About the Kagoshima City Aquarium

Overview and History of the Kagoshima City Aquarium

The oceans off Kagoshima extend a distance of 600 km north to south. These waters see the massive kurosio Current cut across the Tokara Islands and flow into the Pacific Ocean, bringing with it a number of marine species including whale sharks, bonito, and tuna.
Coral grows around the islands in the Nansei archipelago that extends from the Yakushima and Tanegashima islands to Yoron Island. These waters call home to a host of colorful tropical fish and shellfish species. In contrast, Kinko Bay, which lies directly in front of the aquarium with active volcano Sakurajima in the middle, has a surrounding shoreline that consists of both large and small volcanic rocks that can be found in the shallows to the depths, creating a unique marine landscape. Pods of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin consisting of several to dozens mainly live in the upper reaches of this bay, while a large pod of short-beaked common dolphins numbering more than 200 is active throughout the entire bay. Despite being an inland bay, Kinko Bay reaches depths of more than 200 meters, making it home to deep see marine life as well. Additionally, a new species of tube worm, or Lamellibrachia Satsuma, can be found on the sea floor at depths of around 90 meters in the upper bay. Research has shown that this unique population is supported by underwater volcanic vents from Mt. Sakurajima that spew hydrogen sulfide from the sea floor. As a result, the marine environment surrounding Kagoshima is extraordinarily diverse and home to countless species of marine life, even more so than other marine ecosystems around the world.
The Kagoshima City Aquarium showcases this diverse collection of marine life using exhibits organized according to theme. This includes The kurosio Current and The Waters off the Nansei Islands on the second floor and The Waters off Kagoshima on the fourth floor that focuses on Kinko Bay.


May 30, 1997 Kagoshima City Aquarium opens
March 31, 1998 Begins publishing newsletter called “The Waters off Mt. Sakurajima”
May 13, 1998 Lucky the sea otter is born
November 20, 2000 Exhibits whale shark in the Kurosio Great Water Tank
November 14, 2003 The Emperor and Empress of Japan visit the aquarium
March 10, 2004 Becomes the first in the world to exhibit the full-length skeleton of the Longman’s beaked whale
April 27, 2007 Hosts commemorative event celebrating its 10th anniversary
October 24, 2007 Prince and Princess Hitachi visit the aquarium
September 18, 2011 Welcomes its 10 millionth visitor
March 5, 2012 Rusky the dolphin is born, the first ever successful breeding in captivity

Aquarium Hours


9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (final admission at 5:00 p.m.)
We also hold Nighttime at the Aquarium events.
Call for details.
Telephone: +81-99-226-2233


Four consecutive days starting from the first Monday of December
*Open normal hours during the year-end and New Year holidays.


*We currently do not accept electronic money or credit cards for the payment of admission fees.

Admission Category Individuals Groups (20 or more)
(high school and above)
1,500 yen 1,200 yen
(elementary and junior high students)
750 yen 600 yen
(over 4)
350 yen 280 yen

Visits may re-enter the aquarium only on the day their admission ticket was purchased. Please note a simple application form must be completed to do so.

Annual Pass

With the Kagoshima City Aquarium’s annual pass, you are free to visit the aquarium as many times as you like throughout the year for only the price of two admissions.
A further discount is applied when two or more members of the same family purchase an annual pass at the same time.

Category Annual Pass
Annual Pass
(high school and above)
3,000 yen 2,700 yen
(elementary and junior high students)
1,500 yen 1,350 yen
Child (over 4) 700 yen 630 yen

Information on combined tickets

The aquarium also sells convenient discount tickets that include admission to Hirakawa Zoological Park, Sengan-en Garden, and the Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots.

Getting Here


Public Transportation

  • 50 minutes by shuttle bus from Kagoshima Airport / 15 minute walk from the Kinsei-cho stop
  • 15 minutes by streetcar from JR Kagoshima Chuo Station / 8 minute walk from the Suizokukanguchi stop From the platform, take Line 2 bound for Kagoshimaekimae. 15 minutes by bus from JR Kagoshima Chuo Station / Get off at the Kagoshima Suizokukanmae stop
  • 15 minute walk from JR Kagoshima Station or transfer to bus. The Kagoshima City View bus is also available.
  • Get off at the Kagoshima Suizokukanmae stop.


  • From the Kyushu Expressway, get off at either the Satsuma-Yoshida Interchange or Kagoshima-Kita Interchange. It takes about 20 minutes to reach downtown Kagoshima and the aquarium from there.


Prefectural Parking Lot No.1, No.2 or No. 3
General First hour free (200 yen each additional hour)
Oversized First hour free (610 yen each additional hour)
(Oversized vehicles are only allowed to use Prefectural Parking Lot No. 3)

We recommend taking public transportation whenever possible to avoid road congestion.

