A visit to the Nagoya Aquarium!
As it turns out, we live in a city with a fairly substantial Aquarium near the main port. Gorgeous area, only a 320Y Subway ride from our station as well. We decided to check it out a wee bit ago and see what it had to offer. Even though I was a little under the weather I decided to chance it and see if I would still be OK even after going (which later turned out to be a mistake, was kept essentially in bed for 2 days straight after this sleeping … whoops. Lesson learned.)
I love aquariums. Absolutely love them. I used to be an avid fishkeeper myself (looking at setting one up here before the New Year as funds allow, just something small either with a single Betta splendens or some shrimp, live plants, Amano-style all that.) Keeping it under 5 gallons for sure. (Easy to move then!) I’ve been lucky to visit a few back home: Shed Aquarium (of course!), Baltimore Aquarium, Georgia Aquarium(Wow. Just wow.), and the Tampa Aquarium. I won’t go into critique mode, but this is an impressive place – doesn’t have much in the way of Freshwater specices and focuses mainly on Tropical/Subtropical & Japanese ecosystems (which makes sense) but there is, in particular one feature that actually left me nearly speechless.
What we saw was just a massive tank with tuna, a few hammerhead shark species, and … more sardines than I could count. Thousands. Perhaps tens of thousands. It was like watching a scene from Planet Earth – you just see a massive school of fish and are left in wonderment that such a thing could exist. Even with them all chilling in the corner of the tank, I was amazed.
The school would part as sharks swam through, or blazingly-fast tuna slid through the water, but stayed there and hung out. We watched in awe at it, and after a while moved onto the next room, satisfying our combined curiousity for the wonderful world of aquatic nature.
Among the regular sounds of the Aquarium you would expect to hear, some inspiring new-age music streamed in from around tube we had just crossed through (the barrier wall for the two rooms had a 6 foot long aquarium that you walked through to get between the two sections. Small nurse-sharks were the big feature.) My well-known habit of bounding off in any random direction when I see or hear something that might be of interest had placed me back into the tornado room, and after a call back to Jen who was wondering where I was, and probably wondering if I needed a leash, and we both stood in awe at the sight before us.
A crowd had formed in front of the giant tank. To the music, a rope containing a measurement of fish feed for the sardines would drop into the water, resulting with the ENTIRE school following the bag through the water in a rather tornado-like fashion. It was unlike anything I had ever seen in person. I half expected to hear David Attenburough narrating the scene next to me, translating what my eyes were seeing to properly allow for the full intake to my cereberium. The video really cannot do it justice. I stood there, amazed for longer than I can remember. I had to blink back tears – tears of sheer joy and amazement of what lies out there in nature. The music was pretty emotional too, so that had a bit to do with it as well. Not to go all soft or anything – you all know me, and I would imagine expect nothing less.
The rest of the aquarium brought a few more surprises with a very well-done Deep-sea section, Mangrove area, indoor sea turtle exhibit and beach, and Dolphin/Beluga tanks. Nothing, though, could top the tornado. Some photos below, the rest can be found here!
Not surprising, there wasn’t a shortage of Whale skeletons in the aquarium. Facinating, but it did remind me of the current situation with Whaling in Japan. I’m not a fan, and I’ll leave my thoughts with that particular practice at that.
All in all, we shall be back. I need to find out about an annual membership. It’s 5000Y – a bargain especially with our close proximity to it! No sense getting one now if it’s just calendar year though.
The port really is quite beautiful. There remain two separate museums we need to explore – one of the Antarctic variety, and the other a Maritime museum. In the habor actually sits an antarctic exploration ship – WITH an on-board Helicoptor. I cannot wait to check that out.
Sending our love back to our homes – thanks for reading! 🙂