Summertime usually means dinosaur exhibits. At Tokyo’s Sumida Aquarium is a unique new event this summer which pairs together the unlikely combo of penguins and the giant reptiles. Open only for a limited time, between July 7th, and September 21st, you will be entertained by penguins coming out of pools and walking up to dinosaur fossil displays.
What is Sumida Aquarium’s special exhibit "Dinosaur Aquarium"?
On the fifth and sixth floors of Tokyo Skytree Town, “Soramachi”, is the Sumida Aquarium. It’s definitely a new and unique aquarium with the aroma scented interior or the display of 634 Spotted Garden Eels, the same number of meters that the Skytree is high just as an example
There at the unique aquarium is a unique display just started this summer, “The Dinosaur Aquarium”. The theme comes from the theory that birds are the evolutionary successor to dinosaurs and penguins have a direct lineage to the large lizards.
This “Dinosaur Aquarium” exhibit is something never been done in Japan and is extremely unique. You can do a research project on dinos while observing all that the Sumida Aquarium has to offer. Here the aquarium displays 5 full dinosaur fossil skeletons. All 5 have come from Japan’s finest dinosaur fossil display museum, the Fukui Prefecture Dinosaur Museum by truck.
Upon entering the aquarium you are greeted by a large Tyrannosaurus skull. You can almost feel its eyes sizing you up for dinner. A true dino king. If you look closely at the painting of it you will find the body is covered in hairs. These are actually feathers and it is said that the tyrannosaurus is one of the dinos that are a direct ancestor of birds today.
You should definitely check the painting at the entrance. It’s the first place they back up their claim of penguins and dinosaurs being related.
Open from July 19 to September 21, 2014
A waddling penguin meets a dinosaur! Sumida Aquarium’s popular program
The aquarium’s ever popular penguins jump out of a pool and waddle up to some dinosaurs in the special program “Hello! Penguins”. It’s so adorable it almost makes your heart skip a beat.
The program takes place 3 times a day. Just look for the small path right in front of the penguin pool. You’ll see some arrow like shapes on the path. These represent dinosaur footprints. The penguins waddle along this path following these prints.
The Sumida Aquarium spent countless hours training the penguins to be relaxed and walk in front us without a care anytime anywhere. That practice shows as you watch them walk in front of you effortlessly.
You get the rare opportunity to watch these penguins walk around and flap their tiny wings, or groom their feathers while on this path without any glass between you and them.
"Happi" Sumida Aquarium’s star baby penguin also walks
Happi was born on April 30, 2014. Still a baby but he occasionally makes an appearance and walks the path during the “Hello! Penguin ” program.
Having been raised by Sumida Aquarium’s staff, Happi is not shy around people unlike most other penguins. You can’t but help chanting “kawaii~” at least a hundred times, when this little guy comes up to you only 30cm away. If you are a fan of penguins you definitely should not miss this.
Place: Sumida Aquarium 5F near the penguin pool Times: 9:10 ~ 9:30, 15:00 ~ 15:20, 18:00 ~ 18:20 *shows may depend on penguins health and well being.
Dinosaurs targeting penguins as a meal!?
Beyond the dinosaur’s stares are the penguins. You can imagine them hungrily eyeing them, but the penguins surprisingly don’t seem all that bothered. The above shows Baryonyx walker. These dinos hunted fish in particular. It is as heavy as 900 penguins and stands a menacing 8.8m tall.
As large as this dino is, it also is an ancestor to penguins. You can almost see the resemblance if you look between the two!
"Penguin Music Night" a limited time live music event.
Lastly, I would like to tell you about another special summer event at the Sumida Aquarium. Jam out to live music by famous artists in “Penguin Music Night”.
This is a unique event where you can listen to live music at the Sumida Aquarium. During the nights when the “Penguin Music Night” they’ll have live music or a DJ come in as well as a bar counter, where adults can enjoy a few drinks in a special atmosphere.
Schedule: 7/25, 8/1, 8/2, 8/8, 8/9, 8/15, 8/16, 8/22, 8/23. Total 11 times. Time: 16:00~21:00 (last entry 20:00) Place: Sumida Aquarium 5F *Ono Risa playing on 8/8 confirmed
Sumida Aquarium and the Penguins in night mode!
Every night at 6:30pm the lights turn down and everything is bathed in a deep blue hue. This lighting signals the aquarium’s “Blue Night Aquarium”. Even the scent of the place changes to create an atmosphere that betrays the fact that you’re in an aquarium. You don’t just see it but feel it with other senses.
During this time you can see a side of penguins that you will rarely see elsewhere. The penguins jump up on the rocks and look for their favorite spot and sleep while standing. Blue Night Aquarium is definitely something not to be missed.
At the Sumida Aquarium you can buy beer, cocktails, and bar snacks, so it makes an ideal place for a date like none other.
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