Within the economic centre of Aichi in the Chubu region of Japan, can be found something a little more relaxing than the business hustle and bustle of Nagoya. Divided into a north building and a south building, the public aquarium is established at the Port of Nagoya. The Port itself is very large and attracts quite a few sightseers.
Killer whales and dolphins
In the north building, there is the huge presence of the killer whale. Watching the killer whale jump out of the water always gets the crowd going, with plenty of gasping and wooing. The dolphin pool is also immensely popular. The pool is fun and introduces visitors to several examples of the dolphin behaviour. Almost everyone loves dolphins, so expect this area to be crowded during peak times – as will be the killer whale area.
From Japan to the Antarctic
The theme of the south building expands to cover marine life from Nagoya, around the Japanese seas, through the equator and Australian waters, as far as the Antarctic Ocean. Visitors can see large numbers of various fish of all sizes, as well as seeing some of the interesting creatures from the bottom of the ocean and the sea floor.
The tropical marine life on show in the coral reef tank is amazing. The extra colour on show is terrific and brings the beauty of the coral reef to you. This little paradise is one of the most rewarding areas of the aquarium to visit.
For turtle lovers, the sea turtle migration tank will not disappoint. Sea turtles have a long life span and appear graceful at every moment. There is a large survival program in place to protect sea turtles due to their status as an endangered species and many beaches of Japan have had sea turtles lay eggs there over the years, to the surprise of the locals when it happens on their nearby beach. The sea turtle tank here at the aquarium allows for an up-close view of these wonderful creatures.
What you need to know when going
Admission is 2000 yen for adults and high school students, 1000 yen for elementary and junior high school students, and 500 yen for 4-6 year olds. Younger kids enter for free, and the expressions on a two year old face when seeing the larger fish is something special. The subsequent crying might be less desirable.
Annual passes are also available for a reasonable rate, night time tickets can be bought at 80 per cent of the cost of the daytime tickets, at times when the aquarium is open for extended hours. Group tickets are also available and allow tour groups to receive discounts.
There are several signs asking patrons to refrain from eating or drinking while walking around. There are designated areas for consuming food and beverages. Another sign illustrated that pets were not allowed. It seems fairly obvious not to bring your poodle to the aquarium, but clearly people have done in the past in order for this to have become a clearly stated rule.
The aquarium is open from 9.30 in the morning until 5.30 pm, with the last entry at 4.30. The aquarium is open for extended hours during the spring public holidays of Golden Week, and also during the summer holiday… until 8 in the evening. During the reduced day light of winter months December through March, the aquarium closes at 5 pm, with the exception of Christmas Eve when it remains open until 9 at night.
The Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium is closed each Monday.
Access by train is not too difficult. Take the Higashiyama subway to Sakae station and transfer to the Meijo line, or take the JR line or Meitetsu as far as Kanayama station and transfer to the Meiko subway. From either Meijo or Meiko, you will board a train bound for Nagoyako and stay on until the final stop.
You can also drive to the aquarium. There is good highway access, but you don’t want to get caught in rush hour traffic around Nagoya.
Information is available in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean, so foreign visitors should be able to enjoy the experience without inconvenience.