Day 23: Sumida Aquarium (Tokyo)

"Wormies" (Actually eels)
Monday, 16 February 2015

Continues from: Day 22: Chiba and Tokyo

Today is our last in Japan!

However we still have a bit of time left to enjoy Tokyo as we're not flying out until late in the evening.

We decided upon a visit to the Sumida Aquarium mainly because it is one of the few attractions in Tokyo that is open early in the morning.

Well, 09:00 is not really early in the morning at all, however in Tokyo it's basically the crack of dawn as shops and attractions don't really get going until 10:00 or even 11:00.

On the flip side stuff is usually open very late, sometimes until 06:00 the next day.

What this means is that if you're looking for things to do after 06:00 but before mid-morning it's a bit tricky, though there are always things like parks, shrines and some temples that are always open.

Anyway we like aquariums so it was a good choice!

The Sumida Aquarium is located at the base of the 643m tall Tokyo Sky Tree tower which is the tallest structure in Japan.

During our first trip it was still under construction, during a later trip when it was finished we were able to go up to the top observation deck.

Today however we stuck to the bottom and descended below the sea...

The Sumida Aquarium was very interesting!

As aquariums go it isn't huge but it is very well done and is full of lots of interesting sea creatures. There's a particular focus on animals that don't require too much space, such as sea jellies.

They even had mantis shrimp!

Mantis shrimp are very interesting as they can launch their claws with a speed of 23 metres per second!

Not only that but they have the most complex eyes of any animal for some reason. Humans have three colour detector cells (cones), letting us see all the colours of the rainbow, and some birds have 4, however this shrimp has 12!

I find them quite fascinating.

It wasn't all just tiny animals though as there were also some penguins and seals which were playing with the handlers.

My favourite creature were these really cute eels that poked their heads out of the sand.

Although they were eels they looked like cute smiling worms.

I even ended up buying a big stuffed animal toy of the eel who is my friend to this day!

Speaking of animal related souvenirs they also had some delicious treats in the shape of some of the creatures- Kate got an octopus one!

After finishing with the aquarium we had lunch at the nearby Solamachi shopping area, which is also part of the sky tree complex.

Once we were done with lunch we still had a couple of hours until we had to catch our train so we headed down to Akihabara to play some arcade games!

Photo credit: Minseong Kim
We mainly played Taiko no Tatsujin (aka Taiko Master) which is a Japanese drumming rhythm game. Basically you have you get some sticks and have to hit the drum in a certain way according to the displayed timing.

We'd never played before so it took us some time to work out exactly how to play correctly.

It was lots of fun, and our muscles were even a little sore the next day!

Before too long it was time to grab our luggage, catch our train back to Narita and head back home to Brisbane, Australia!

And, almost two years (!!!) later, that's the end of the 2015 trip.

Thank you for reading!

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