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Ikebukuro Aquarium and Edo Tenka Matsuri Parade

Tokyo Travel Blog

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A group of CIEE friends and I spent Saturday in Ikebukuro at the Sunshine International Aquarium there. The aquarium itself is located on the 10th floor of a high rise building, and is thus quite small. But it was fun to visit nonetheless. My favorite thing we saw there were the Japanese Spidercrabs, the largest crabs in the world growing up to sizes of 12 feet! Coincidentally, before going to the aquarium, I was watching a National Geographic video podcast on the spidercrab in my dorm. I was just lucky enough to get to see them in person later that day.

The aquarium is a part of Sunshine City, a collection of tall office buildings and is linked to the tallest building in Japan which we visited as well. At 60 stories high, this super tower overlooks all of Tokyo.
We got there in the evening and so we saw the twinkling of the Tokyo urban sprawl. The lower levels of Sunshine City contain a shopping mall which has mostly American stores like Eddie Bauer and Gap. It felt a little odd walking through it because it was almost as if we were back in the States.

After the aquarium, we caught the Yurakucho line to Hibiya Park where we caught the tail end of the Edo Tenka Matsuri parade. The biannual parade, comprised of over 20 different portable shrines and floats called mikoshi, takes place around the Imperial palace. This tenka matsuri is a tribute to the actual matsuri that occurred in Edo Japan when the public was allowed entry to the palace grounds to present their mikoshi to the shogun. We were fortunate enough to see the elaborately designed mikoshi being pulled by men and women in kimonos throughout Hibiya park. Paper lanterns swayed back and forth lighting up the path and the sound of taiko drums could be heard throughout the parade. It was finally nice to catch a more cultural experience here in Tokyo, even as it was ending.

It was rainy all day and much cooler but this is the weather I have been looking forward to all summer. Tomorrow classes start and things will begin to take on a new shape I suppose.
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penguins, probably wishing they co…
penguins, probably wishing they c…
these poor seals had such a small …
these poor seals had such a small…
giant Japanese spidercrabs!!!
giant Japanese spidercrabs!!!
flying squid...super mario bros?
flying squid...super mario bros?
i like jellyfish too
i like jellyfish too
kinda like a scene from space
kinda like a scene from space
ikebukuro
ikebukuro
there was a nice park right outsid…
there was a nice park right outsi…
the aquarium on the top floor of t…
the aquarium on the top floor of …
a sign on the elevator doors
a sign on the elevator doors
inside the elevator to the 60th fl…
inside the elevator to the 60th f…
the view from the top
the view from the top
edo tenka matsuri parade mikoshi
edo tenka matsuri parade mikoshi
Edo Tenka Matsuri parade in Hibiy…
Tokyo
photo by: maka77