Second Oldest Aquarium to Close

Marinepia in Matsushima closes after nearly 90 years

By Justin Velgus    - 2 min read

Japan's second oldest aquarium will close its doors on 10 May 2015. Marinepia, located in beautiful Matsushima in Miyagi Prefecture first opened on 1 April 1927. The only longer operating aquarium in the country is Uozu Aquarium in Toyama Prefecture.

Marinepia survived nearby bombings during WWII and the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 which flooded its interior with tsunami water. Nearly 400 species of 8000 marine animals and plants are represented at the aquarium. Favorites on display include American beavers, several types of penguins, seals, dolphins, and crocodiles. The sea lion show is also very popular. Thousands of visitors have visited the aquarium since it first opened its doors in 1927.

Its aging facilities are in need of an upgrade, but instead of a renewal a new aquarium will open later this year near Sendai Port in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture. Its owners are not the same, though some fish will be sold to the new aquarium. The new facility is located near a shopping outlet center and the Yume Messe event center. It is expected to draw a large amount of visitors from student field trips to overseas visitors.

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Justin Velgus

Justin Velgus @justin.velgus

Justin Velgus (ジャスティン ベルガス) is a long-term resident and promoter in the Tohoku region. He has been a content producer for since 2012 and was the Miyagi Prefecture Regional Partner 2013-2015. Justin’s over 300 published travel and culture articles come from a background of studying in Akita, teaching English in Miyagi through the JET Program, and working for the government in Fukushima. He lives in the gyutan capital of the world, Sendai.   Justin is an expert in local culture and history. He was the first foreign volunteer at Sendai City Museum and regularly advises the local volunteer guide group GOZAIN , which he is a veteran member, on guiding techniques and hidden locations in the city even locals don't know about. In his free time he enjoys delivering original walking tours, such as his Dark Sendai Tour (ghost tour) or Kokubuncho Mystery Tour (redlight district tour). Justin is also a Certified Sake Professional.

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Tyra 'nell Pille-Lu 4 years ago
I wonder where the other unsold marine species will go to... I still hope they'll all be in good hands.