The 2019 Art Aquarium Exhibition in Tokyo

Fantastic artistic aquariums and goldfish

By Elena Lisina    - 2 min read

The Art Aquarium exhibition is held every summer with this year's event open until September 23. My impression after visiting is that is is definitely one of those 'must see events' in Tokyo!

The only objects lit in the dark exhibition hall are the aquariums with their thousands of beautiful live goldfish. The transparent aquariums with their colours changing to the soft music are the art. It really is a delightfully charming sight. The theme of this summer’s exhibition is Edo, the old name of Tokyo during the Edo Period and Coolness of Kingyo (goldfish in Japanese). During the Edo period watching kingyo was an important part of the common people's culture.

The aquariums, or I should say ‘art objects’ created by artists, have titles such as ‘OoOku’, ‘Oiran’, ‘Super Oiran’, ‘Lotusrium’. Watching water streams, bubbles and floating fish is mesmerising. I imagined myself swimming in cool water like the fish and felt cool indeed. Some of the aquariums have intricate surfaces that distorted the images created by the fish. In another hall there were different installations, and one of the most impressive is the kimono shaped aquarium highlighted with a light show running through it. It’s impossible not to be amazed and charmed by all that fantasy!

Along with the exhibition being open every day from 11:00 am to 10:30 pm you'll find a ‘Night Aquarium’ that starts every evening from 7:00 pm with well-known DJs as well as ‘Special Events’ that include the performances by Kyoto geiko (experienced geisha) and maiko (younger geisha). I wish I had been able to watch one of those performances as I'm sure they would be fantastic, but alas, my itinerary was already filled!

Check the website for more information. Please note that taking photos or videos is allowed, but no flash.

Getting there

The exhibition is right by Mitsukoshimae Station, Exit A6 subway Ginza Line.

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Elena Lisina

Elena Lisina @shiroi.tenshi

I love Japan very much! I like small towns of Japan where I can watch people doing their business and talk to them carefully. They're always friendly. I like Japanese gardens where I can just sit or walk and take my time. Also I like Shinto Jinja as being there I feel in peace. I like to watch sunsets and then to dine in some small local places. I like to soak into onsen after a long day of wandering. I like Japanese crafts very much as all items are made with great taste and skill. Nihon wo daisuki desuyo! My photos from Japan I also place here: https://gurushots.com/f10384/photos Matane!