Lonely Planet Writer

Watch as penguins fly over Tokyo city at this incredible aquarium experience

An aquarium in Tokyo has unveiled a brand new area that allows visitors to watch as penguins, “fly” overhead in a purpose-built tank with sunshine and sky streaming in.

"flying" penguins at the Sunshine Aquarium in Tokyo, Japan
The new area features a clever design that makes it look like the animals are flying overhead. Image by Sunshine Aquarium

Located a ten-minute walk away from Ikebukuro Station, and built on the rooftop of a 40-metre high building, the Sunshine Aquarium is part of the Sunshine City urban complex, a facility that attracts over thirty millions visitors a year. The aquarium is designed to resemble a tropical resort, allowing visitors to relax and explore the underwater world of Japan and beyond.

Sunshine Aquarium penguins in tokyo japan
Guests can pass through a walkway beneath the large tank to view the penguins. Image by Sunshine Aquarium

The new area features a cleverly-designed large-scale tank with a passageway below it for guests to walk through. Visitors can look up at the blue sky and surrounding buildings of the large metropolis, giving the illusion that the penguins are flying through the sky overhead.

The unique location of the aquarium, which is situated on the top of a 40-metre tall building, creates the unique look.
The location of the aquarium, which is situated on the top of a 40-metre tall building, creates the unique look. Image by Sunshine Aquarium

Opened earlier this month, the tank measures in at just over 1000-square-metres. A special transparent acrylic was used to create sections of the 12-metre-wide walls that allow the tank to merge with the surrounding views.

Penguins in the large tank at Sunshine Aquarium
The new flying penguin area is open to the public now. Image by Sunshine Aquarium

Other areas in the aquarium include a jellyfish tunnel and coral reef ocean, as well as exhibitions dedicated to aquatic plants of the Amazon, as well as the fresh streams of Japanese and African rivers.

More information on visiting the sky penguin exhibition is available at the official Sunshine Aquarium website.