Kyoto Tourist Attractions: How to enjoy Kyoto Aquarium

sightseeing

INTRODUCTION

Kyoto Aquarium is a unique tourist attraction located in Kyoto City and a fun place for families, couples, and independent travelers alike. Opened in 2012, the aquarium is known as the first inland aquarium in Japan. Using the latest technology, the aquarium exhibits marine and freshwater creatures in a natural environment, providing visitors with surprises and excitement.

The main attraction of the Kyoto Aquarium is its diverse exhibits and interactive experiences. With more than 15,000 organisms representing over 500 species on display, visitors can get up close and personal with a wide variety of creatures, from popular animals such as dolphins, seals, and penguins, to freshwater fish from the local Kamogawa River.

The Kyoto Aquarium also regularly hosts dolphin shows and seal performances, which are especially popular with children. In addition to shows, the aquarium also offers a variety of activities that allow visitors to interact with the animals, such as feeding the animals and backyard tours.

The museum also has an exhibit area that blends traditional Kyoto aesthetics with modern design, allowing visitors to enjoy a cultural experience that is more than just an aquarium. For example, in an area that resembles a Japanese-style garden, visitors can observe carp, turtles, and other uniquely Japanese creatures and experience Kyoto’s culture and nature.

Furthermore, the museum has a café and restaurant where visitors can enjoy dishes and sweets made with local ingredients. At the souvenir store, visitors can purchase original goods and Kyoto’s unique specialties to find something memorable.

The Kyoto Aquarium offers a special experience during your visit to Kyoto. Enjoy your time here, where history, nature, and entertainment combine to create an enjoyable experience. When you visit Kyoto, be sure to visit the Kyoto Aquarium and enjoy all that it has to offer.

History and culture of a tourist attraction

Although the Kyoto Aquarium is a relatively new tourist attraction, opened in 2012, its establishment has a deep historical background and cultural characteristics. As Japan’s first inland aquarium, the aquarium incorporates advanced technology and an ecological approach to its location in Kyoto City, far from the sea.

Behind the establishment of the Kyoto Aquarium is a strong awareness of the need to protect and educate the local natural environment. The aquarium’s extensive exhibits focus on the local ecosystem, including freshwater fish from the Kamo River and amphibians from Kyoto’s mountains. This allows visitors to learn about Kyoto’s natural environment and understand the importance of protecting it.

The Kyoto Aquarium also integrates itself with traditional Kyoto culture. For example, the exhibit area of the aquarium features a space that resembles a Japanese-style garden, and exhibits unique Japanese creatures such as carp and turtles. This creates a space where Kyoto culture and nature are in harmony, offering visitors a special experience.

Furthermore, the Kyoto Aquarium respects local culture and traditions and values its partnership with the community. Through educational programs with local schools and events for local residents, the Aquarium deepens its ties with the community.

Places to Visit

Kyoto Aquarium is a sightseeing spot that can be enjoyed throughout the year, but the best times to visit are spring and fall. In spring, the surrounding cherry blossoms bloom beautifully, and in fall, the leaves turn red. During these seasons, the weather is mild and ideal for sightseeing.

Main attractions and popular spots for sightseeing

Dolphin Stadium

One of the main attractions of the Kyoto Aquarium is the Dolphin Stadium. Here, dolphin performance shows are held on a regular basis, where visitors can watch the dolphins’ spectacular jumps and adorable gestures. The shows are fun for children and adults alike, and the interactivity with the audience is also an attraction.

Kyoto Area of the Sea

This area exhibits the diverse marine life that inhabits the Sea of Japan. Sharks, stingrays, and colorful tropical fish swim around in a large tank, overwhelming visitors with their power and beauty. Especially if you visit during feeding time, you can see the fish actively moving, which is very powerful.

Kyoto River Area

This area exhibits freshwater fish and amphibians that live in the local Kamo and Yura Rivers. In this area, which recreates the natural environment of Kyoto, visitors can also learn about conservation efforts for endangered species. It is a good opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the local ecosystem.

Penguin Zone

In the Penguin Zone, visitors can observe adorable penguins swimming freely up close. This is a very popular area for children, with exhibits on the ecology and characteristics of penguins. If you visit during the penguin feeding time, you can enjoy an even more fun experience.

