by Zoria Petkoska
Nihonbashi was the heart of Edo, or old Tokyo, where all important roads used to meet. To this day, the area is displaying its Edo heritage through art, design, events, food – both authentic recreations and modern culture twists. Just a stroll around the area reveals elegant tradition-inspired design, with people wearing yukata and walking under lanterns, among light projections of goldfish and past red torii gates and shrines contrasted with the high glass modern buildings.
One of the biggest summer treats in Nihonbashi is the recurring Eco Edo Nihonbashi Art Aquarium event that started in 2011 to mark the 100-year anniversary of the Nihonbashi bridge. From more commonly known goldfish, to peculiar ones like the ping-pong ball shaped goldfish, the summer event in 2019 showcases more than 10 000 decorative live goldfish from many different species, the largest ever since 2011. But the art is not just the goldfish, visitors are there to admire the aquariums themselves and the whole atmosphere and music.
Produced by artist Hidetomo Kimura, this event has been extremely popular. This 2019 edition will be the final Art Aquarium event as we know it, and it showcases selected artworks from previous years alongside the new ones. After that, the art aquarium event will be moved to Kumamoto Castle and be renamed “ART AQUARIUM CASTLE”. The artists behind it promise a more lavish display every year and invite everyone down to Kumamoto in 2020!
The Art Aquarium becomes Night Aquarium after 7 pm and the atmosphere, lights and music change to fit the theme of an entertainment space. At night, visitors can admire the exhibits with a drink in hand – like fancy Dasai sake or beautiful goldfish themed original cocktails.
On weekends, famous DJs play their sets in the Night Aquarium and opening hours are extended to 22:30/23:00 depending on the night. The cherry on top of this gold-cake is the SPECIAL EVENTS. From August 6th to August 8th two famous geishas from Kyoto (Fumino and Mizuno) performed for an enthralled audience, accompanied by live shamisen and shakuhachi music.
For s splendid finale, between September 10th and 13th there will be a lavish oiran performance by the famous Rantaro Kojyo. The performance will be accompanied by Tsugaru-jamisen as well as Japanese drums.
The Art Aquarium collaborates with more than 100 shops around Nihonbashi that have created goldfish-themed or Edo reminiscent products: wagashi in the shape of goldfish, drinks, cakes, breads, and almost anything you can think of.
Download all the offers from here *Japanese only
Eco Edo Nihonbashi Art Aquarium takes place from July 5th to September 23rd 2019, open every day.
Opening Hours: Sun – Fri / 11:00 AM － 10:30 PM (Last entrance 10:00 PM)
Saturdays & days prior to a public holiday / 11:00 AM – 11:30 PM (Last entrance 11:00 PM)
ART AQUARIUM 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
NIGHT AQUARIUM is from 7:00 PM
(no change in price between day and night aquarium, and no need to exit and re-enter around 7 PM)
General admission (outside of special events): 1000 yen
Children between 4 and 12 years old: 600 yen
Children under the age of 3: free entrance
Tickets can be bought either online or at the door.
General admission: 3,300yen (with 1 drink)
* only for 20 years old and older.
Priority Entry tickets
These tickets enable Priority Entry on specific dates, without having to wait in the standby line due to admission limits. (not available during special events)
General [Weekday] 3,300yen / [Weekend] 4,400yen (13 years old and older)
Child [Weekday] 1,980yen / [Weekend] 2,640yen (4 years old to 12 years old)