Port of Nagoya Aquarium

Sean: This will likely be the least conventional post on the website so far. Unlike every other post, this will not be about a theme park nor a place that features a roller coaster. Instead, this report is about one of our favorite aquariums. The Port of Nagoya (Public) Aquarium is a combination of a state-of-the-art marine life park/stadium and a classic aquarium! You know we love SeaWorld, this is as close as we got in Japan!

– Over the years, many of our images have popped up on other sites and forums, awesome that our coverage spreads, not so awesome that not everyone mentioned where they got the images from. We are totally fine with our audience using our images, BUT ONLY IF credit is given to californiacoasterkings.com. Thank you! –

Due to typhoon Trami creating havoc at Parque España (where we were planning on going for the day), and set to hit Nagoya shortly after, we only had a few hours of storm-free weather to work with. The Port of Nagoya Aquarium had always been on my to-do list, due to my love for Orcas. The aquarium opened for the first few hours of the day, prior to the typhoon hitting, and thus we took the chance to enjoy the calm before the storm at the aquarium.

This aquarium has the most impressive entry of any aquarium I have ever been to. Upon entry to the aquarium, which is located in the newer North building, the first thing you will see is walls of glass all around you with dolphins, belugas, and orcas.

Japan isn’t particularly well-known for their animal welfare, but the animals at the aquarium all seemed well taken care of. The newest bottlenose dolphin family member was visible from the entry to the aquarium as well.

Real dolphin meet fake dolphin that cleans your tank.

The North facilities, which exists out of a giant stadium setup with 6+ back pools and a massive show pool and an indoor multi-pool beluga exhibit, is the pride of the aquarium. 

Due to the approaching typhoon there were only 2 dolphin shows during our visit and one orca demonstration, so we made sure to catch the first dolphin show first. It was educational (though hard to follow with a lack of English translation at some points) and the staff was wonderful.

Quite unique are the aquariums’s Pacific White Sided Dolphins, which had an important role in the show. 

The aquarium also has a very impressive collection of bottlenose dolphins. Though the show only featured roughly six of them, surrounding exhibit pools featured plenty more.

The show was very state-of-the art with several underwater cameras, and camera crew members around the stadium. We were quite impressed. 

The sheer size of the show pool dwarfed these dolphins. 

Overall we were very impressed with the dolphin show and the facilities so far, and we had yet to see any sort of orca demonstration. Before the orca demonstration we made our way over to the South building that features the original aquarium and is nicely connected to the entrance of the aquarium in the North building. 

One of the first exhibits in the south building is the sea of sardines, which is a relatively large aquarium with a ton of fish moving in a school. 

This aquarium likes touch pools as several can be found around the exhibits.

Alex is also a fan of these aquariums and really seemed to enjoy photographing some of the displays. Seahorses! 

Octopuses are low-key aliens… 

I could just write that every sea creature is very cute, as the ones seen below. But the Port of Nagoya Aquarium has a deep-sea exhibit with actual fossils and preserved fish from the deep-sea, and rather than cute they are terrifying.

This giant crab is almost as terrifying. The kid seems to be running away from it, and I would have too. 

The beginning of the exhibits in the South building are nothing to really write home about. But the rest of the South building on the other hand had some impressive exhibits to look at. In particular the tropical fish aquariums, one of their specialties. 

Several large aquariums with underwater viewing, wave machines and plenty of beautiful well-maintained coral and sea-life welcomed us next.

That’s a big shark! 

What made the tropical aquariums even more spectacular and special are the sheer amount of smaller aquariums. 

There are also several opportunities to look at the big tank from several angles. 

Lots of information on fishes with prime lighting made these aquariums some of our favorites. We spent quite some time in this particular section of the South building. 

And we found Nemo….

The final aquarium of the exhibit was a detailed coral reef with lots of rare sea-life.

Absolutely breathtaking. 

The aquarium really is not that large, but it’s quality over quantity here. We were impressed with what they fit in here.

After departing the tropical fish section you get to see the whole reef from above!

The aquarium is currently building a big new turtle experience with several environments and pools, so currently they only have a few small displays scattered throughout the construction zone. 

One of the aquarium’s original turtle aquariums is open for guests to enjoy during the construction project. 

No aquarium is complete without a penguin exhibit. Just saying. 

This penguin exhibit was much like others we’ve visited around the world. It wasn’t quite as exciting as SeaWorld Orlando’s, but at least I didn’t have to fear one of them jumping off a rock onto me.

New for this year is the aquarium’s impressive jellyfish exhibit. This seems to be the new craze around the world, much like Ocean Park Hong Kong‘s Jelly Spectacular.

Thanks to the aquarium’s dedication to education this exhibit felt more impressive. This exhibit featured a lab where guests can see and learn about every stage of the jellyfish lifecycle. 

The smallest phase is almost impossible to see with the naked eye. This was a very cool set up. 

The state of the art glass circular displays were awesome too. Much like every exhibit here, it isn’t particularly large but it’s certainly impressive!

Hey it’s me.! Jellyception.

The older touch pool next to the gift store kind of gives you an idea what style of older aquarium this is. Lots of small tiles and classic architecture that was once very modern. 

Upon return to the North building we learned that the stadium show pool had an underwater stadium as well. We got to watch the second dolphin show from below the surface!

Me trying to connect with creatures of the ocean. This underwater stadium shows off the sheer size of this aquarium’s main show pool. The show pool doubles as living habitat for most dolphins giving them lots of room compared to some other institutions. 

We of course had to catch the orca demonstration with Stella and her daughter Nagoya-born Lynn. The aquarium’s bull (male orca) Earth was in the larger back exhibit.

The aquarium does not do orca shows, but rather hosts smaller demonstrations for visitors to get an up-close look at the orcas.

It was a bit unorganized and meant to be seen from either below or above the surface. Again the lack of english in this case was a tad restricting. 

Lynn!!! <3 The aquarium’s pride and true. The sheer amount of “I <3 Lynn” merchandise is awesome. Of course we bought some. 

And with that we say goodbye to the Port of Nagoya Aquarium, one of my favorite aquariums around. Their orcas and dolphins are well taken care of and when in the area we definitely advise you visit the aquarium. It’s refreshing to experience such a new state-of-the-art stadium/aquarium set up (North building).

Thank you for checking out this rather unusual site post! We have lots of coasters and theme park-ness from our travels to Asia on our Asia page. Here are some of the newest:

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