This aquarium is 14 km from our town, Tsuruoka. This was our first trip outside of Tsuruoka after arriving in Japan in August 2003. This was also our first time using the bus system. We took the bus to the town of Kamo and then wandered a while until we found the aquarium. The aquarium is famous for having the largest collection of jellyfish in Japan but unfortunately those pictures did not turn out due to the lighting.
Here is a picture of the little town of Kamo on the Sea of Japan. It is on the other side of a small mountain range from Tsuruoka. You can see the use of concrete on the hill face on the left-hand side of the picture.
This is an overview of the aquarium itself with the surrounding hills and the town of Kamo. The aquarium is the building with the blue guardrails in the front of the picture. Kamo has a fishery high school to train students who want to enter the navy or go into fishing. We think the high school is 4-story building towards the back-center of the picture.
This is the only picture inside of the aquarium that survived. Inside this large tank were many types of fish and, according to Peter, a few small sharks. Some of the fish were really large and impressive. The aquarium was really crowded as it was a weekend.
The jellyfish were at the lowerlevel and outside were sea turtles and seals. The sea turtles are in the yellow round pool down below. They were really interesting!
We had a good view of the concrete breakers put in the Sea to protect against large waves. There's concrete everywhere in Japan. Most of the river banks are lined with concrete. In fact, the use of concrete has increased the speed of the current and there was a recent news article about fish having difficulties due to the semi-artificial environment.
It was a dreary day and after we roamed around the aquarium, we went to a little restaurant above the aquarium. Here is Peter at the restaurant. We intended to order lunch but at this point in time our Japanese was really really bad and we couldn't even read katakana (the syllabary used to represent foreign words) so all we managed to order was coffee. It didn't really matter as we had stocked up on Japanese junk food as a precaution. The restaurant was really warm, dry, and had a nice view of the Sea of Japan.
After the restaurant, we climbed up a small hill near the aquarium and took some pictures of the Sea of Japan. We were really excited to see the Sea even though it was a rainy day.
Here is a picture of the Sea closer to the shoreline. Up the shore is the town of Yunohama, renowned for onsens (hot springs) and a nice beach. We had considered going toYunohama but it was too cold for swimming that day.
The End! We thought the trip would take us all day but it only took a half day despite taking the slow bus. It was an interesting site to see.