The port of Nagoya Public Aquarium has a wide collection of aquatic species including fishes, whales, dolphins, turtles etc. Every day, there are various shows scheduled for the pleasure of our eyes where the heroes of these shows are our favorite aquatic animals. It is a place where we could spend a singular day enjoying the aquatic mysterious atmosphere. It would be also a really a fun area for the kids.
Once we reach Nagoya-ko station, there is a jetty that lead to the port of Nagoya. The jetty has restaurants and shops on both sides. Most of the shops are selling seafood items. The pavement through the jetty area leads us to the port where a number of boats and ships are resting at the port, among them “The Fuji Antarctic Ice Breaker ship”. It is the main attraction in the port and it is open to the public with an entry ticket. We could see the crimson coloured ship with a helicopter boarded on its top. It is quite spectacular!
The wide pavements leading to the entrance of the aquarium has restaurants and shops. There are seats arranged in front of to the aquarium’s entrance where we could rest and enjoy the beauty and breeze of the port area straight ahead. Near to the port, there is a theme park called ‘Nagoya-ko Seatrain Land’.
The aquarium has two buildings – the North and the South buildings. The stairs will lead us to the entrance of the North building through which we should start our journey. The tickets are sold at one side of the building’s entrance. It costs 2000 yen for the adults and for the Elementary and Junior School students it is 1000 yen, and for small kids below the age of 4 years, it is only 500 yen. Except Mondays, the aquarium opens for the public at 9:30 am till 5:30 pm.
Once we enter inside, at the second floor of the North building, huge glass walls with a bluish appearance on all sides of the building will surround us. This tremendous sophisticated aquarium, have Dolphins, Orcas (killer whales), Belugas etc, playing inside us if they were in their natural environment. Various names are assigned to the areas inside the aquarium. The “Dolphin pool” has many bottle-nosed cute dolphins swimming around. As dolphins are very friendly creatures, we certainly feel an attachment to them soon and couldn’t take eyes from them for a long time. The next pool named “Under the Northern Light” has belugas, the white whales with an animal-like face appearance. They usually make rapid movements that we wouldn’t expect. So we will mostly fail in making a good click with our ordinary cameras. Sometimes, there are chances to people working there watch feeding the belugas and the other creatures kept in the pools. If you would get that chance, you can learn a lot from guides who would come in front of the tank to explain that process in more technical details.
Another intersting and attracting pool is the one containing an Orca. It is called “Ku” and it is written there that the government of Japan spent some millions of money to catch this killer whale.
After seeing these valuable informations, People are led to the “Underwater viewing area” that is a quiet place with a number of stairs extending downwards leading to the underneath portion of the third floor’s main pool. Sitting at these steps, we could watch and admire the movement of the whales and the dolphins for long time.
When we walk to the next floor of the building, we would see an area with replicas of Orcas and their skeletal systems hanged down from the roof. Most of them are really huge and some of the bones look like swords or other weapons. This area is called “Diverse World of Whales”.
Then, as we would enter the third floor, we would see a gallery with a number of seats and a screen behind the pool. This is the area where the dolphin shows are conducted at a specified time schedules. When the show begins, the dolphins will start to move following the instruction of the guides. Along with their guides, the dolphins will bow down on the platform in front of the audience to welcome them.
This is also the feeding time of these animals.
They would do various tricks like dancing with music, jumping at heights, playing with balls, jumping through the rings etc. They will be given food every time after playing each trick. There are also tricks played by seals along with this. The unexpected entries of these dolphins are really interesting, however sitting at the front line of the gallery might sometimes wet you. This show would last for about 30 minutes.The big screen in front of the seats behind the pool will display every movement of the animals even beneath the water. There is a small pool of Orcas near the main pool. The huge killer whale would also come up with splashing water to play its trick in front of the audience. Here along with their feeding, their training section is also conducted in front of the public. But there is no seating arrangement done in this area, so we have to stand around to watch them.