Aquarium Events

The Kagoshima City Aquarium organizes a variety of exciting events to help visitors deepen their understanding of marine life. Refer to the event schedule for times. We look forward to seeing you there.

Event Schedule

  • During three-day weekends, events will follow a Sunday schedule (including on Saturday).
  • Events will follow a Sunday schedule each day of the summer vacation period.
  • Events are subject to change and/or additions.

Event Descriptions

Event Highlights Location
Come see the aquarium’s dolphins perform!
Dolphin Performance
(About 20 min.)
Learn about the biology of dolphins as compared to fish and humans in a fun format. The show features a mix of animation and actual dolphin performances. We look forward to seeing you there. Dolphin Pool
1F to B2
Whale Shark Feeding Come see the popular whale shark feeding at the Kurosio Great Water Tank. Main Bldg. 2F Kurosio Great Water Tank
Aqua Lab Talk by Staff
(About 15 min.)
Staff involved in feeding and exhibits will give a talk on their day-to-day experiences and research topics. Main Bldg. 2F
Aqua Lab
Electric Eel Feeding
(About 10 min.)
Come see a demonstration and presentation on how the electric eels feed using electricity. Main Bldg. 1F
Next to the Pirarucu Tank
Guided Tour by Staff Staff lead a guided tour to each of the aquarium’s exhibits where they provide updates and commentary on each. (About 50 min.) This tour may be canceled when the aquarium is crowded or likely to be crowded.
The guided tour starting at 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays will be the behind the scenes tour.
Main Bldg. 1F
Sign-up at General Information desk
(Same day tours only)
Open to first 15 who sign up
Behind the Scenes Tour
(Starting from 3:00 pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays)
Go behind the scenes of the aquarium to learn about its water filtration system and other fun facts. (About 30 min.)
This tour may be canceled when the aquarium is crowded or likely to be crowded.
Main Bldg. 1F
Sign-up at General Information desk
(Same day tours only)
Open to first 10 who sign up
Pirarucu Feeding
(Saturdays only)
Come see the world’s largest freshwater Pirarucu feed. There is also a Q&A session. Main Bldg. 1F
Pirarucu Tank
Dolphin Waterway Dolphins at the Kagoshima City Aquarium can swim out from their pool to the open ocean. This event does not have a fixed time. Outdoors
(Dolphin Waterway)
Special Exhibits The aquarium hosts special exhibits every three to four months on a variety of different themes. 3F Special Exhibit Hall


  • Event times may change or be added.
  • Events may be canceled due to equipment maintenance.
  • Events may be canceled or changed due to the health condition of the animals.


  • Flash photography is prohibited at the Kurosio Great Water Tank (2F), Bigfin Reef Squid Tank (4F) and Sea Otter Pool (1F).
  • Pets are not allowed inside the aquarium.
  • Intoxicated patrons will not be allowed to enter the aquarium.
  • Eating and smoking are only allowed at the designated locations inside the aquarium.
  • If you have any questions about the exhibits or would like to know more information about a certain fish, please ask one of the aquarium’s volunteer staff.


Disabled Parking Spaces

The aquarium has two disabled parking spaces located onsite next to the group entrance.
A parking lot attendant will guide disabled patrons to another parking space when these are full. (Please show your disabled parking permit)
Vehicles modified for use by disabled patrons can also be parked onsite. Please contact us if you require a wheelchair or other assistance.

Disabled parking spaces

Disabled parking spaces

Other onsite parking  for disabled patrons

Other onsite parking
for disabled patrons

Free Wheelchair and Baby Stroller Rentals

Wheelchairs and strollers are rented out on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are not accepted.
*Baby strollers can be used by infants up to the age of 24 months.

Baby stroller 10 B Type available

Baby stroller
10 B Type available

Baby stroller 10 A Type available

Baby stroller
10 A Type available

Wheelchair 20 available

20 available

Nursing Rooms

There are two private personal use nursing rooms located near the group entrance on the first floor of the main building. Male patrons can also use these rooms to care for a child.
The rooms contain a baby bed, nursing chair, hot water for formula (about 70 degrees Celsius), wash basin, microwave oven, air purifier, garbage (for diapers), and electronic scale.
Baby seats can also be found in each restroom (both male and female). Hot water for formula is available at the General Information desk on the first floor and the restaurant on the second floor. Please ask if you require hot water.