Points to note at tourist attractions

  • Avoid crowds: We recommend visiting on weekday mornings or evenings, as it gets very crowded on weekends and holidays.
  • Purchase tickets: Purchase tickets in advance online to reduce waiting time on site.
  • Clothing: The museum is air-conditioned, but there are outdoor areas such as the Dolphin Stadium, so please dress appropriately for the season.
  • Photography: Flash photography is prohibited in some exhibits, so please follow local instructions.

Access

Access to the Kyoto Aquarium is very convenient and can be easily reached from Kyoto Station. Below are the directions from Kyoto Station to Kyoto Aquarium.

Access from Kyoto Station

The Kyoto Aquarium is located approximately 15 minutes on foot from Kyoto Station. Access on foot is most convenient, but buses and cabs are also available.

Using foot

Exit Kyoto Station through the central exit (Karasuma Exit) and proceed in a northwesterly direction. Walk west on Shichijo Street toward Umekoji Park, and you will see Kyoto Aquarium on your right. The trip takes about 15 minutes.

By Bus

  • Take a city bus from the Kyoto Station bus stop:
  • Take city bus No. 205 or 208 and get off at the “Shichijo Omiya/Kyoto Aquarium-mae” stop. The trip takes about 10 minutes. From the bus stop to the aquarium is an approximately 5-minute walk.
  • From the Kyoto Station bus stop, take city bus No. 104 or No. 206 and get off at the Umekoji Koen/Kyoto Railway Museum-mae stop. The trip takes about 10 minutes. From the bus stop to the aquarium is an approximately 3-minute walk.

By Taxi

It takes about 5 minutes from Kyoto Station to Kyoto Aquarium by cab. Cabs are convenient if you have a lot of luggage or if the weather is bad. Cab stands are located right outside the central exit (Karasuma Exit) of Kyoto Station.

Bicycle Rental

Bicycle rentals are widely available in Kyoto. One option is to rent a bicycle near Kyoto Station and ride it to the Kyoto Aquarium. The trip takes about 10 minutes. Bicycle transportation is recommended as it allows you to enjoy the scenery of Kyoto while sightseeing.

Hours of Operation and Admission Fees

When visiting the Kyoto Aquarium, it is advisable to check information about operating hours and admission fees in advance to ensure a smooth sightseeing experience. Below are details about the Kyoto Aquarium’s hours of operation and admission fees.

Business Hours

The Kyoto Aquarium’s regular hours of operation are as follows

Weekdays

  • 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (last admission at 5:00 p.m.)
    Saturday and Sunday
  • 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (last admission at 6:00 p.m.)

Hours of operation are subject to change depending on the season and events. It is recommended to check the official website for the latest information before visiting.

Admission Fees

Admission fees for the Kyoto Aquarium are as follows

  • Adults (including university students): 2,400 yen (18 years and older)
  • High school students: 1,800 yen (ages 15-18)
  • Junior high and elementary school students: 1,200 yen (ages 6-15)
  • Infants (3 years old and up): 800 yen (3 to 6 years old)

Special Exhibits and Events

Special exhibitions and events are held periodically at Kyoto Aquarium. Special exhibitions may require an additional fee in addition to the regular admission fee. Please check the official website for the schedule and fees for special exhibitions and events.

Summary

Opened in 2012, Kyoto Aquarium is Japan’s first inland aquarium, with more than 15,000 organisms of over 500 species on display. The museum exhibits a diverse range of creatures, from popular animals such as dolphins, seals, and penguins to freshwater fish from the local Kamo River, with the dolphin show being a particular highlight. If you visit in spring or fall, you can also enjoy the surrounding cherry blossoms and autumn leaves.

The museum also has an exhibition area that resembles a Japanese-style garden, allowing visitors to experience Kyoto’s culture and nature. In addition, there are a variety of cafes, restaurants, and souvenir stores where visitors can enjoy dishes made with local ingredients. Special exhibitions and events are held regularly, and an additional fee is required for special exhibitions.

The Kyoto Aquarium is a special place to experience during your visit to Kyoto. We invite you to enjoy the nature and culture of Kyoto through beautiful exhibits and interactive experiences.