One of Japan’s largest aquariums offering both marine and fresh water aquatic life can be found along the beautiful coast of Mie Prefecture at Toba. The Toba Aquarium is home to over 850 creatures, ranging from dugongs, manatees and jellyfish to poison arrow frogs, salamanders and snapping turtles.
Although flash photography of the animals is prohibited, the realistic settings of most of the tanks and exhibits offer some great wildlife photo opportunities.
The 240 meter wide pavilion makes for a 1.5Km course divided into 12 zones. Enjoy sea lion performances in the Stadium while in the adjoining Marine Mammal Kingdom zone, the sea lions, fur seals and harbor seals can be observed in a recreated habitat from the second floor, while the first floor provides an underwater window into these playful creatures swimming abilities.
The Living Fossils zone houses the primitive Pearly Nautilus, Horseshoe Crabs and Lung fish, while a variety of colorful fish inhabit the Coral Reef Diving Zone. Naturally, the marine creatures living off the coast of Mie and around Japan are well represented too! Not just the ocean dwelling creatures, but animals from Japan’s and the worlds great rivers and tropical rainforests can be enjoyed in natural looking displays.
The Mermaid Sea Zone is the only place in Japan to have a dugong, believed to be the basis behind the legendary mermaid. Huge African manatees, dolphins, rare finless porpoises, Sea Otters and dolphins are also on view.
Special exhibitions are regularly staged in the numerous galleries, and you can meet pelicans, penguins and otters in the Water Gallery Aqua Promenade. Visitors are free to wander the zones as they please, while shops and restaurants complete the experience.
Adult admission at 2,400 isn’t too bad considering all that you can enjoy, so go on, splash out at Toba Aquarium!