Kyoto’s sole aquarium where you can learn while enjoying it
The aquarium is located 15 minutes away on foot from Kyoto Station’s central exit. Kyoto Aquarium is located in the popular urban oasis of Umekouji Park. Within the facility, you can start from the Main Pool where you view sea life from 7 spots including a cave and a fish-eye lens as one of the 12 exhibition areas. With a five-storied pagoda far off in the distance, you can also enjoy the dolphin show. You may be thinking “Why would I head for an aquarium in the 1000-year-old former capital of Kyoto?” However, you can deepen your knowledge about Kyoto from a different angle from history and culture.
Kyoto’s nature and woodland scenery have been recreated
First on the menu are the two different water tanks with motifs of the Kamo and Yura Rivers. At this Rivers of Kyoto Zone, the nature of Kyoto is realistically recreated. Of note inside are the living fossils of Japanese giant salamanders which have been designated as the nation’s Special Natural Monuments. You can witness these animals which are native to the Kamo River flowing within Kyoto. There is also the Kyoto Woodland Zone which recreates the woodland area just outside of Kyoto. You can see the unspoiled landscape from the good old days of Japan with animals such as catfish, carp and frogs living in the terraced rice fields and irrigation canals.
Finish up with the full spectrum of Kyoto cuisine
After exploring the 12 areas, take a break at the Harvest Café. There are Kyoto snacks that cannot be sample anywhere else. The Kyoto pickle dog is a hot dog that uses Suguki pickles which is a winter delicacy in Kyoto. Enjoy the crunchiness of the Suguki pickles, the softness of the buns and the texture of the sausage. The Kyoto-made tofu ice cream is also a hit. The full sweetness of the soybeans and the mellow mouth-feel of the ice cream make it a superb treat. At the museum shop, there are plenty of limited items under a collaboration of the Kyoto Aquarium and Kyoto-based brands. Try some of these offbeat souvenirs.