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Photo By: PIXTA/ ⭐️JUN⭐️
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Aquas Shimane Aquarium

Famous for its beluga whales, this aquarium will entertain young and old alike with its extensive aquatic life and superb performances.  

By Elizabeth Sok

Located in western Japan’s Shimane Prefecture is the vibrant Aquas Shimane Aquarium. Famous for its beluga whales, this aquarium will entertain young and old alike with its extensive aquatic life and superb performances.

Opened in 2000 in Iwami Seaside Park, the Aquas Shimane Aquarium faces the beautiful Sea of Japan and is home to a diversity of sea life. Consisting of three floors, this fully wheelchair-accessible and family-friendly facility is divided into several aquatic zones where you can view a range of marine habitats such as the Sea of Japan, Iwami Manyo Seashore (featuring local fish and sea creatures which can be found on the beaches of Shimane), coral reefs and the Amazon rainforest.

The aquarium also boasts a range of popular sea animals, such as penguins, sharks, rays and turtles, as well as belugas, seals and California sea lions who also put on daily performances. Visitors with children will also be delighted to find the bright and colorful indoor playground. After seeing everything the aquarium offers, there is also a well-stocked gift shop to buy the perfect souvenir, such as the fan favorite, beluga plush toys.


Photo by: PIXTA/BlackRabbit3 The aquarium’s main attraction.

Originating from the Arctic Ocean, the beloved beluga whales are this aquarium’s main attraction. The belugas conduct daily performances in their expansive pool which visitors can enjoy while watching them in the theater-like indoor seating area. Along with their scuba-geared trainer, several belugas entertain audiences by spinning, waving, passing balls to one another and producing water rings using their blowholes. The seal and sea lion performance is also not to be missed as the animals display their many talents, like ball balancing, ring toss catching and much more.

Aquatic Biodiversity

Aquas Shimane Aquarium

Photo by: PIXTA/⭐️JUN⭐️ Two floors of penguin cuteness.

A popular area in the aquarium is the Undersea Tunnel, a 1000-ton, panoramic tank that contains several varieties of sharks, like Hammerheads and Sandbars, as well as rays and sea turtles. Another crowd-pleasing spot is the multi-floor Penguin House, where you can marvel at four species of penguins, the King, Humboldt, Gentoo and Northern Rockhopper. At the Iwami Friendship Seashore area, you can gently touch sea creatures like starfish, sea urchins and hermit crabs.

The Aquas Shimane Aquarium is currently improving the breeding techniques and environments for various species living in the facility. It has been especially successful at breeding beluga whales and even has a separate pool on the third floor reserved for this purpose.

Things To Know


The aquarium is closed on most Tuesdays and from Jul. 20 – Aug. 31. Otherwise, the aquarium is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for adults is ¥1,550 and ¥1,250 for 7 to 18-year-olds. Six years old and younger enter for free

How To Get There


By train

From JR Hamada station, take a bus bound for JR Gotsu station and get off at Aquas-mae.

By car

From the Sanyo Expressway, take the Hiroshima IC and follow the signs for the site. 

Where To Stay

Arifuku Onsen Jikaonsen no Yado Yoshidaya
  • 708 Arifukuonsencho, Gotsu-shi, Shimane, 695-0156 Japan
  • ¥11,550 - ¥59,400
  • 5.6 km
Arifuku Onsen Nushiya
  • 955 Arifukuonsencho, Gotsu-shi, Shimane, 695-0156 Japan
  • ¥18,900 - ¥35,400
  • 4.32/5 (219 reviews)
  • 5.7 km
Hotel Route-Inn Hamada Ekimae
  • 64-1 Asaicho, Hamada-shi, Shimane, 697-0022 Japan
  • ¥7,000 - ¥20,800
  • 4.44/5 (322 reviews)
  • 8.1 km
Hotel Matsuo
  • 4185 Kurokawacho, Hamada-shi, Shimane, 697-0024 Japan
  • ¥6,600 - ¥17,600
  • 4.4/5 (21 reviews)
  • 8.2 km

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