The Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium: A Deep Dive into Marine Life

Located in the heart of Nagoya, the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium is one of the city’s premier attractions, offering visitors of all ages a window into the marine world. Whether you’re a marine biology enthusiast, a family looking for an educational outing, or just someone curious about the mysteries of the deep blue sea, this aquarium is a destination worth exploring.

A Glimpse into the Aquarium

Established in 1992, the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium has earned a reputation for its impressive marine life collections and its dedication to conservation and research. It’s spread across two main buildings: the North Building and the South Building.

  1. North Building: A Journey from the Antarctic to the Arctic

The North Building focuses on the marine life journey from the Antarctic to the Arctic. As you start your tour, you’re greeted by penguins from the chilly waters of Antarctica. As you proceed, you’ll encounter creatures from different regions, including the massive Japanese spider crab from the deep-sea trenches and the adorable sea otters from the North Pacific. The journey culminates with a visit to the Arctic, where you can marvel at the white beluga whales gracefully swimming in their expansive tank.

  1. South Building: Dolphins and More

The South Building is perhaps best known for its dolphin performances. The main pool in this building can hold an impressive 3,000 tons of water, making it a fitting stage for the acrobatic displays by bottlenose dolphins. But the South Building is not just about entertainment. The dolphin lagoon also serves as an educational space where visitors can learn about dolphin behavior, their life cycle, and the importance of conserving their natural habitats.

Conservation and Research

The Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium is more than just an attraction—it plays a pivotal role in marine conservation. By breeding endangered species and researching marine ecosystems, the aquarium contributes significantly to preserving marine life. The facility is involved in various research programs that range from studies on the migratory patterns of marine animals to the effects of climate change on different species.

Interactive Experiences

One of the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium’s standout features is its array of interactive experiences. There are touch pools where visitors can feel the unique textures of starfish and sea cucumbers. Informative sessions with staff members are available for those keen on understanding marine life more deeply. They share insights about the different species, their diets, habits, and much more. The aquarium also organizes behind-the-scenes tours, providing a rare chance to witness the day-to-day operations and the care that goes into maintaining such a vast collection of marine life.

Visiting the Aquarium

If you’re planning a visit, here are a few practical tips:

  • Hours: The Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium generally operates from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., but hours may vary based on the season. It’s a good idea to check the official website for current timings and any special events.
  • Tickets: There’s an admission fee to enter the aquarium. Discounts are available for children, seniors, and groups. Again, the official website is the best place to get the most up-to-date ticket information.
  • Accessibility: The aquarium is wheelchair-friendly, and rental wheelchairs are available at the entrance. There are also baby strollers for rent, making it convenient for visitors with young children.
  • Dining: If you get hungry during your visit, restaurants and cafes within the aquarium premises offer a range of options, from full meals to quick snacks.

The Bottom of the Dive

The Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium is not just a place to see marine creatures but a hub of education, conservation, and research. It offers an immersive experience, transporting visitors from the cold regions of the Antarctic and Arctic to the tropical waters filled with vibrant fish and corals. If you ever find yourself in Nagoya, this aquarium is a must-visit spot, promising entertainment and enlightenment.


Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium

Where: Minato Ward, Minatomachi, 1-3  (map)


Yoshiki, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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