Ibaraki Prefectural Oarai Aquarium (Ibaraki) – Access, Hours & Fees

One of Japan’s largest aquariums

‘Aqua World Oarai Aquarium’ is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Ibaraki Prefecture and is one of Japan’s largest aquariums. ‘Aqua World’ opened in 2002 following the large-scale renovation of the Oarai Aquarium, combining elements of a museum and a science museum into a general museum of the sea. Aqua World is divided into 9 zones, each with its own distinctive exhibits. The ‘Oceanfront Zone’ offers dynamic shows, the ‘Rivers and Streams Zone’ reconstructs the rivers of Ibaraki and ‘Kids Land’ contains a petting zone and games. Each zone has its own charm and is sure to keep the whole family entertained.

A surprising variety of sharks!

More than 50 varieties of shark are bred at this aquarium, hence the shark on its logo. This is the only place in Japan to see this many varieties of shark in one place! The popular ‘Aquarium Expedition Tour’ allows you to view the sharks from above their tank. The ability to view the sharks directly without any glass in between is really compelling! The tour runs 3 times a day so be sure to check it out.

Japan’s largest Sunfish tank

The large sunfish tank is one of this aquarium’s best attractions. Containing 270 tonnes of water, this is the largest sunfish tank in Japan. At the moment you can watch 6 sunfish slowly swimming around in this oversized tank. It is apparently difficult to breed sunfish in large tanks because they are delicate and easily injured. However, at this aquarium they have bred sunfish successfully using strategies such as adding barriers made from vinyl to prevent collisions during feeding time. As a large tank is required to see the movement of the ocean sunfish and observe their interactions, the charm of this exhibit cannot be found elsewhere. Don’t miss the 3 meter-long stuffed sunfish!

Draw a picture or write a letter to the creatures of the aquarium!

This museum collects pictures and drawings for the creatures that live there. Apparently they have a monthly award where you can receive a free entry ticket! Selected submissions are posted on the website and they are all wonderful. Why not take a look at these pictures and letters to decide which creatures you want to see on your visit?

Getting here

Admission Tickets, Price

Fees General Early bird ticket(*) One-year pass
Adult 1,850 yen 1,670 yen 4,110 yen
Primary & middle school student 930 yen 830 yen 2,060 yen
Child (Ages 3 & over) 310 yen 280 yen 720 yen
Under 2 free
*The early bird ticket is available at some local shops around the aquarium. The list of the shops for the early bird ticket (in Japanese).

Opening Hours & Calendar

Hours
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Last entry 4:00 p.m.)
Days closed Please check the official website.

Official website

Ibaraki Prefectural Oarai Aquarium

FAQs

Nursing Lounge

The aquarium has a nursing room for babies.

Coin lockers

The aquarium has a coin-operated lockers.

Baby stroller rental service

Baby strollers are available free of charge.

Wheelchair rental service

Wheelchairs are available free of charge.