Shimonoseki Kaikyokan (Shimonoseki City Aquarium)
At this unique aquarium with a collection of pufferfish from across the globe, you can also encounter dolphins and penguins!
This aquarium boasts a collection of more than 100 types of pufferfish from across the globe. This unusual collection was assembled because the city of Shimonoseki is one of Japan's leading pufferfish production areas. In addition, there is a diverse range of other exhibition zones, the most spectacular of which is the tank that replicates the tides of the Kanmon Straits, with its powerful whirlpools. This is the world's first tank of this kind, so it has attracted considerable attention from aquariums around the world. In addition, the underwater tunnel with adorable penguins swimming by is worth seeing, as are the shows featuring performances by various marine creatures.
There are also precious exhibits that have been displayed here thanks to the cooperation of various facilities overseas, such as the full skeleton of a blue whale on loan from Tromsoe University Museum in Norway, and the Penguin Village, which has been designated as a special protection area (important breeding ground outside the normal habitat) for the Humboldt penguin by the Santiago Metropolitan Park in Chile.
Visitors can also enjoy an abundance of interactive events, as well as opportunities to touch the sea creatures and take photographs with them. These activities require advance booking on the day at the tour counter, with participation limited to one activity per person; reservations are on a first come, first served basis.
Address: 6-1 Arcaport, Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi
Hours open to visitors: 9:30-17:30 (admission until 17:00)
Admission Fee: 2,000 yen (adults), 900 yen (children), and 400 yen (preschool children)
Closed: Open all year round
Directions: By train: A 7-minute bus ride from Shimonoseki Station (on the JR Sanyo Line, 50 minutes away from Hakata Station, and 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Yamaguchiube Airport) using the Sanden Kotsu Bus bound for Karato, Chofu, or Yamanota. Get off at Kaikyokan-mae followed by a short walk to the destination.
By car: A 15-minute drive from Shimonoseki Interchange on the Chugoku Expressway