Side Quest: Sunshine City Aquarium

A summertime trip to one of Japan’s many aquariums is becoming an annual tradition of ours. This visit marks our third year in a row.

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Today’s aquarium is located at the top of Sunshine City. In fact, quite a few aquariums in Tokyo are not at ground level.

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Rooftop access means outdoor exhibits, like this cool loop for seals to do laps.

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When the seals aren’t doing reps they check out onlookers in the adjacent pool.

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Inside, a big tropical fish tank sits in the center of the main hall.

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Many people make use of the seating in front of the big tank to relax. After watching the fish for a while, you can check out the other exhibits.

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Fish dart back and forth in unison when bigger fish plow through their school.

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Sea dragons meander along the sandy bottom of their habitat.

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A tiny puffer fish shows off its spots.

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Giant spider crabs sit motionless but still manage to creep me out. They remind me too much of headcrabs.

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On the other hand, the slow movement of the jellyfish is quite calming.

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An orb in the ceiling gives you a 360 degree view of the fish, when present.

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A small open basin attracts a crowd. On closer inspection, it is full of small hermit crabs and mudskippers.

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The aquarium also houses amphibians and reptiles.

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Back outside, it’s penguin time! A staff member talks about the various aspects of penguin life.

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The penguins wait for the end of the speech, because they know that snack time follows.

Even though Sunshine aquarium is not particularly large it has a good variety, all in the heart of Ikebukuro. Check it out if you’re looking for a place to escape the summer heat.