One of my favorite places to visit in all of Japan is Toba. In the Ise-Shima area of Mie, Toba is close enough to Nagoya that it’s easy to get to, and it’s rarely crowded. It’s a great place to go to get away from the big city, and it offers a lot of fun activities for families.
When we go with our kids, we always stop at Ise Sea Paradise. Toba is quite well-known for its aquarium, but Sea Paradise is great for a lot of reasons. Though it’s much smaller, Sea Paradise offers visitors the opportunity to see the animals up close. If the timing is right, you can play catch with dolphins, pet baby seals, and feed sea horses. But my favorite event is the walrus show. The caretakers bring out the two adult walruses and allow people to come and pet them. I love all kinds of aquatic mammals, but walruses are among my favorites. Here’s a picture from our last visit. It was a blast!