Sunshine Aquarium, Has Flying Penguins


Hey Rose here! It’s been pretty hot outside lately huh… However, today we found a nice place where we can cool off. Everyone, how do you feel about this picture?

You’re probably thinking “Wait penguins flying in the sky? This picture has to be photo-shopped right?”

This time we at CJC went to visit Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City’s Aquarium, which is famous for the oasis in the sky, where the penguins live.



Sunshine Aquarium, which is located on the rooftop of a 40 meter building, was finally reopened on July 21st,  after being renewed from September last year.

The penguins were relocated to a new area called Marine Garden.

The sky oasis

What? Really?!

This sort of oasis exists on the roof top of a city building?

Additionally the flowing waterfall is a magnificent view that by just watching gives you a refreshing feeling.

The penguins in the middle of a walk, made there entrance one by one.

And when we went to the water tank next to it…

We discovered the rumored flying penguins!


But actually, the penguins were swimming in the overhead water tank.

If you look at this photo of the scenery inside the tank, you will understand more.

This is the world-first overhead transparent water tank where you can see penguins swimming through the face of the tank.

As a part of our coverage over this place, I was allowed to interview the caretaker of these penguins, Mr. Matsudo.

Additionally, He even let me see the inside of the water tank.

Hello nice to meet you. I’m CJC’s Rose. I have a lot of questions!

Nice to meet you too, I’m Matsudo. Please take it easy on me!


I always imagined that penguins resided more in colder climates like the south pole. How do you the penguins fare in this climate?

This particular species of penguins are called African penguins which reside in the southern part of Africa. Although they are able to thrive even in Japan’s climate.

Ah I see, that makes a lot of sense.

As the penguin’s caretaker, can you differentiate between each of the penguins? If I recall all of the penguins here are given names right?

I can’t really tell them apart by appearance alone, but each of them have a different colored arm band that helps us distinguish.

And because we have to do daily health checkups on the penguins, it’s critical we can tell their identity right away.

I also noticed the wristbands earlier as well but I couldn’t help but see them as like soccer captains.

By the way, is there any penguin in particular that stands out as the leader? For example male penguins who fight over the female ones.

I wouldn’t say there really is a boss sort of character. However, as you can expect, penguins do have emotions so they do seem to fight time to time.

Both males and females fight one another but not necessarily for romantic reasons. Basically it is how they show love for each other. We also made it so that there are an even number of males and females so they can properly pair.

That’s a really nice setup.

I have something I’m a bit worried about though, isn’t the overhead water tank a bit dangerous for the penguins?

I mean it is on the roof top of a 40 meter building. If the penguins were to get excited while their swimming and jump out of the water tank..

In actuality, looking from the inside of the water tank, we installed quite a tall outer wall,

With this height, the penguins won’t be able to jump over the wall. I am thrilled to hear your concern for the penguins safety!

Now that you mention it, it does seem like the outer wall is quite high. Even if there were a Michael Jordan among the penguins it still seems impossible to overcome.

Regarding the structure of the water tank, is the strength of the glass okay?

Excuse my question, but looking from below the elevated water tank, I had the wild though of what would happen if the glass were to break. Of course I wouldn’t actually do something like that!

Rest assured. The walls of the water tank are made from transparent acrylic fiber, so it won’t break.

If we were to use just standard glass, we wouldn’t be able to properly bend the interior parts and furthermore it’s actually easier to see through acrylic fiber.

Acrylic sounds pretty reliable. What if you were to fire a gun at it?

In that case, as you might expect, it would break. In Japan, it’s illegal to own a handgun

so it’s quite safe overall.

Yeah that’s a good point. Speaking of which the penguin in the grassland area sure are cute. However, if they penguins were to fly over the tourist area, it would get pretty noisy huh?

It is designed so that that can’t exist the exhibition area but actually penguins don’t have as much interest in humans, so it’s perfectly fine.

For my final question I was wondering if you all celebrate the penguins birthdays or hold wedding ceremonies.

Sorry to say, but we haven’t done anything like that before…

Thank you very much for your time.

It was my pleasure!


Afterwards I looked it up on the homepage but there were indeed no penguin marriage ceremonies. However, I did manage to find out they host reserved marriage ceremonies through a service called “Sky Bridal”.

You can also meet many different kinds of creatures in the inner part of the aquarium.


For those of you who are visited I have some good advice.

Sunshine Aquarium’s pamphlets and signs provide support in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and English and additionally, by using a QR code scanner application, you can view the animal explanation boxes in your desired language.

Sunshine City acts as a landmark for Ikebukuro so after spending some time traveling and shopping, why not stop by?

They even have a beer garden event at night time! ↓↓↓↓↓↓

If you have someone important in your life, this is the place to take them!

More Information


Business hours

Apr. 1 to Oct. 31

10 AM to 8 PM (No entry after 7 PM)

Nov. 1 to Mar. 31

10 AM to 6 PM (No entry after 5 PM)

*Business hours may change.

Price of Ticket

Adults (age 16+)…………..2,200 yen
Youths(age 7 to 15)……….1,200 yen
Children(age 4 to 6)…………700 yen