MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

Rooftop Sunshine City Aquarium at Ikebukuro

Like zoos, aquariums are also top of my list when visiting any city. The Sunshine International Aquarium is an intriguing rooftop aquarium located on the top floor of the World Import Mart Building, in Sunshine City.

image

Sunshine City at Ikebukuro

The curiously named Sunshine City is a complex of four buildings dedicated to shopping and is so named since it's like a city within these buildings. It's perhaps worth a visit if you truly enjoy perusing all forms of retail therapy, though you can relax in a restaurant or bar if you're on the way to check out attractions like the aquarium.

The Sunshine International Aquarium

The Sunshine International Aquarium houses more than twenty thousand fish though like all aquariums I've visited, feels smaller than it really is. However, the attractive tank displays, shows and the mix of sea life that included mammals, makes this Japanese attraction a little special. Check out this video to get a flavour:



The aquarium is split into two halves, the first containing all the main sea life tanks, displayed over two floors, and the second collecting a series of mammals in an outdoor, half open air section. Some of the mammals in the video below:



Following the guide map route, we entered the first floor of the sea life tanks, named the "Wilderness of the Sea". Japanese sardines, a coral reef, a Baikal Seal (housed in a pretty small tank I thought) and sea otters flank the central features: two circular aquariums, one for deep sea and the other for the subtropical.

image

Tank Feeding Display

Our timing must have been perfect since a few minutes upon entering, a feeding display began in the larger subtropical circular aquarium. A narrator positioned herself outside the tank whilst a diver submerged into it.



Between them, they proceeded to introduce the fish in the tank (in Japanese) and the diver fed them pieces of food, in full view of the captive audience, enabling excellent photo taking opportunities. A quarter hour later, and my view of the superb Japanese attention to detail and hospitality only strengthened.

image

image

Wandering around the rest of the first floor revealed some great inhabitants such as these larger than life Japanese Giant Crabs - fearsome in full view.

image

A single, infant cuttlefish was lit brightly to illuminate its internal workings.

image

Check this video below for both this cuttlefish and the Japanese Giant Crabs:



This large fresh water fish sported some solid-looking textures on its head and body.

image

The ubiquitous jellyfish display was particularly beautifully lit, encouraging me to snap away at the gently swaying forms.

image

image

image



The second floor was labelled "Nature in Every Respect" and tropical rain forest props composed tanks and plant life together to present frogs, lizards and snakes as well as lots more fish.

image

image

A live octopus caught my attention and it was at this point that I'd realised that I'd never seen one in real life before.

image

Live Show

After viewing the double-floored first half of the aquarium, we made our way towards the second outdoor half, pausing in between to take a seat to watch a live stage show that was taking place.

image

image

If you've been to an aquarium before, you'll know what to expect. Teams of seals and penguins were present to perform clever feats of training. In true Japanese-style, the cute factor was encouraged with young audience participation. Hoops were thrown towards agile-necked seals who easily captured them.

image

Check this video below for some of the action...



The second outdoor half of the aquarium, was more akin to a zoo, housing pelicans, a parrot, the curious-looking mara and a snoozing armadillo.

image

An active lemur also sprang about its open enclosure eventually resting high up in a corner away from visitors.

image

Finally, there was a "penguin" beach, home to about fifty Cape Penguins. Viewable from the front and side, I particularly loved shooting the cascading water over the side view glass, which resulted in this blurred effect.

image

Penguin Feeding Show

image

Again, we were in time to watch another feeding session, and the keepers opened a doorway from the penguin beach which enabled the little, short dudes to waddle out and down a guided path towards a feeding area (called Minna Island). A keeper served out fish to the penguins who followed dilligently in view of the seated audience.



image

More photos from the Sunshine International Aquarium in Ikebukuro


This entry posted in : Attractions. Entertainment. Japan. Tourism.

If you found this post interesting, connect with us on Twitter and Facebook!
  Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

← Previous Entry Next Entry →