The Shinagawa Aqua Park is an aquarium filled with fun exhibits, mainly aimed for children. Its selling point is its beautiful aquarium exhibits with fancy lights and its marine wildlife show. My friend from college and I decided to take a look even though it is mostly for kids.
When you walk in you immediately see how the aquarium makes use of beautiful lights. The theme is changed seasonally, but currently the theme is “fireworks.” When you view the fish in the dark room, the lights constantly change to give off the effects of real fireworks.
There are also amusement rides that you can ride for 500¥; there’s a merry-go-round and a giant rocking ship ride. I didn’t go on any rides because I’m too cheap for that, but it looked like many people enjoy it.
The real attraction is of course the marine show. Whales and dolphins have shows every hour or so doing tricks and whatnot. Water falls from the ceiling in a beautiful pattern to further the effect. At night they do the show but with pretty lights. People get totally soaked during the show and the first five rows or so are always filled with people wearing ponchos. They have trained the animals to splash water on the guests with their tails and it is really cute. When the show is not going on, instead of bringing the animals back, the animals are free to swim in the show pool or go backstage. Many of them freely swim around and do tricks without being prompted. It is like once one of them does it, the others want to follow to show off. It’s nice because it is like you get a free show.
I personally enjoyed the show, however a part of me is unsure about the ethics of making wildlife perform in shows. I remember in high school we watched the documentary shaming American amusement places that have such shows. I definitely think one has to be careful about the treatment of animals before going to a place like this.
Overall, I would not recommend going to this place unless you have small kids. The place is actually quite small and super expensive for an adult; and adult ticket is a little over $20. Although the aquarium was very pretty, there are much better aquariums that are far more educational in Tokyo and way cheaper (like the one in Kasai Rinkai Kouen). However, I’m glad I went to hang out with my friend.
If anyone has any favorite aquariums in the Tokyo area that they would like to share, comment below!