I doubt if I will ever find an aquarium that will ursurp Monterey Bay Aquarium as my favorite,
(Besides being the first ones to successfully keep bluefin in their tanks, right now they have a GREAT WHITE SHARK collected off of HUNTINGTON BEACH on exhibit, and VIDEO of it feeding in captivity. MBA, in my eyes, is just simply put the best aquarium in the world. On a side note, three years ago my sister Merin took her beginning sailing class out of Newport harbor, just minutes South of Huntington Beach, and saw a huge congregation of boats circled around something. She decided to return to the Orange Coast College docks, and found out that the boats were watching two white sharks feasting on the carcass of a dead whale. It will be interested to see if and what white sharks predate on around Huntington, as I don't recall any attacks on surfers around this area (probably because there are not many seals and sealions anymore), or if they just use the area as a sort of nursery or something. By the way, this program that surveys pelagic marine animals is worth a look as well.)
but I have to say that Japan does its aquariums very well. Among the aquariums I have visited in Japan, Osaka Kaiyukan ranks among my favorites. Kagoshima City aquarium is also very well done, and located right across from the still-active volcano, Sakura-jima, which sits in the middle of Kagoshima Bay (my favorite exhibit was the electric eel tank where the voltometer, mounted above the tank, measured the electric discharge that the eel uses to stun its prey during feeding time). My other favorite aquarium is in Okinawa, the Churaumi Aquarium. If you happen to go diving and miss out on seeing giant mantas and whale sharks, you can head over here and see them no problem. In fact, you can see whale sharks (not the largest specimens, but still quite impressive) at all three of these exhibits. One thing I did notice is that 5 years ago, Osaka had a pair of whale sharks, but now there is only one. I wonder what happened to the other one.