Sunshine City Aquarium, Planetarium and Observatory [23 June 1999]
Located in the Sunshine City complex in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, on the 10th floor of the "World Import Mart" (color coded pink on the maps that you can find inside the building), this aquarium is a little different from the other four Tokyo aquariums located in Kasai Rinkai Koen, Tokyo Tower, Shinagawa and Skytree. It has the easiest train access and the choice of visiting a planetarium. The observatory is a look-out like Tokyo Tower, 240 meters tall but you stand at 227 meters.
On offer are some excellent exhibits including a tank holding 120 tons of water into which a diver drops to feed the fish every hour on the half hour from 10:30 - 17:30. There is a performing seals show at 11:45, 13:45, 14:45 and 15:45 with an extra show scheduled at 12:45 on Sundays and Holidays.
The immensely huge, deep water spider crabs from Izu bay are particularly impressive. Also on view is a collection of frogs as well as a few animals that are not really water dwellers, such as toucans, flamingos, snails, iguanas, and, just for fun, a couple of snakes. There is also a special exhibit of fish and other animals found in Cuba. A few jellyfish viewed under special lighting take on the aura of fairy tale creatures. On Mondays in particular (if not during school holidays), there seem to be the lowest numbers of visitors allowing a relatively calm visit.
The aquarium is also available for party rental from about 19:00-21:00 during non-holidays.
The Sunshine City complex includes a large assortment of restaurants to choose from on the 3rd floor including Baikal serving up Russian borscht, pirogues and stroganoff! On the 5th floor of the World Import Mart building there is a store selling things produced in Japanese prisons called CAPIC. You can also get in a shopping spree to Toys R' Us, GAP Kids, Britches and Talbots, if your kids are old enough to do the aquarium alone!
Overnight Adventure Tour For Kids
Every summer, during the school holidays, the Sunshine International Aquarium holds overnight adventure tours for pairs of primary school students and their parents during summer holidays. Features will include visits to private areas of the aquarium, feeding fish, and touching creatures, such as a penguin or a shark, and a quiz. Participants will also have a chance to sleep by the tanks to observe creatures during the night.
20 pairs (1 kid and 1 parent) per session.
Year 2000 application deadlines: July 9 for first two sessions and July 20 for last two sessions.
Last year they divided the dates into "Younger Group" and "Older Group" Sessions, but this year all ages from first to sixth grades will be allowed on all dates:
To apply, send a reply-paid postcard (oufuku-hagaki) * with the child's name, age, birth date, school name, year and preferable date for the night tour to:
Yoru no Tankentai (Overnight Adventure)
Postcards will go into a lottery (chusen). Twenty pairs will be chosen per session.
Send a new card for each date desired.
For more info (Japanese only): 03-3989-3466 (from 10:00 - 18:00)
*A reply-paid postcard (oufuku-hagaki) is a double postcard so the recipient can reply to you easily. You can buy these at the post office. You stamp both pieces and address the reply card to yourself. Postcard postage is 50 yen.
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