Thursday, February 8, 2007

14. Aquarium Review: Kasai Sea Life Park (Edogawa-ku)

The Kasai Sea Life Park is located within Kasai Rinkai Koen. If you like aquariums, you won't be disappointed. This aquarium focuses a lot on the oceans surrounding Japan. There main exhibit is a huge, donut-shaped tank filled with bluefin tuna and hammerhead sharks. Interesting to note that the designers of the tank didn't do their fish research. The design was to allow the tuna to travel in a full circle. Unfortunately, tuna like to see what's in front of them, and the narrower 'corners' of the tank didn't allow that. So, the fish constantly have to turn around when reaching those areas. Only an occasional smaller tuna gives the full circle a try!There is a display on the shoreline of the Kanto area, a kelp forest, a focus on the 'Sea of Tokyo',... There are also exhibits focusing on other oceans of the world, and the penguin exhibit is Japan's largest.Upon exiting the main building, I thought I'd seen everything. I was pleasantly surprised by a final exhibit called 'Nature Along the Water's Edge'. In the grounds outside the aquarium, they have recreated a natural setting of streams and freshwater ponds mimicing those found around the Kanto area. There was even a huge grassy lawn where fish kites could be flown. The kites were just laying in the grass for anyone to play with.

I definitely recommend visiting on a sunny day, and combining the aquarium with a picnic in Kasai Rinkai Koen. I wouldn't recommend the aquarium on a really busy day though, as it would be difficult to get a good look into all of the tanks.

Hours of Operation: 9:30-17:00 (last entry at 16:00), closed every Wedneday (changed to Thursday if it is a national holiday or October 1) and from Dec. 29 - Jan. 1.

Admission: Adults:700, Jr. High Students: 250, Seniors 65 and older: 350 yen.

*Disabled, Children under 11, and Jr. High students who reside in/or attend school in Tokyo are free. There are group discounts for groups of over 20.

**Use of strollers may be restricted on peak days.
**Free entry with Grutt Pass 2007 (#47)

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