Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise Perfect Guide
Must-See Attractions, Ticket Essentials, and Seasonal Events at Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise
Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise (横浜八景島シーパラダイス) , set in Yokohama’s Kanazawa Ward, is a unique marine life amusement park located on the artificial Hakkeijima island. Spanning approximately 240,000 square meters, this island oasis is connected to the mainland by three bridges, creating an exclusive retreat. Although general vehicles are not permitted directly on the island, it’s conveniently accessible on foot from Hakkeijima Station. While island entry is free, individual attractions within require tickets. Nestled near Tokyo, Yokohama, the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture, is a hub for diverse sightseeing and tourist experiences.
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Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise
Opened in 1993, Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is a comprehensive entertainment complex offering a blend of thrilling amusement rides, an engaging aquarium, diverse shopping options, a variety of restaurants, a comfortable hotel, and a scenic marina. The park is thoughtfully divided into two distinct areas: Aqua Resort and Pleasure Land. Each area offers a myriad of captivating attractions, allowing visitors to easily immerse themselves in a full day of fun and exploration. This article will primarily delve into the aquatic wonders of the Aqua Resort area.
Upon exiting Hakkeijima Station, one must first cross the Hakkei Bridge to enter Hakkeijima. To the left and at the end is the Aqua Resort area, the green area in the park is Pleasure Land, and the brick-red area in the middle is where the shopping stores and restaurants are located.
Aqua Resort: A Marine Adventure Awaits
At Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise’s Aqua Resort, you’ll find a marine world split into four enchanting sections: the ‘Aqua Museum,’ ‘Dolphin Fantasy,’ ‘UMI Farm,’ and ‘Fureai Lagoon.’ The Aqua Museum is an underwater kingdom with over 100,000 marine creatures in various aquariums, featuring spellbinding dolphin and marine life shows, especially magical during Christmas, and a grand aquarium with regular special light shows. For the adventurous, there’s pearl harvesting and close encounters with sharks and other fish. The interactive Fureai Lagoon lets guests engage with animals like penguins and dolphins. Given the abundance of attractions, it’s a good idea to prioritize exhibits on busy days, and remember, many activities require advance online bookings, with walk-ins dependent on daily availability.
The Aqua Museum is one of the largest aquariums in Japan, home to over 700 species and more than 120,000 marine creatures. The highlight is the three-story high giant tank with regular audio-visual performances, as well as polar bears, penguins, and shows featuring sea lions and dolphins. This is the only place in Eastern Japan where whale sharks are exhibited.
The largest tank in the museum spans three floors, allowing visitors to view the aquarium from different floors.
At 10:30 AM, catch the musical light show at the large tank where schools of fish gather and swirl in unison with the changing lights, creating a dreamlike spectacle. The experience is even more dynamic in person!
Inside the museum, you can also see polar bears, walruses, and other creatures from close range, offering very clear views.
During Christmas, the aquarium is specially decorated, including a Christmas tree on the first floor and jellyfish lights overhead.
At 11:30 AM, there’s a performance featuring dolphins, sea elephant, and other marine creatures, showcasing a Christmas-limited show.
In addition to the aquarium, the Aqua Museum also houses other adorable animals like raccoons and prairie dogs. It’s a comprehensive facility.
The park is full of marine knowledge, with some areas offering simple interactive activities, making it very suitable for family outings, blending entertainment and education.
On the first floor, there’s a pearl harvesting experience area, where you can turn the pearls you retrieve into commemorative jewelry.
Dolphin Fantasy features an arch-shaped tank where you can admire the swimming styles of four dolphins from various angles. On sunny days, the sunlight filtering into the water creates an incredibly dreamlike effect. Besides dolphins, you can also see manta rays and many other marine creatures.
At UMI Farm, you can enjoy the fun of fishing! You can also wade into the sea to catch fish with your bare hands, and the fish you catch can be cooked for you at an adjacent kitchen for a fee. Please note that fishing equipment is available for rent and you cannot use your own tools. The cooking methods include fried fish or burgers. The main fish you can catch here are jack mackerel and silver salmon. This experience also offers an opportunity to observe the ecology and learn about marine life.
At Fureai Lagoon, you can get up close and personal with marine creatures such as penguins, otters, walruses, and sea lions. Not only can you touch them and take photos together, but you can also enjoy a super-close view of dolphins and whales from the side of the tank, and even experience touching the dolphins!
At 1:30 PM, the park comes alive with the charming penguin parade, which is more akin to a leisurely stroll. Here, each penguin follows its own unique path, often wandering away from the group, adding a delightful unpredictability to the procession.
After entering the performance stage, the penguins participate in a small interactive activity. You can watch their feeding show and even touch the penguins.
At 2:30 PM, there is a joint performance of marine creatures, birds, and small animals.
Exiting the Aqua Museum, there is a spot for Cruise Tour. For 700 yen in cash, you can take a 15-minute tour around the park, starting from the boat dock to UMI Farm and back. It’s a great opportunity to take beautiful photos and experience a sense of leisure.
