Shirahama Aquarium, Kyoto University (Wakayama) – Access, Hours & Fees

The Kyoto University Shirahama Aquarium is attached to the Seto Marine Laboratory of the Field Science Education and Research Center of Kyoto University. It is one of few aquariums operated by a university. It was opened in 1922 before opening to the general public in 1930. This is one of Japan’s leading aquariums, exhibiting about 500 species of aquatic life from around Shirahama including approximately 400 kinds of invertebrates. Although the atmosphere is different from that of a general amusement aquarium, a visit here feels like stepping inside an encyclopedia.

This is the place to see invertebrates!

In this aquarium you can see and read about many creatures you might not typically have the chance to observe closely, such as sea urchin and starfish. Marine invertebrates are exhibited by classification group. You can see rare cnidaria such as corals and jellyfish, echinoderms such as shellfish and octopus, arthropods such as starfish, sea urchin and sea cucumber, and creatures that are not typically exhibited in aquariums such as ribbon worms and sea roaches.

See many migratory fish and sharks in a large tank weighing 240 tons

In the first room, migratory fish such as amberjack and yellowtail swim with sharks in a large tank. The third room exhibits creatures that are difficult to have on permanent exhibition due to their seasonality, and the fourth room exhibits a variety of marine fish according to their various marine environment and classification group, such as blowfish and red seabream.

Learn about the sea of Shirahama

Surprisingly, there is still much we do not know about the sea of Shirahama. This aquarium posts its research findings for visitors to read and updates them as new developments are made. Shirahama is a popular spot for scuba diving, and a visit here after a dive will further deepen your enjoyment of the sea.

Experience fish feeding time during limited periods

On certain days during spring and summer vacation it is possible to join the staff in feeding the fish in the big tank. Other popular events are the commentary and backyard tours conducted by the staff, and the ‘Tidal Flats Observation Tour’ held outside by the sea. It is a good idea to check the website in advance of your visit

Getting here


Admission Tickets, Price

Fees General
Adult (Ages 15+) 600 yen
Child (Ages 6-14) 200 yen
Child (Ages 5 & under) free

Opening Hours & Calendar

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Last entry 4:30 p.m.
Days closed Open throughout the year

Official website

Shirahama Aquarium, Kyoto University


Nursing Lounge

Not available.

Coin lockers

The aquarium has a coin-operated lockers.

Baby stroller rental service

Not available. The aquarium is stroller friendly.

Wheelchair rental service

Wheelchairs are available free of charge.