Have An Ocean Adventure At the Kamogawa Sea World

The underwater world is an unfamiliar place for most people. Unless you specialize in deep sea diving or have a degree/passion in marine biology, it’s unlikely that you come face to face with majestic sea creatures every day. Many parts of the deepest crevices of the ocean have been left untouched and undiscovered, so it’s natural for humans to feel struck with awe when they see a deep-sea dweller swimming around their midst.

For both educational and leisure purposes, there are companies who construct massive, complex aquarium centers that serve the purpose of bringing these sea creatures closer to humans. They display all kinds of sea creatures (whether freshwater or seawater) in giant, custom-built water tanks. That way, people from all walks of life, and all ages can experience their beauty, grace, and presence. In turn, the visitor could perhaps feel more inspired to care for these sea creatures, and in effect, the environment. 

By Volfgang [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Visit Kamogawa Sea World in Chiba, Japan

One well-known comprehensive marine leisure center in Japan goes by the name of “Kamogawa Seaworld”. Kamogawa SeaWorld is a live marine museum found by highway number 128 in Kamogawa city, beside the Tojo coast, within the Chiba Prefecture of Japan. There are many airline options that can take you to Kamogawa to see this place. It is a private business entity and is managed by Gran Vista Hotel & Resort Co, Ltd. It opened on 1st October, 1970.  

Aside from displaying the captive sea creatures and hosting performances where they are made to do tricks for food, this marine leisure center also specializes in killer whale breeding, as well as breeding other large marine animal species.  

Kamogawa Sea World has since been a tourist destination for many of those who delight in seeing them perform. Trainers make sure the sea creatures know special tricks, and sometimes use a password or a hand gesture to signal the tricks. There are different programs held throughout the day in the different sections of the marine leisure center.  

The Different Segments of the Map of Kamogawa Sea World

This ocean theme park has many areas to serve different purposes. An illustrated map can be found on the website of Kamogawa SeaWorld. There are 16 specific areas around Kamogawa SeaWorld, and here is a list of them.  

Ocean Stadium – This area is where you can encounter the killer whale in its special aquarium, located right in front of the coast of the Pacific Ocean. 

Surf Stadium – This is where you can watch performances of both the Pacific white-sided dolphin and the bottlenose dolphin, both of which put on quite a show together. 

Marine Theater – Here, the incredibly intelligent white beluga whale does special tricks, and expertly maneuvers through a tough obstacle course. Not only that, it can even correctly tell you what objects it is shown, much to everyone’s endearment of this loveable species. 

Rocky Stadium – For a classic show starring adorable sea lions, come to the Rocky Stadium to see these adorable creatures give you a taste of their hidden talents. 

Eco Aquarium – Care for a quiet moment of simply observing the different sea animals going about their business? Here, you can do just that. Displayed within these crystal-clear aquariums is a live collection of Japanese freshwater and spider crabs, ocean sunfish, kokanee salmon, jellyfish, and so much more.

Tropical Island – This is somewhat similar to the Eco Aquarium; however, it is in a building adjacent to it, and it specializes in showing the importance of coral reefs, which is a habitat of fish. Sea creatures you’ll find here include the anemone fish, sharks, sea turtles, rays, oriental butterflyfish, and the pearl-spot chromis. 

By Max Smith (self) [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Rocky World – Found right beside the rocky stadium, rocky world serves as an area that holds very intricately reproduced habitats of the environments these animals hail from. The animals that do reside here (seals, walruses, Steller’s sea lions, California sea lions, bottlenose dolphins, and Humboldt penguins) are naturally found in different areas of the world, such as California, Alaska, Kuril, the Seto Inland Sea Coast, and the Coast of Chile.

Polar Adventure – if Rocky World is for an assortment of marine creatures from certain coasts, Polar Adventure caters to animals who are from the colder polar seas; both Arctic and Antarctic. The temperatures are set much cooler so that the penguins, seals, and otters can live comfortably. The list of these animals includes, but are not limited to sea otters, ringed seals, king penguins, and Gentoo penguins. 

Pirika Forest – found right in the Polar Area is the newly opened Pirika Forest, which is solely dedicated to Tufted Puffins – a rare and special breed of birds that float along the waters in the northern seas’ subarctic zones, feeding on fish. Those who live on Hokkaido’s eastern coast may be familiar with them, as they are known to populate that area. In Japanese, the Tufted Puffin is called “Etopirika”, because of the large, orange-colored beak they all sport. Etopirika is the Ainu (indigenous Japanese/Russian people who live in northern Japan) word for “beautiful beak”. 

Sea Turtle Beach – Also situated very near the coast, this pool seamlessly visually merges with the Pacific Ocean. It gives a safe and ample space for these sea turtles to live and breed. 

Pelican Pond – This pond is a place the pelicans of the marine park frequently inhabit. You can watch them strut along, while their handlers give you a quick commentary about these birds. Note, however, that during rainy days, they may close off this area to visitors. 

As for the rest of the locations, these are ‘seas’ or rather, container units that are used to house specific sea creatures. There’s the Steller Sea Lion Sea, Sea Lion and Seal Sea, Walrus Sea, Penguin Sea, and Dolphin Sea.

