Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise

The Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is so illustrious it had to have its own island built to contain it. Also known as the "Aqua Museum", there's nothing that this place doesn't have – thousands upon thousands of different kinds of fish and other aquatic life forms, sea-related rides, shows featuring the cutest sea animals found at the park, exotic gardens and the real draw: not only the best aquarium in Japan, you'd be hard pressed to find another of its kind anywhere in the world. There's really little question why this is one of the top Yokohama attractions, besting even the temples and zoological gardens the area is known for.

The Sea Paradise Yokohama is truly where man and nature meet. The aquarium is enormous, breath-taking, measuring at three stories tall it's full of all kinds of different sea creatures, including a good deal of freshwater fish. And it's at the main aquarium where you'll find one of the best features of the park: the Aqua Escalator, which takes you from the surface, right to the very heart of the aquarium. You could spend hours here, without even exploring the rest of the man-made island. But then you would miss out on the performances by dolphins and seals; you'd miss out on exquisite sushi served at many of the fine restaurants here; you'd miss out on the surf coaster that snakes its way across the island, helping make the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise one of the top Yokohama attractions.

The aquatic-based rides don't stop at the surf coaster, either. Feel the adrenaline coursing through you as you strap into the "Blue Fall", an exhilarating vertical drop that will leave you breathless. If that's a little too intense for you, there's also a beautifully lit Merry-Go-Round that looks as if straight out of a fairy tale.

You can also get a twilight ticket to the amusement park at a discount rate. The island lights up as darkness falls. Perfect for long strolls through flower gardens in the summer evenings, you don't have to worry about seeing all of the Sea Paradise Yokohama in a day—book a room right on the island and stay as long as you want.

Another great aspect of the Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is its admission price, though each area of the island has a different ticket price, are all reasonably priced (never more than 2700 yen, significantly less for children and students) and it gives you the freedom to pick and choose which of the Sea Paradise Yokohama attractions you want to see on a given day. This way, you don't even have to rush through any of them. Just make sure you see one of the great shows that take place at the Sea Theater, primarily any of them involving dolphins.

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