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“Another guilty pleasure”
Review of Otaru Aquarium

Otaru Aquarium
Ranked #2 of 179 things to do in Otaru
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed 30 September 2013

This time if Green Peace has anything to say about it, I will be going to hell. I admit sea mammals should live in the wild.....At least their cells should be bigger and more natural looking. I still enjoyed it. I was charmed by the exploitive tricks they made the sea mammals do. I am totally evil for enjoying buying buckets of fish then throwing it to the seals to eat. I was a little concerned why were all the seals' left eyes diseased. The left eyes were swollen, deformed and blind. I really hope these were rescued animals rather than trapped animals injured by their exploitation.

2  Thank kanikani2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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50 - 54 of 309 reviews

Reviewed 11 August 2013

We visited the Otaru Aquarium in mid July 2013 as a day trip from Sapporo. I've been a few times previously many years ago, but nothing has changed really. This time I took my 11 year old daughter, and Japanese family friends brought their 5 and 8 year old girls. This Aquarium is a bit out of the way, and sits on top of a hill with a very steep incline to walk up there. The view from the top is quite stunning of the whole bay. It's not as large as some of the other Aquariums I've visited in the world, but it's a nice size and a great family atmosphere for kids of various ages. A lot of locals tend to visit, and it feels less touristy to me then some other parts of Otaru. There are a variety of sea life exhibits inside, from giant sea turtles, to sturgeon, sharks, sting rays, even otters with a passageway you can view in the floor to their "den". We all enjoyed wandering around the marine life and exploring. Outside and down another steep hillside is the outdoor pen area and sea lion, walrus, and penguin shows. They're entertaining, though not shaded in the hot summer sun, so bring a hat or umbrella. Check the schedule for the times of the shows to catch everything you might want to see. The view from the ocean is beautiful down there as well. "Touch Tanks" are also a place where kids can handle various sea life such as star fish or small crabs. There is an escalator that makes ascending back up the cliff side fast which we were grateful for. We also caught a Dolphin show, though it was quite crowded. A quick peek in a gift shop and some soft cream made our day complete. All the children were content and satisfied with our visit. Our ticket into the Aquarium came with a coupon for a free ride at the cheesy little amusement park next door to the Aquarium. My daughter chose the "swings" but the ride lasted literally 2 minutes if that and was disappointing. I'd beware if you have small children who might want to ride every ride and waste a lot of money. Very expensive in there. Overall I'd say this Aquarium is a highlight of any visit to Otaru and I'd definitely go back in the years to come.

3  Thank Ariella35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2013

There are lots of kids and teenagers visitors. We are of one the few tourists to stopover since its located pretty remotely.

If you get those tour bus pass, then you can access to this place easily. Otherwise, you can still wait for the public buses if you don't drive.

Since its locsted at a top of a hill/mountain, the view is excellent. You can view the sea and feel the strong winds.

There are lots of fishes ie dolphins, sharks, sting rays and some animals.

But it close pretty early.

1  Thank MOUSEAK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2013

Always delightful to watch marine life and performances. It's average compared to other aquariums around the world. However, the view outside the aquarium is very pretty. You can see the Herring Museum at a distance and it's about 15 to 20 minutes walk to the Former Aoyama Villa. So, it's worthwhile to make a visit to the area.

1  Thank vicott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 June 2013

Getting to the Aquarium is an easy trip using the local bus from the bus-station - the Aquarium being the terminus, and it is interesting to see residential rather than tourist areas along the route. (The Otaru tourist map/info gives great information about use of local bus, etc. - make sure you pick one up, either from your hotel or from the Tourist Info Centre down by the canal.) It is a small aquarium, but well maintained and a pleasure to walk around, and it schedules some good demonstrations/shows. It is a steep walk down to sea-level pools, but with an escalator to get you back up to the main exhibit area. Lovely views across the bay and town. (If mobility is a problem for you, you need to be aware of a lot of steps up to the aquarium (or a fairly steep slope) from the bus stop.

3  Thank taffandhubby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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