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Review Summaries and Compilations of Kamogawa Sea World

According to TripAdvisor, Kamogawa SeaWorld has a 1st place standing among all the things you can do in the Kamogawa area. Out of the 701 reviews, it has, it has garnered a 4.5-star rating out of 5, and has also been awarded by TripAdvisor with a Certificate of Excellence. 

To sum up their reviews, a large percentage of the visitors enjoyed their visit here and were most captivated by the performances of the orcas/killer whales. Because of its affordability and overall value, it’s a highly recommended place to take your family for a quick getaway or excursion. For those who have younger kids, Kamogawa SeaWorld is also very educational and fun, as they get to interact and many different species of marine animals first-hand. 

If you want to avoid the crowds, come during a weekday. Also, the earlier you visit, the more chances you’ll have of watching the orcas perform, and they usually have 2-3 performances in a day. The main complaint of most reviewers is that it’s a little far from Tokyo – about roughly a 120-min bus journey away.

Stay in the Official Hotel of the Aquarium Complex; Kamogawa Sea World Hotel

If you want to maximize your visit to Kamogawa SeaWorld, the Kamogawa SeaWorld Hotel has decent and enticing options that come with a package deal of an admission passport to the aquarium complex. In fact, booking a room in the hotel guarantees you entry to the marine complex. This passport will be given to you at the reception desk after you register for your stay.

To get to Kamogawa Sea world from the hotel is very convenient because there is a passageway connected exclusively from the hotel to the complex. This passport can also be used to have free breakfast (plus dinner, if you avail of the half-board option). Another amenity you have access to is the Kamogawa Onsen Nagisa-no-Yu, which uses actual sulfuric water.

For parents who brought kids along with them, this hotel is very child-friendly. The restaurant of the hotel has a corner designated for kids (and has staff watching over them), and it also serves free baby food. All sorts of mechanisms and gadgets for children are readily available, such as baby chairs, bathtubs, beds, and even toys are easily procured. The rooms themselves even have small sizes of yukata and slippers for the little ones. Step stools are available in bathrooms to help children reach the sink.

Overall, the entire lodging experience is quite excellent. The rooms are spacious and clean, lined with tatami mats, and have a view of the ocean. You can even smell the “ocean air” from your room. As for the cost, prices depend on whether the room you’re taking has extra dinner, and if it’s smoking or non-smoking. It costs thereabouts of 15,200 yen for one night in a room that fits 2 persons. The half-board option costs 25,200 yen. A non-smoking will cost you 2,000 yen more over either option. 

Information About the Show Time/Schedule Choices at Kamogawa Sea World

Showtimes are not consistent throughout the month and year and have varying schedules depending on each performance. For a more updated guide, you can visit the website of Kamogawa SeaWorld, click “Aquarium Exhibits”, then “Activity Programs”, and choose the specific program you want to catch. From there, you should be able to “Check the Performance Schedule”. 

For more inquiries, you can call them at Tel - +81-4-7093-4803.

Where to Get a Ticket for Kamogawa Sea World

Buying a ticket for a weekday visit is a different process from buying it for a weekend visit. For a normal ticket sale – one where you visit during the weekday – head to the Central Plaza, where the information desk is. Come early to make sure you get a ticket because they sell on a first-come-first-served basis. 

For weekends, holidays, and the peak season rush wait at the main gate of the complex before it opens, where you will be issued a number. That numbered ticket can get you a maximum of two tours/activities. 

You may also opt to buy a GOGO ticket, which is the admission, combined with an express round-trip ride from Tokyo Station that can be used on the spot. You can buy this ticket at the Keisei Highway Bus Lounge, which is near Tokyo Station’s Yaesu exit.  It is valid within a week of its purchase. If you’re coming from Chiba Station, consider purchasing the Kapibaya 7, which is an advanced ticket for a day before it is used. This is purchased at the Chiba Chuo Bus Information Center, which is at the JR Chiba Station. 

How Much is the Entrance Fee?

It depends on the season (Any date in November and December may have a different rate compared to those in August), but for now, A GOGO ticket costs 5,500 yen for an adult, 4,600 yen for junior high school students, and 2,750 yen for children. A Kapibaya 7 costs 4,800 yen for an adult, 3,900 Yen for a junior high school student, and 2,400 yen for a young child (below 4).

The standard price (without the bus ride) is 2,800 yen for adults, 1,400 for a junior high school student, and 2,100 yen for senior citizens – those who are over 65 years old. 

How to Access Kamogawa Sea World

The exact address of this aquarium complex is Yubinbango 296-0041 Kamogawa, Chiba Prefecture Higashi 1464-1. There are bus options from both Chiba and Tokyo Stations. 

By ajari (kamogawa seaworld_13) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Entertainment and Whale Captivity – A Price to Pay

Kamogawa SeaWorld does their best to make sure that the animals are comfortable, well fed, and taken care of. However, the argument persists as to whether holding any of these sea creatures in captivity does any good to them and the environment in general. Orcas in captivity have an average age of 13 years before dying, compared to orcas in the wild, which perish in their 60’s or 70’s for male orcas, and 80’s for female orcas. 

Values of Kamogawa Sea World

Despite controversies, this exhibition was made with a very clear idea in mind. Creators of Kamogawa SeaWorld envisions their audience to have and enjoy a special encounter with the ocean world that they will never forget.

Kamogawa Sea World has four initiatives. It wants to be a place for learning, conserving species, captive breeding (as well as a research source for this), and for encouraging community spirit.