Visitors can enjoy the view from the second floor of the Cruise. I happened to take the tour in the evening, so I also captured the moments of the approaching sunset.
Pleasure Land has about 16 attractions, including two thrilling rides: the 107-meter free-fall attraction ‘Blue Fall’ and the marine amusement ride ‘Surf Coaster LEVIATHAN’. There’s also a ‘Wave Roller Coaster.’ The amusement rides here require a separate fee for each, with prices varying. The highest price is 1100 yen for the roller coaster, and the cheapest is 100 yen for the mini train.
Most of the attractions in Hakkeijima are enjoyable even at night or in rainy weather. From Tokyo, it’s about an hour’s journey to easily reach the park. It’s a perfect place to escape the city’s chaos without traveling far, offering full enjoyment! Hakkeijima is open from 9:00 AM to 8:30 PM, with the four aquariums open from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM, and the amusement facility buildings open from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Hakkeijima Shopping and Dining
Apart from the performances, Hakkeijima Sea Paradise also offers many shops where you can buy souvenirs, play gachapon (capsule toy vending machines), enjoy a fish pedicure, and even find fortune-telling stalls.
The park also features a variety of restaurants, offering Japanese, Italian, barbecue, Chinese cuisine, fast food, crepes, drinks, and various desserts. Almost everything is available here. After watching performances and interacting with marine creatures, visitors can take a break to shop or sit down for a meal.
STARDANCE Christmas Limited Nighttime Drone Show
For Christmas and the end of the year 2023 (December 23, 24, 29, 30, 31), there’s a new nighttime drone show called STARDANCE, featuring three major Japanese anime stars: Ultraman, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Demon Slayer. There will be a display of 1000 drones in the sky, showcasing these star works. Seeing it in person is the best! STARDANCE is also collaborating with Hakkeijima Sea Paradise to offer various types of tickets.
On December 23, 29, 30, and 31, tickets for the blue zone viewing area at the event plaza are 4300 yen, and the yellow VIP seats are 6300 yen. Combined tickets for the aquarium and amusement facilities are 7300 yen for the blue zone and 9300 yen for the yellow zone. For the special Christmas Eve performance, an additional 2200 yen per person is charged.
The viewing area for STARDANCE opens at 4:00 PM, and there are three shows each day starting from 5:00 PM, at 5:00, 6:15, and 7:30 PM, with the order of shows varying each day. Additionally, after the last performance, special fireworks will be launched, and on Christmas Eve (December 24), there will be an additional drone show at 8:45 PM.
I had the opportunity to preview a few of the works, and they were truly impressive. The entire performance is expected to be stunning! Photos hardly convey the three-dimensional sensation and presence experienced on-site. Anyone interested should not miss this first-time drone show using such a large sky as a backdrop.
How to Get to Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise
Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is situated near Hakejima Station on the Kanazawa Seaside Line. There are two travel options for you if you are going there from Yokohama station.
- Via Keikyu Railway and Kanazawa Seaside Line:
- Route: From Yokohama, take the Keikyu Main Line to Kanazawa-Hakkei.
- Duration and Cost: The journey takes about 20 minutes and costs 290 yen, with frequent limited express trains available.
- Next Step: From Kanazawa-Hakkei, switch to the Kanazawa Seaside Line to reach Hakkeijima.
- Final Leg: This leg takes approximately 7 minutes and costs 270 yen, with trains departing frequently.
- Via Japan Railways and Kanazawa Seaside Line:
- Route: Start from Yokohama on the JR Negishi Line, heading to Shin-Sugita.
- Duration and Cost: This part of the journey takes about 15 minutes and costs 230 yen, with regular train services.
- Next Step: Transfer to the Kanazawa Seaside Line at Shin-Sugita for Hakkeijima.
- Final Leg: The final stretch to Hakkeijima takes around 18 minutes and costs 320 yen, with frequent train services available.
-Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise
Access: A short walk from Hakkeijima Station (from Kanazawa Hakkei Station or Shin Tzuki Station on the Seaside Line), or direct bus service is available from Yokohama Station (YCAT).
Hours: Varying hours. Typically 10:00 to 17:00. Longer hours on weekends and during school holidays.
※No closing days (some attractions might have unscheduled closures)
3300 yen (Aqua Resorts)
3500 yen (unlimited rides at Pleasure Land)
5600 yen (Aqua Resorts and unlimited rides at Pleasure Land, Mar to Nov)
5100 yen (Aqua Resorts and unlimited rides at Pleasure Land, Dec to Feb)
Or 300-1000 yen per individual ride at Pleasure Land
Official website: https://www.seaparadise.co.jp/(Japanese)
Time: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Official website: https://www.seaparadise.co.jp/special/stardance/
Please check out more articles to find more travel information about Yokohama and amusement parks in Japan!