New Enoshima Aquarium, Shin Enoshima Suizokukan, more commonly known as Enosui, is a popular destination for Japanese people to visit in Enoshima Japan. It is an aquarium with a history of success in the breeding of marine creatures for decades, and has been an active member of protecting marine life in the Shonan area. As well as its strong ties with the local marine life, Enosui hosts many events, which are both colorful, innovative, and exciting, making many visitors young, and old, wanting to return again after their first visit.
Experience Sagami Bay at Enosui
There are many exciting water tanks filled with both interesting and beautiful marine creatures at Enosui, but the one which attracts many visitors, because of the massive size and the number of creatures, is the gigantic tank located in the middle of the aquarium. This tank displays the life of marine creatures right in front of the aquarium at Sagami Bay, and is called Sagami Bay Big Aquarium, “Sagami-Wan Dai-Suisou” in Japanese.
Enosui, located in Enoshima, faces Sagami Bay, which is the bay south of Kanagawa Prefecture, having the Miura Peninsula to the east, and Izu Peninsula to the west. This Sagami-Wan Dai-Suisou displays the marine life of Sagami Bay right in front of the visitors, and is almost like the miniature version of the bay. Compared to other water tanks at the aquarium, this tank holds many more kinds of marine creatures, all co-existing in harmony, similar to how it should be out in the wild. Since Enosui created this gigantic tank to be as close to nature as possible, there are waves crashing at the top of the tank, as well as fish forming a school to swim together.
The treaters at Enosui
At most of the aquariums where you see shows of dolphins, sea lions, or seals, you see “trainers” working with marine creatures. At Enosui they do not call themselves the trainers, but they call themselves “treaters.” They say that they are not training the marine creatures, but they are sharing precious moments together, treating them with care, and the marine creatures treat people with a great experience in return. The relationship that staff and marine creatures have together at Enosui is nothing like what you would see elsewhere. By seeing how they interact makes you smile and feel something warm inside. If you are interested, Enosui hosts many shows throughout the day, so make sure to check the event schedule when you visit so you can witness how they interact in and out of the tanks with people on many of the stages.
The beauty of jellyfish
If you are thinking an aquarium is only for children, you are wrong! One of the most popular hang out spots at Enosui is the Jellyfish Fantasy Hall, and it is particularly popular among adults.
At Jellyfish Fantasy Hall, you see various kinds of jellyfish of different colors, sizes, and length, which float in water effortlessly. In this space, it is so easy to forget time. There are seating areas provided so people often simply sit there to watch jellyfish swim like celestial maidens. Another reason why this spot is so popular is because Enosui regularly hosts events with projection mapping in this space. How modern technology and jellyfish collaborate is incredibly entertaining, and calming. Depending on the time of the year, you might see a cherry blossom project mapping, like in the picture above, to celebrate the spring arrival. Also, at this time of the year, jellyfish may collaborate with Christmas trees and decorations to create an early Christmas atmosphere.
Half-day or all day adventure in Enoshima
It is not a lie to say that you can spend all day at Enosui. There are many indoor and outdoor sections that you can see and experience. At some of these areas, you can actually experience touching turtles, and shaking hands with dolphins. It would certainly be a little bonus if you have children with you. They would love that! There is also a café and a souvenir shop so you can easily spend half day, if not all day here. If you are visiting Kamakura area to see the Buddha or visit some temples, you can always travel a little further to visit Enosui. In addition, Enoshima is famous for its beach and surf culture. You can come out to the beach to surf, eat at a nearby cafe or restaurant, and then finish your day at Enosui. This is a perfect way to get a good idea of what this area is all about.
Enosui, the modern day Japanese aquarium
If you are near Kamakura area, I highly recommend travelers to visit Enosui, which is really an aquarium version of Disneyland. You can tell that the staff working at this aquarium really enjoy what they are doing, and really care about marine life. The displays are unique, the showcases are engaging, and there is always something new when you visit Enosui. It does not matter if you visit Enosui during spring or winter time, because you will always be entertained by this modern day Japanese aquarium.
It is 2,100 JPY (17 USD) for adults, 1,500 JPY (12 USD) for high school students, 1,000 JPY (8 USD) for Jr. high school and primary school students, and 600 JPY (5 USD) for children above 3. If you really enjoy it, the annual pass is only the cost of two visits, so if you know you are coming back to Japan in few months you might as well get the annual pass. Throughout the year they have different hours of operations, so you want to check the hours before visiting. In general, it opens around 9:00am or 10:00am, and closes around 5:00pm or 8:00pm.
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