360° tank looked pretty neat. Sumida also seemed to have some nice reefs and planted tanks, but reviews said expensive and small.
 
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Dave-T

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Greetings from Tokyo! Yesterday, I took my wife and son to the aquarium. Unfortunately, it was the wrong one! I had a link open on my phone for the Sunshine Aquarium. I thought that was the one you recommended, Sea Life, but no! Sunshine was very cool, they had a very nice reef tank. They also had two other "reef" tanks, with dead coral (and a big clam), that were painted. Sadly, I think very few people realized this. I had a hard time convincing my wife and son that the corals were painted, they looked like the real thing. I don't think I've seen that before in a public aquarium.

We also went to the PauPau LFS. Very nice! The selection of plants for the planted tanks was impressive. The Japanese seem to be light years ahead of the US with planted tanks. Also a great selection of marine fish and corals.

I may still try to make it to Sea Life. And if there are any other especially good LFSs in Tokyo, please let me know!

But the good news is that we are going to Osaka after all! We will be spending most of one day there, that's where we are flying out of. My wife organized this trip, and apparently I know nothing about our plans. So I will try to get to Blue Harbor, and maybe the public aquarium there as well.

Thank you! And please keep the suggestions coming!

- Dave
 
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argiBK

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Nice! Blue Harbor is nearby Dotonbori, which is a tourist area, so convenient.

Be sure to get some Takoyaki while you’re there as it was invented in Osaka. Osakans also tend to be less formal/polite and more jovial than people in Tokyo, bit of a different energy!
 
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Dave-T

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We are in Osaka now, I just dragged the family to the aquarium. Cool aquarium, but no reef tank to speak of. There was one tank that looked like an attempt at a reef, but it was overrun with aiptasia and hair algae.
 
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