There is a room in this building where they have displayed a replica of an Orca. At regular intervals there is a show which is played automatically, that explains and displays the peculiarities of this giant magnificent creature. Along with the explanations, various internal parts of the creature are lightened up so that it is informative as well as interesting. Even though the explanation is given fully in Japanese, the lighting up from inside will help us to understand some portion of what it is saying there. There are some seats arranged here for viewing this show. Near to these pools, there is an area inside the building walls which seems really fantastic with an Antarctic appearance. From the top of this building, we could see a beautiful lawn at the bank of the port where people rests and some of them having their food at the port enjoying its beauty. This is named as “Shiokaze plaza” and there are food courts nearby.
Moving from there, a long path leads to the second floor of the South building. This building has three floors, but we have started from the second one. This floor is named “Marine life around Japan” which holds tank called “Kuroshio tank” containing fishes from Japan’s waterbodies. This huge water tank containing a number of small silvery sardine fishes along with some small sharks and other fishes is the main part of the attraction in this place. This area seems to be darkish blue in appearance and the visitors can sit on the floor since they conduct some show named “The Tornado of Blue Pilchard”. The movement of the shoal of these sardines is very fantastic. During the show, some music is played at the background and some food is thrown from the top of the tank so that the fishes will move as a whole with a sound to catch it. These small fishes are not even considering the large ones when they move as a group. This movement is made on the base of the light background music. This 10 minutes show is interesting to everyone. In this tank, we could see a rare fish which seems like having only the head portion without the body or tail.
After that, we would cross through a small tunnel with different sea plants and fishes like rays swimming across over our head. This area leads to a room with small glass tanks of various coloured beautiful fishes, jelly fishes, sea cucumbers, seaweeds etc. There is a portion of the “Tropical Marine Life” with different kinds of small and big turtles and other marine creatures.
The third floor has another portion of the “Tropical Marine Life”. The huge tank of Loggerhead sea turtles which are big turtles that swims around the tank freely. Their big cute face and the eyes would attract everyone and create a friendly feeling. They will come near to you once you reach closer to the glass tank and try to kiss your hands if you touch the glass. Watching these creatures will let you forget about the time. The third floor also has marine life from Australian and Antarctic areas. The “Australian Marine Life” has a collection of rare marine creatures. The “Antarctic Marine Life” is the area which is a recreation of the Antarctic environment behind the thick glasses. The ice rocks and the snowy surroundings inside gives a feeling of harsh winter ahead. A number of large and small penguins are there. Some of them are resting over the rocks and some are swimming around in the water.
Near this zone, there is an information corner where we could read various things about penguins. There are some penguin eggs kept here with its specifications wrote aside, beneath which they have replicas of each egg that could be touched and felt by the visitors. We could also see an area with penguin statues to where especially kids are rushing to take photographs with penguins. In this floor, there is a theater which shows a short film based on the marine life. It depicts the aquatic life of various eras and seasons. It lasts about 15 minutes. Seeing the movements and life of the marine world in the big screen takes us to the depth of the ocean.
After covering this third-floor area, we have to move down to the first floor. we will finally enter the “Deep Sea Gallery” zone that we could see while we were moving from the second to the first floor. This zone have inside of its
in various shaped small and big glass tanks, huge crabs, cute fishes and other marine creatures.
Another part of the “Tropical Marine Life” area located here, has coral reef tanks, with small fishes playing around between the coral reefs. There is also a touch tank and the visitors could touch fishes in this tank under the supervision of the guides standing behind them.
There are also some shops in this floor and surroundings. As we step out of the South building from the world of marine creatures, the cool breeze of the sea welcomes us. In front of the entrance gate, we could see a beautiful statue of a man inside a shell. It seems, that, in the evening, the shell was opening slowly with a music and colourful lights were displayed around the statue surrounded by eggs. The statue was making movements along with the music and the light for some minutes and returned to its initial state afterwards.That would be a nice touch for ending up our journey.
Returning from the port area crossing the jetty streets, we might buy enough seafood items packed like dried shrimps and prawns, Ebisenpei (a Japanese rice cracker) etc.
1. From Nagoya station, take JR to Kanayama and transfer to Meiko subway line to Nagoya-ko station.
2. From Nagoya station, take Higashiyama subway line to Sakae and transfer to Meijo line to Nagoya-ko station.