It’s so photogenic! I visited the world’s best jellyfish aquarium “Kamo Aquarium”!
There is the world’s best “jellyfish aquarium” in Tsuruoka City, Yamagata Prefecture. “Tsuruoka City Kamo Aquarium” is an aquarium specializing in jellyfish and they exhibit more than 50 kinds of jellyfish. They have been awarded a Guinness world record by its number of exhibition of jellyfish. The nickname of this aquarium is “The Dream House of Jellies”.
It started in 1930 as a private aquarium. Although the aquarium was closed during the wartime, but in 1956, it started again as “Tsuruoka City Kamo Aquarium”. In 1964, it was relocated, newly constructed and became the aquarium that 200,000 people visit each year. However, the number of visitors has declined gradually since mid-1970s. Private company and other organizations also try to operate the aquarium, but in 1997, the number of visitors declined to 90,000 because of the opening of the large aquarium in the neighboring prefecture. There was also a day when no one visit the aquarium and the aquarium was facing the crisis of closing.
One day, the jellyfish was suddenly appeared in the water tank of the coral. Once the aquarium started the exhibition specialized in jellyfish, the number of exhibition of jellyfish has become No.1 in Japan and in 2005, it became the world’s best. In 2012, the aquarium was awarded a Guinness world record by its number of exhibition of jellyfish. Because of this, the number of visitors has also recovered to 100,000 in 2000 and in 2010, it was recorded the highest number that was over 210,000 people. When the new building opens in 2014, the number of visitors exceed 710,000. Even now, it is the popular aquarium that more than 500,000 people visit every year.
In 2008, when the research origin of Dr. Osamu Shimomura who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was reported as jellyfish, Kamo aquarium that kept jellyfish also came into the spotlight. It also contributed to increase the number of visitors. Dr. Shimomura is the honorary director of Kamo aquarium and there is commemorative section of Dr. Shimomura in the aquarium.
“Jellyfish Dream Theater” is a large water tank of Moon jelly with a diameter of 5m. There are more than 2,000 of Moon jellies in the tank. Lightning up of the “Jellyfish Dream Theater” is performed regularly and Moon jellies illuminated by seven colors of lights has a fantastic atmosphere.
At the Kamo Aquarium, a mysterious creature “Keseran Pasaran (angel hair)” was also exhibited. It is said that Keseran Paseran comes down from the heaven. In the story, it grows by eating “face powder” and if you keep it, you won’t be sick or become rich. Now 38 of them are found in Shonai area of Yamagata prefecture.
Sea lions and seals are also popular at Kamo Aquarium. The sea lion shows are performed four times a day and the performance that sea lion and caretakers worked well together is something you cannot miss. Seals also appear in the show. The show will be held every day except winter season.
You can also feed black-tailed gulls. There is a bell installed outdoor of the aquarium and when you ring the bell, black-tailed gulls will come. It will be held every day except winter season.
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