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Why Yokohama Omoshiro Aquarium is special ?
Yokohama Omoshiro Aquarium is a small but highly unusual aquarium right in the heart of Yokohama’s Chinatown. It cannot claim the world’s biggest fish tank, nor does it have penguin tour guides, but the Yokohama Omoshiro Aquarium (ヨコハマおもしろ水族館, Yokohama Omoshiro Suizokukan) just may be the funniest little aquarium you’ll ever lay eyes upon.
The aquarium was opened in 2004 by one of Japan’s top comedy and entertainment conglomerates, Yoshimoto Kogyo, the company behind Japanese comedy legends, Downtown. (For this reason, you may sometimes find it called the Yoshimoto Omoshiro Suizokukan.) This unusual pairing of a comedy company and an aquarium has resulted in one of the most unexpectedly charming hidden gems in the Yokohama area.
What to explore at Yokohama Omoshiro Aquarium?
The first thing visitors will notice upon entering the facility is that it bears a striking resemblance to a Japanese elementary school. From shoe boxes full of fish, to watery mini classrooms, it’s clear that this was designed as a spot for both learning and fun. The school theme extends throughout the building with a gymnasium, music room, toilets, and even the dreaded principal’s office.
As the Japanese name might suggest (‘omoshiro‘ means interesting, or amusing), the Omoshiro Suizokukan is not in the business of taking itself too seriously. The majority of the exhibits in the building either involve some kind of pun or visual sight gag.
How to get to Yokohama Omoshiro Aquarium?
Five minutes on foot from JR Ishikawa Chuo station (Negishi line). Take the Chukagai exit, go straight, over the bridge and into Chinatown. The museum is on the right side of Chinatown Main Street, near the Zenrin-Mon Gate.
- Fun for the wee ones
- Huge fish aquarium
- Baby fish aquarium
- Nice kids play room
- Funny aquarium
Japan 〒231-0023 神奈川県横浜市 中区山下町１４４
Tips for you
Listed as "baby fish aquarium" on the Yokohama English Visitors Guide/Map. Many of the tanks had games you could play to guess what type or class of fish was in the tank. All signage for the games were in Japanese, but the kids aren't reading yet anyway, so they just had fun playing with the magnets and looking at all the fish in the tanks. There is a huge variety of fish throughout the aquarium, but the best part was at the end. There is a kids play room with a climbing frame (with tanks they climb by and over) as well as a tank that is an arch the kids can crawl under as well as slide down! There is a book case with ladders permanently secured where they can climb up and look in at more fish tanks. Almost all the tanks in this area were positioned so our youngest (almost 3) could easily see them. We could have spent several hours there easily. Had to drag the kids away for dinner. They have 4 restrooms...2 for adults and 2 specifically designed for little ones with little sinks, toilets, etc. Overall a very child friendly place to visit.