An aquarium in Japan isn’t just a place to watch fishes drift through big water tanks. It is a place where fun events are held and a place to actually get in touch with sea creatures. Starting this summer until fall, “Aqua Park Shinagawa” in Tokyo is attracting attention for its fantastic show of lights and music. It is a show that only takes place at night. “Aqua Park Shinagawa” is open until 22 o’clock – so, wait until it gets dark and then head to the aquarium!
To visit the “Aqua Park Shinagawa”, you exit JR Shinagawa station (Takanawa exit), cross the pedestrian crossing, and pass by the Shinagawa Prince Hotel. Usually, when I visit an aquarium, I go at daytime. this time, it was already getting dark outside when I approached the entrance of the aquarium. What a strange feeling!
Let’s go inside!
When you enter the aquarium, you’ll see a logo and some words written on the wall. It says: “HaNaBi aquarium by NAKED”. NAKED is a company specializing in 3D projection mapping and space design, which is attracting attention in Japan and abroad. This has to be great!
In the first area of the aquarium, images of digital fireworks are projected on the walls and on the floor. Over all, the whole aquarium is dim. This moody atmosphere feels quite comfortable and is also just right for a date.
Colorful fishes and colorful digital projections
One beautiful area is called “goldfish fireworks”. In this area, colorful fireworks and flower images (“fireworks” is “hanabi” in Japanese, which is a combination of the words “flower” and “fire” – therefore the flowers) are projected on the walls. Various goldfish types are swimming in aquariums that have Japanese wind chimes inside them. Wind chimes are a symbol of Japan’s summer. It is said that the sound of a wind chime is refreshing and cool.
The jellyfish room is also fun! Translucent jellyfish are swimming in circular aquariums in a room with mirrors on every wall, including the ceiling. Mystic music is playing while jellyfish are illuminated with lights of various colors. Everything is shining colorfully.
The night dolphin show is a masterpiece of lights!
The highlight of the “Night Aquarium” is the show “Night Dolphin Performance”. The show takes place at a round arena inside Aqua Park Shinagawa. It’s a 360° three-dimensional show using water, lights, smoke, and sound! The two shows at night are completely different and more spectacular than the daytime shows. The two 15-minute shows start at 19:30 and 20:30.
My impression of the show? I was totally overwhelmed! Fireworks and pictures of planets were displayed by projection mapping on both: the water curtain of the pool and all the walls of the arena. The 12.1 channel digital matrix sound is linked to the images shown. That made the firework feel even more real.
The show itself felt very Japanese. It was pop culture mixed with exciting light effects and great sound. It was an amazing show. Plus, the dolphins’ powerful jumps and performances were great, too! Also, the trainers’ Japanese style clothes were also cute.
For people who want to cool down in the hot summer: just sit near the pool. You’ll definitely get wet!
My first night aquarium experience was a truly wonderful. Spending time in the aquarium after sunset is very nice. The atmosphere is different, people are different. You get to look closer at the fish because you don’t feel rushed. As a date spot or as an evening event for the whole family – the night aquarium is highly recommended!
“HaNaBi Aquarium by NAKED” is being held from July 8th to October 1, 2017!
Aqua Park Shinagawa
4-10-30 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo (within the Shinagawa Prince Hotel)
About 2 minutes on foot from JR Shinagawa Station (Takanawa Exit)