Niigata City Aquarium Marinepia Nihonkai (Niigata) – Access, Hours & Fees

The Niigata City Aquarium also has the nickname ‘Marine Pier Japan Sea’. It is the largest aquarium on the Sea of Japan coastline of Honshu (Japan’s main island) with around 450 species and 20,000 living creatures.

Let’s unravel the history

Marine Pier Japan Sea was opened in 1967 and is the predecessor to Niigata City Aquarium. The museum was opened at the site of the Niigata Expo following reconstruction after the Niigata earthquake to mark the 100-year anniversary of the opening of Niigata port. The aquarium was relocated to the current site in 1990 due to the aging of the facilities. At this time, it was renamed ‘Niigata City Aquarium’ yet retained the nickname ‘Niigata City Aquarium Marine Pier Japan Sea’. It closed once more in 2012 for renovations and reopened in 2013. Clearly it is an aquarium that has been treasured by the city for a long time.

Popular dolphin shows!

Many aquariums have dolphin shows, but the dolphin show at ‘Marine Pier Japan Sea’ is known for its excellent commentary. The trainers give polite and easy to understand explanations during the dolphin show so that visitors don’t miss any highlights. They even give explanations about dolphin sounds, noses and more. The show is held year round so you can enjoy it whenever you visit. You might even have the chance to go up on stage! Up to five guests are invited up to touch the dolphins and give them signals in the show. It is a rare chance to have this experience.

The ‘Sea of Japan Large Tank’ is highly recommended

Following the dolphin show in popularity is a huge tank which recreates the Sea of Japan. As the name suggests, this large tank contains about 40 species of fish found in the Sea of Japan, including sardine, bonito, horse mackerel, rays and more. Below the tank is a ‘marine tunnel’ you can walk through, giving you the feeling of walking through the sea. The staff provide explanations here, too. In addition to explanations about the sea creatures in the exhibit they also provide easy to understand explanations about waves, water quality management and more.

Getting here


Admission Tickets, Price

Fees General One-year pass
Adults (senior high school students [age 15] and older) 1,500 yen 3,500 yen
Children (elementary school [age 6] to junior high school students [age 14]) 600 yen 1,300 yen
Young children (pre-school: ages 4 and 5) 200 yen 400 yen
Infants (age 3 and younger) free

Opening Hours & Calendar

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Last entry 4:30 p.m.
Days closed Dec 29 – Jan 1
1st Thursday and Friday in March

Official website

Niigata City Aquarium Marinepia Nihonkai


Nursing Lounge

The aquarium has a nursing room for babies. Hot water is available for infant formula.

Coin lockers

The aquarium has a coin-operated lockers.

Baby stroller rental service

Baby strollers are available free of charge (Total number: 22)

Wheelchair rental service

Wheelchairs are available free of charge (Total number: 22)