Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens – Medaka World (Nagoya, Aichi) – Access, Hours & Fees

The Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Garden is an historic zoo located in the city of Nagoya. Inside it, visitors will find ‘Medaka (Rice Fish) World’. The medaka might be very familiar to Japanese, but the Japanese rice fish is currently endangered and there is currently a strong push to protect and breed it. Here in Medaka World they conduct extensive research into the Japanese rice fish and about 150 other kinds of rice fish from around the world in order to undertake protective breeding. The staff here pour all their effort into raising these tiny fish, and watching them swimming around like tiny, glittering jewels might make you pause and think about the connection between nature and humans now and into the future.

A traditional Japanese scene in the entrance

Upon entering Medaka World the scene of a typical Japanese rice paddy stretches before you. The sound of flowing water can be heard as you observe Japanese rice fish and other water creatures that live in rice paddies. This scenery is very nostalgic for Japanese. Such landscapes are now rare, and the various Japan-specific creatures that live here are now endangered. This is explained in various locations around Medaka World.

Little lives from all over the world swimming before your eyes

About 150 kinds of rice fish are kept in Medaka World. This exhibition is very popular for its beauty and the apparent healing effect it has on visitors. So that the Medaka can live comfortably in the tanks, there are plenty of aquatic plants and stones for them to hide in. Watching them hide, swim, rest, and move around as a school reminds us of the power of a life force even within such a small body. The careful display of these tiny creatures can help us feel the significance of life in all its forms.

Have you heard about the ‘Nagoya Rice Fish’?

There is one type of rice fish in Medaka World known as the ‘Nagoya Rice Fish’. There is traditionally said to be only one type of rice fish in Japan, but now the there is a theory that there is a genetic difference between the rice fish of east and west Japan. These Nagoya rice fish cannot be found in the wild, so be sure to check them out here in their special corner.

In the gift shop in the garden, they sell a mini towel featuring illustrated rice fish!

For people who like rice fish, or original toys, this illustrated mini towel seems like the perfect souvenir. It has a blue, underwater background with two adorable rice fish printed on it. A rice fish print is quite unusual so be sure to check it out.

Getting here


Admission Tickets, Price

Fees General One-year pass
Adult (over high school student) 500 yen 2,000 yen
Middle school student & under free

Opening Hours & Calenda

9:00 a.m. – 4:50 p.m. (Last entry 4:30 p.m.)
Days closed Monday (if a Monday is a notional holiday, then the next day)
Dec 29 – Jan 1

Official website

Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens – Medaka World


Nursing Lounge

The aquarium has ten nursing rooms for babies.

Coin lockers

The aquarium has two coin-operated lockers.

Baby stroller rental service

Baby strollers are available at 300 – 500 yen per stroller.

Wheelchair rental service

Wheelchairs are available free of charge.