The Sumida Aquarium (すみだ水族館) at the Tokyo Skytree Soramachi is a slightly expensive but creatively designed aquarium. If you are visiting the Skytree, the aquarium is a good add on if you have 30-90 mins. It is a relaxed and cool environment where kids can see a variety of aquatic life in a short period. Some of the tanks do seem over crowded which is sad for the creatures, but the tanks are very clean and well attended. The highlights for my kids were the jellyfish, sand eels, and penguins. A fun day would be the Sky Tree, Kodomonoyu Playcenter and aquarium.
The Sumida Aquarium is what I would call a boutique aquarium. It is entirely enclosed inside, well laid out with dimmed lights and cool ambiance. The aquascape was designed by Takashi Amano, a revered master of aquascape in Japan. From the main entrance that is located on the fourth floor of Soramachi to the exit, you will be surrounded with cool changing lights that are very soothing.
The jellyfish exhibit is the best part of the aquarium. We also enjoyed the jellyfish at the Epson Aquarium in Shinagawa, but the Sumida Aquarium has more species and more details. There is a special area that shows jellyfish at different ages (1, 2, 15, 30 days, etc.). Very educational.
There is also a tank with penguins which you can walk around and above. There are a lot of penguins in the tank…maybe too many? However, if you have a penguin lover like my daughter, it will be a highlight. Another tank that is interesting to take a seat and watch is the central tank that has a huge variety of fish, sting rays and some small sharks. A diver was in the tank feeding the fish when we attended, so we watched and enjoyed for about 30 mins. Good spot to enjoy a snack or a drink.
Sumida Aquarium Details
Address: Soramachi 4th fl, 1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo (google map)
Hours: everyday 9:00 – 21:00
Cost: adults 2,200 JPY, HS students 1,700 JPY, JH and Elementary 1,100 JPY, Kids 3 and over 600 JPY, 2 and under free
Access: 2 min walk from Tokyo Skytree station on the Tobu Skytree Line; 15 min walk from Oshiage Skytree Station on the Hanzomon Line.
Notes: Very baby friendly with special change and feeding area
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