Nursing rooms

Nursing rooms

Wash basin

Wash basin

Nursing chair Baby bed

Nursing chair
Baby bed

First-aid Room

First-aid room

First-aid room

The aquarium has a first-aid room with two beds. If you do not feel well, please contact the General Information desk or the nearest aquarium staff member. The first-aid room has ice, ice packs, wet packs and disinfectant.

Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)

The aquarium has AEDs located in three places.
Aquarium staff members regularly take part in basic lifesaving certification classes.

Main Building 1F General Information desk

Main Building 1F
General Information desk

Main Building 3F Viewing Passageway

Main Building 3F
Viewing Passageway

Main Building 5F Exhibit Hall

Main Building 5F
Exhibit Hall

Coin Operated Lockers

Coin operated lockers can be found at the general and group entrances.
A 100 yen coin is required to use these lockers. This coin will be returned to you after you have finished using the locker.
Personal belongings (excluding valuables) that cannot fit in a coin operated locker can be stored at the General Information desk free of charge. Please ask the General Information staff.

50 small coin operated lockers (W 350 mm x H 300 mm x D 430 mm)

50 small coin operated lockers
(W 350 mm x H 300 mm x D 430 mm)

12 medium-sized coin operated lockers (W 355 mm x H 505 mm x D 430 mm)

12 medium-sized coin operated lockers
(W 355 mm x H 505 mm x D 430 mm)

6 large coin operated lockers (W 230 mm x H 775 mm x D 480 mm)

6 large coin operated lockers
(W 230 mm x H 775 mm x D 480 mm)


Wi-Fi is available throughout the entire aquarium (IEEE802.11b/g/n). To access Wi-Fi free of charge, please use the SSID [IOworld].
Please be aware that we do not have filtering or key settings to ensure access for all.
However, the aquarium does collect various log information to prevent illegal access. Users should be aware that the aquarium may determine that log information must be provided to an investigating authority for further review.
The aquarium cannot guarantee the complete integrity of this service’s communication environment. This service may also be suspended without notice. Aquarium staff cannot answer technical questions concerning the settings of patron devices.

Communication Environment for Mobile Phones

The aquarium is an indoor facility, which means there will be an impact on the quality of mobile phone telephone calls and telecommunications. The following two mobile phone carriers have installed base stations onsite at the aquarium. This ensures complete communications on their networks while at the aquarium.
NTT DoCoMo FOMA and Willcom

Assistance Dogs and Pets

Service dogs, hearing assistance dogs, and seeing eye dogs as stipulated in Japan’s Act Concerning Assistance Dogs for the Disabled are allowed entry to the aquarium with their owner.Service dogs, hearing assistance dogs, and seeing eye dogs as stipulated in Japan’s Act Concerning Assistance Dogs for the Disabled are allowed entry to the aquarium with their owner. Please attach a sign to the dog and bring your certificate (user certificate). Please contact aquarium staff in advance for the disposal of assistance dog excrement.
Pets are not allowed inside the aquarium in consideration of other patrons. The aquarium does not provide pet sitting services. Please contact a nearby pet shop or animal hospital.

Nearby Facilities and Distances

The aquarium is located in downtown Kagoshima and can be accessed quickly in an emergency or if a disaster were to strike. (Indicated distances show the distance from Kagoshima City Aquarium to each facility using main roads.)

Major Hospitals

  • Kagoshima Municipal Hospital  Approx. 2.4 km
  • National Hospital Organization Kagoshima Medical Center  Approx. 1.1 km
  • Imakiire General Hospital  Approx. 1.3 km
  • Chuo Hospital  Approx. 0.8 km
  • Kagoshima Koseiren Hospital  Approx. 3.5 km

Fire Fighting and First-aid

  • Kagoshima Chuo Fire Station  Approx. 2.9 km
  • Kagoshima Nanrinji Fire team detached  Approx. 2.2 km
  • Kagoshima Meizan Fire team detached  Approx. 0.6 km


  • Kagoshima Prefectural Chuo Police Station  Approx. 2.2 km
  • Kagoshima Prefectural Chuo Police Station’s Wangan Police Box  Approx. 0.1 km

Main Public Facilities

  • Kagoshima City Hall  Approx. 1.0 km
  • Kagoshima Higashi Post Office  Approx. 1.5 km
  • Kagoshima Prefectural Citizens Exchange Center  Approx. 1.1 km
  • Kagoshima National Highway Office  Approx. 0.9 km
  • Kagoshima District Public Prosecutors Office Approx. 1.2 km
  • Kagoshima District Courthouse  Approx. 1.0 km

Disaster response facilities

The aquarium has two emergency generators (500 kW each) that can provide up to 10 days of electricity to power emergency lighting, communications, air conditioning systems and equipment for its marine life. The aquarium also has an emergency drinking water tank with a capacity of 70 tons.