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“Great aquarium” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Toba Aquarium

Toba Aquarium
3-3-6 Toba, Toba 517-8517, Mie Prefecture
+81 599-25-2555
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Ranked #1 of 38 things to do in Toba
Useful Information: Stairs / elevator
Attraction details
Useful Information: Stairs / elevator
Houston
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great aquarium”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

This aquarium was a big surprise on our visit to Toba. It was large, kid friendly and entertaining. We stayed until closing and taxi's were scarce so be careful if you need transportation. Signs are in Japanese but that doesn't take away from the value of the aquarium.

Visited March 2013
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San Antonio, Texas
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
46 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
192 helpful votes 192 helpful votes
“Expensive and dated compared to other major Japanese aquariums”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

Toba Aquarium is one of the largest Japanese aquariums and includes 20,000 animals. Since its opening in 1955, it has received more than 50 million visitors. The aquarium is divided into 12 zones that reproduce various natural environments, including the local habitat of Ise-Shima, coral reefs, the ancient sea, and the mermaid sea (dugongs).

I visited two other large aquariums in Nagoya and Osaka; the Toba Aquarium was more expensive than either of these, and felt much more dated as well. You won't find the flashy topside dolphin and whale shows or interactive exhibits like I saw at other Japanese aquariums.

Overall, some of the tanks seemed too small, and the aquarium could definitely do with some updating. To be honest, I don't know if I'd make a return trip, since I felt that 2400 yen (something like $30+) was a bit too steep for what you get.

Visited May 2012
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Shanghai, China
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“One of the best in the world”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2011

I've been to a lot of Aquariums and this ranks as one of the best. Lots of different species and themes. Will take about 3 hours to get around.

The dolphin and seal show are good but the same as you might see anyway.

No cheap but it is Japan!

Visited November 2011
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Interesting aquarium tucked away in a small city”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2011

If you are in the Kansai region, better known for much bigger cities such as Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe, and consider yourself a fan of aquariums like I am, then Toba Aquarium is one of the most unique aquariums you may visit in terms of its architecture. However, Toba itself is 2 hours away from Osaka by the Kintetsu line, and I think the ticket costed me somewhere between 3000-4000 JPY for each trip- add the cost of the admission, and this is certainly not a cheap tourist attraction.

There are some interesting specimens here, such as a dugong (was a pair, but the other one passed away when I went) and a family of manatees, and I believe they were breeding nautili. For kids, the penguins, otters, sea lions, porpoises are probably more than enough to hold their attention.

The aquarium itself stretches in a long aisle right next to the sea, and it is one of the older museums as it was founded in 1955. As I mentioned, the architecture is quite interesting for an aquarium, definitely has the more old-fashioned feel to it. The aquarium also had a cafeteria, and while the food wasn't the greatest it was not expensive as well, and was good enough for me. All in all, I believe I spent about 2-3 hours here.

Would I visit this aquarium again? Hard to say. Its relative remoteness makes it hard to decide, especially when Kaiyukan, one of the best aquariums in the world (in my opinion) is right there in Osaka. However, there is some small town charm to this aquarium, even if I did not get the impression that there is much to do in Toba, other than the Mikimoto Pearl Island which is next door to the aquarium.

Visited February 2011
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