February 07, 13 | Takako Chiba
The "On'neyu Hot Spring and Mountain Aquarium" can be found in the town of Rubeshibe in Kitami, Hokkaido. In July of 2012, famous aquarium producer Nakamura Hajime renewed and reopened this amazing aquarium.
There are many aquariums to be found across Japan, but this Hokkaido located aquarium features a fascinating look at the biology of the local rivers. In particular, "Ito." (Also known as a stringfish or Japanese huchen. It is a species of fish in the salmon family.)
This aquarium features not only the largest freshwater fish collection in Japan, but also it is the only aquarium in Japan to have a confirmed "Ito" specimen.
▲ The length of this fish is one meter! I heard that it took about 15 years to grow to this size.
Another unique tank in the aquarium is the "Waterfall Basin Tank." It isn't very often you're able to see the aquatic life that lives beneath a waterfall! Inside the tank, a manmade waterfall creates an eddy where you can see Dolly Varden trout swimming strongly against the current.
▲ Inside Japan, the Dolly Varden trout can only be found living naturally in Hokkaido.
▲ A compelling look up from beneath the waterfall!
There is a reason we waited so long after the reopening to introduce you readers to this wonderful aquarium, and it has something to do with the intense winter cold here in Hokkaido.
That reason is the unique "Four Season Tank!" This is the first aquarium tank in the world designed to freeze over during winter. Visitors will be able to view fish swimming beneath the icy surface of the tank in the peaceful, yet blisteringly cold, waters below.
▲The "Four Season Tank."
▲Here's what it looked like after the first snow began to fall.
▲The waters have really begun to get cold! A fascinating view of winter under the water.
Other incredible exhibits include a tank designed specifically with low water to enjoy the sight of jumping fish, a tank with a collection of freshwater fish from around the world, a tank with Doctor Fish that will help clean the old skin from your feet by nibbling it away, and a special corner where visitors are able to touch crayfish and turtles!
If you're headed to eastern Hokkaido, this is an experience you don't want to miss!
■ On'neyu Hot Spring and Mountain Aquarium
■ On'neyu Hot Spring and Mountain Aquarium on facebook
Location: 1-4 Matsuyama, Rubeshibe-cho, Kitami
TEL : 0157-45-2223
FAX : 0157-45-3374
Hours of Operation:
(Summer) 9:00-5:00, (Winter) 9:30-4:00
(Summer) Always Open, (Winter) Every Monday and the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month.
※ Summer season from April to October.
※ Winter season from November to March.
※ For more information please visit the homepage.
(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Takako Chiba)
(All photographs provided by On'neyu Hot Spring and Mountain Aquarium)