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ORIX Evolves by Creating Businesses
"Tea at the Aquarium"
-Sumida Aquarium, Operated by ORIX-

Aiming to Create an Aquarium That Keeps People Coming Back

Sumida Aquarium is located at the base of the TOKYO SKY TREE®. At first glance it may appear to be a sophisticated urban aquarium, but our vision for the facility is a little different.

An Aquarium that ‘Keeps People Coming Back’
Our vision is for an aquarium that remains in the memory of visitors as a relaxing and comfortable space.
We want people to think of it as a familiar place, where they might drop by casually to have a cup of tea at the aquarium café.

Our Ideas for Valuing Communication

That’s why we highly value communication.
This means communication with visitors, the aquatic life, and the staff who look after them.
When visitors are gazing into the aquarium, the aquarium keepers often come up and talk with them.
It is these conversations that will linger in visitors’ memories, so we strive to communicate with visitors through the aquarium keepers’ own words rather than placards with the names of the fish on them. This is how we inform visitors about the best way to enjoy observing the aquatic life and their appealing points. Of course, visitors are always welcome to ask questions too.



Furthermore, by bringing ourselves closer to our patrons and providing a space where they can freely communicate, we thought that it will allow visitors to bring home small surprises and excitement. For this reason, our staff meeting space is set up to be visible to visitors too.

Designed to Be Like a Relaxing Park

There is also a reason why the aquarium is designed to allow freedom of movement rather than following a set route.

Many people have probably had the experience of entering an aquarium, following the route, and then finding themselves at the exit before they realized it. The Sumida Aquarium is full of designer chairs and sofas, and preserves a relaxing atmosphere by not making announcements over the PA system. Our aim is to provide a space where families and friends can relax and talk, just like a park.

To Keep People Coming Back

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Our involvement in the aquarium business came about through our participation in the Enoshima Aquarium PFI* project.
We were involved in the management side from our role in financing the project. We have utilized the expertise we developed through that project in operating the Sumida Aquarium and the Kyoto Aquarium.

This experience led us to believe that there is no need for aquariums to be only for scholarly research, and that generating new value through aquariums would lead to business opportunities. We continued to think about how we could make visitors want to return and visit again. This is the answer that we came up with.

* PFI: Private Finance Initiative. A method of utilizing private sector financing and expertise to operate public facilities that are managed under private sector leadership.

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