Kyoto Aquarium


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Attractions Details

📌 Address

梅小路公園, 内, 35-1 Kankijichō, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8835, Japan

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee


Find it on google maps

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Local tour guide
"Visit the Kyoto Aquarium in the late afternoon when it's less crowded to have a more serene experience; the aquatic creatures are more active during feeding times which often happen later in the day. Also, check out the lesser-known Maizuru Bay tank, where you can quietly observe some of the rarer species that are native to the waters around Kyoto."

What is Kyoto Aquarium?

Kyoto Aquarium is a world of aquatic wonders located in the heart of the ancient city of Kyoto, Japan. It's a relatively new addition to the city's rich tapestry of cultural heritage sites, providing a modern contrast to the traditional temples and gardens that Kyoto is famous for. The aquarium showcases a wide variety of marine life particularly focusing on the habitats found in the nearby waters of the Kyoto area and the larger Pacific Ocean.

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Unlike many other institutions, Kyoto Aquarium has a unique charm that stems from its design, which blends seamlessly into the surrounding landscape. It is not just an exhibition of underwater life but an experience crafted to educate its visitors about environmental conservation, the delicate ecosystems of Japan’s rivers, and the vast array of sea creatures.

The facility plays a significant role in local marine research and education. For me, there’s always something special about how the aquarium reflects the harmony between Kyoto’s historic past and its present-day advancements in ecological understanding and sustainability.

History of Kyoto Aquarium

The Kyoto Aquarium opened its doors in March 2012, making it one of the newer attractions Kyoto has to offer. Its construction was part of a revitalization project to breathe new life into Umekoji Park, the area surrounding the aquarium. Carefully designed to integrate with the park's landscape, the aquarium aimed to attract both locals and tourists alike, providing an insightful educational facility amidst the city’s historical backdrop.

Although Kyoto is not located on the coast, having an inland aquarium was a deliberate decision to highlight the importance of freshwater habitats, which is quite unique to Kyoto Aquarium. The connections between the city, its rivers, and the broader ocean ecosystems are essential narratives that the aquarium successfully weaves together.

The city of Kyoto, known for being Japan's cultural capital, gained an attraction that both contrasts with its ancient buildings and complements its commitment to cultural preservation by showcasing the biodiversity of Japan’s aquatic environments.

Why is Kyoto Aquarium Important?

Kyoto Aquarium serves as an important educational hub, promoting awareness about the conservation of marine life. It especially highlights the connection between people and the sea, critical in a country like Japan where the ocean plays a vital role in its culture and economy. By displaying the intricate network of life sustained in Kyoto's rivers that eventually feed into the ocean, the aquarium underlines the importance of every ecosystem.

Moreover, it is a reflection of Kyoto’s dedication to modernization while honoring its past. The aquarium stands as a symbol of sustainable development, employing advanced environmental technologies. For instance, it boasts a highly efficient water filtration system that minimizes water use - a significant step in ecological conservation for an inland aquarium.

Its role in the community extends to working on breeding programs for endangered species, contributing to global efforts in wildlife conservation. Thus, the significance of Kyoto Aquarium lies in how it captures the essence of Kyoto's historical spirit of preservation and blends it with contemporary educational and environmental values.

Things to Do & See at Kyoto Aquarium

There’s plenty to explore at Kyoto Aquarium, and it’s a perfect spot for everyone from solo travelers to families. The aquarium is divided into different zones, each dedicated to specific types of marine or riverine environments such as the Kyoto River, the iconic Dolphin Stadium, and the Jellyfish Symphony Hall where you can marvel at the ethereal dance of these translucent beings.

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Take a walk through the woodland wetland area, which is a recreation of Kyoto’s lush riverbanks and is home to some of the peculiar local species. The Giant Salamander exhibit, for one, showcases the world's largest amphibian, which is endemic to Japan and something certainly not to be missed.

The "Penguins in the Sky" area is also immense fun; here, you can see penguins ‘flying’ underwater through a cleverly designed tank with panoramic sky views. If you're traveling with kids, they will be thrilled with the touch pool experience where they can get up close with harmless marine creatures under careful supervision.

And let’s not forget the aquatic events! The feeding sessions are always a hit, granting you insight into the behavior of different species during mealtime. They also conduct dolphin shows, which are as educational as they are entertaining, revealing the terrific agility and intelligence of these marine mammals.

Before leaving, make sure to visit the gift shop for unique souvenirs, especially those that reflect Kyoto’s craft traditions with a marine twist, like a 'Fushimi-inari Taisha shrine' inspired Torii gate aquarium ornament.

Kyoto Aquarium might just be the surprise highlight of your visit to Kyoto, as it adds a different, but no less enriching, dimension to the narrative tapestry of this historic city.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Kyoto Aquarium?

The Kyoto Aquarium is a large modern aquarium located in Kyoto, Japan, featuring a wide variety of aquatic animals, interactive exhibits, and educational programs.

What are the main attractions at Kyoto Aquarium?

Main attractions at Kyoto Aquarium include the Giant Salamander exhibit, the Dolphin Performance, the Penguin Encounter, and the impressive Kyoto Tank showcasing local river species.

Can you interact with the animals at Kyoto Aquarium?

While there are interactive exhibits at Kyoto Aquarium, direct interaction with the animals is limited to designated encounters and must be conducted under staff supervision to ensure the safety of both visitors and the animals.

What are the ticket prices for Kyoto Aquarium?

Ticket prices for Kyoto Aquarium vary depending on age, with discounts available for children, students, and seniors. It's best to check the official website or contact the aquarium directly for the most current pricing.

Are there any dining options available inside Kyoto Aquarium?

Yes, Kyoto Aquarium has dining options available, including cafes and snack bars offering a variety of food and beverage choices for visitors.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

梅小路公園, 内, 35-1 Kankijichō, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8835, Japan

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee


Find it on google maps