aquariums

Want to shake hands with an adorable otter? You can right now at this Tokyo aquarium

Tokyo’s Ikebukuro is an archetypical part of the concrete jungle of Japan’s capital. The neighborhood is even home to Sunshine 60, one of the tallest buildings in a city that’s already packed with massive skyscrapers.

With so much space to work with, Sunshine 60 houses a shopping center, restaurants, planetarium, museum, and even a parlor for playing the Japanese board game go. But what convinced us to visit recently was the complex’s aquarium, which right now is offering a chance to shake hands with its adorable river otters!

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Art Aquarium returns to Tokyo with goldfish, beautiful lighting, soothing sounds, delicious sake

As the weather starts to get warmer in Japan, many people will cope by cranking up the air conditioner. But there’re also traditional options for beating the summer heat, such as whipping out a folding fan, and also psychological cooling tricks such as listening to the soothing sounds of a wind chime or taking a few moments to gaze at a tank of water filled with gracefully swimming goldfish.

If that last idea sounds like your kind of thing, you’re in luck, as the Art Aquarium exhibit is returning to Tokyo this July with its unique combination of artistic displays, DJ performances, fine sake to sip, and late-night viewings of aquatic life.

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Last winter, we were all saddened to hear about the passing of Giant Isopod No.1, the most famous crustacean at the Toba Aquarium in Mie Prefecture. Life must go on, though, and perhaps it’s now finally time to turn the page at Toba, as the isopod era comes to an end and is replaced by something much cuter: the age of adorable napping otters.

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Japanese aquariums with heated tables keep guests warm as they watch life under the sea

On a hot summer day, it’s hard to find a better way to beat the heat than with a visit to the aquarium. Whether you’re being entertained by dolphins performing tricks for an audience, or just quietly watching the mesmerizing interplay of light and shadow as the fish swim in their tanks, it’s always a refreshing and soothing experience.

However, all of this gets reversed in the winter. Instead of looking cooling, the water just looks freezing, and aquariums regularly see attendance drop in step with the temperature. So how can they convince people to come see their friends from under the sea during the coldest part of the year?

In the case of two aquariums in Japan, by keeping visitors warm with heated “kotatsu” tables in front of their display tanks.

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Thousands of Goldfish Exhibited Artfully in Nihonbashi

The art of goldfish exhibiting can be fully appreciated at this Art Aquarium and Night Aquarium Exhibit called Edo Cooling Goldfish. Sponsored by Diners Card and running from August 17th (Friday) till September 24th (Monday) at the Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall in Chuo-ku, Tokyo, the exhibit consists of artfully arranged aquariums where, the stars of this display, the kingyo, or goldfish, swim around demonstrating their own beauty, as well as being part of an intricate art presentation never seen before.

You have never, and may never again, see so many kingyo in one place at one time!

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