Kyoto Aquarium @ Umekoji Park, Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto Aquarium Kyoto Aquarium

Well, it was bound to happen! We’ve done Sumida Aquarium and Osaka Aquarium Kaiyūkan. Now, we can cross Kyoto Aquarium (京都水族館, Kyōto Suizokukan) off our Japanese Aquariums list! Located in the northern part of Umekoji Park, the modern complex of Kyoto Aquarium is a relaxing 10 to 15 minute walk from Kyoto Station.

Kyoto Aquarium Kyoto AquariumKyoto Aquarium Jellyfish

Is it any good? Well, it looked quite big to us on the outside and we went in thinking we’d spend a couple of hours there at least. To our disappointment, we found that there wasn’t really all that much to see. When we came to the end of it, we were left scratching our heads and asking “where’s the rest?”. That’s not to say it’s not worth visiting. Since it’s still a fairly new aquarium (opened in 2012), everything looks clean and shiny, the enclosures modern and well-kept. Also, because it can be covered in about an hour, tourists who want to squeeze a visit to the aquarium into a packed itinerary will have no problem doing so.

There are different themed areas, or ‘zones’, that you walk through, each exhibiting specific habitats and their respective aquatic animals.

Rivers of Kyoto Zone

Kyoto Aquarium Kyoto Aquarium Japanese Giant Salamander, Kyoto Aquarium Japanese Giant Salamander, Kyoto Aquarium

Sea Animals Zone

Seal, Kyoto Aquarium

Penguin Zone

Penguin, Kyoto Aquarium Penguin, Kyoto Aquarium

Ocean Zone

Kyoto Aquarium Eel, Kyoto Aquarium Kyoto Aquarium Kyoto Aquarium Kyoto Aquarium Kyoto Aquarium Kyoto Aquarium

The Dolphin Stadium

Dolphin, Kyoto Aquarium

Beauty of Nature Zone

Frog, Kyoto Aquarium Kyoto Aquarium

Countryside of Kyoto Zone

Kyoto Aquarium Kyoto Aquarium

Of particular note is the Sea Animals Zone, where you get to see fur seals and spotted seals frolicking around, and also the Penguin Zone, where dozens of adorable penguins can be seen waddling around a large rocky enclosure and diving into the pool area. And, of course, the Ocean Zone has some fancy jellyfish on display. You know me, always happy to spend ages taking pictures of jellyfish being weird and flooping around!

Penguin, Kyoto Aquarium Jellyfish, Kyoto Aquarium

Umekoji Park, 35-1 Kankiji-cho
Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8835
Opening hours: 10am – 8pm (daily)
Admission: ¥2050 (adult), ¥600 (child)

angie and james do stuff.


5 thoughts on “Kyoto Aquarium @ Umekoji Park, Kyoto, Japan

  1. I love Kyoto so much! Haven’t been to this aquarium but it sounds v small – plus I hate seeing dolphins in captivity :( If you’re ever in Sydney I urge you to visit our aquarium.

    1. Ah, yes. I’ve been the the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium‎ twice. It’s bigger than the Kyoto Aquarium, though it is very old and needs a bit of an update, especially the underwater tunnel section. Though my latest visit was a couple of years ago so maybe they’ve done some renovations.

      I do always feel sorry for dolphins in captivity, especially in tourist-heavy places like Bali, where I heard certain resorts keep them in tiny swimming pools (just metres away from the open ocean!) for the entertainment of visitors. It’s a terrible business.

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