Tokyo SkyTree’s Marine Exhibit
Sumida Aquarium is a marine exhibit located on the 5th and 6th floors of Solamachi shopping mall, at the foot of Tokyo SkyTree in Sumida ward, in the north-east of the capital. The place provides a nice outing with plenty of sea creatures to admire, such as jellyfish, several kinds of goldfish and a small colony of penguins and fur seals.
Sumida Aquarium's theme is "the cradle of life" and offers an insight on the aquatic life of plants, corals, jellyfish, mollusks, small fishes, and other miniature marine life forms. Exhibitions spaces are immersed in a soft darkness allowing to enjoy plentifully the view inside the tanks. The LED lighting and the sound ambiance are carefully crafted to incite contemplation.
Most of the species presented in the aquarium originate from waters near Tokyo, and especially from the prefecture’s islands, of which the wild and preserved Ogasawara islands.
Located on the lower floor, the second part of the visit course is an interesting final part, between the great tank standing proudly, and the vast space dedicated to penguins and fur seals. The facility was thoroughly designed to give different views on the animals’ daily life, be they on the rocks or in the water. Visitors’ path stretches in front and above the animals. A café also welcomes customers for a snack, with fancy specialties such as a twinkling cotton-candy.
This aquarium’s interesting aspect lies in its laboratory-like features. There are three places, dispatched in each visit space, where it is possible to watch professional animal keeper at work and even ask them questions. However, these laboratories can also be unoccupied, without further explanation.
Of a modest size, Sumida Aquarium aims at being intimate and quiet. It is well-suited for families with young children and couples, but not so much for groups of friends looking for a marine show. Several benches are dispatched along the visit path. The aquarium, even if frequently crowded and a bit expensive, can make for a nice outing if its visit is combined with the observation deck and the shopping mall.