The Jellyfish Aquarium
Kamo is the largest jellyfish aquarium in the world, located in Tsuruoka on the shore of the Sea of Japan, in Shonai area in the north of Japan’s main island Honshu. Jellyfish gracefully swim in illuminated water tanks to the wonder of visitors.
Renovated in 2014, Kamo Kurage’s building has a character of majesty, looking like a vessel sailing on the water. The immense aquarium complex allows to study or just contemplate at least fifty jellyfish species, from the tiny beroids to the giant Nomura’s jellyfish whose diameter can reach up to two meters.
However, the visit does not start with the jellies, but with dozens of exotic fish species and even sea turtles, as an introduction before the sight awaiting in the next rooms.
Then, darkness grows deeper in the next successive rooms where gracefully dancing creatures take so many shapes and varied colors that it can be hard to describe them. Some jellyfish shine like stars, others look like spaceships under acid.
Further, giant white mushrooms-like creatures float in a huge five meters diameter tank and strategically arranged LED color them alternatively in pink or blue. It is the Jellyfish Dream Theatre, the preferred spot for group photo amateurs posing in front of a rare show.
Then, a corridor unfolds on an exhibition of drawings by biologists of the past, who admired the jellyfish’s evolution and properties. But the adventure does not end here: in a typically Japanese fashion, the aquarium also caters jellyfish ice cream, to enjoy while watching a sea lion show. A must for gourmet adventurers!
Despite its location far from Tsuruoka’s downtown and the other touristic places, Kamo Aquarium is certainly an interesting place to visit with some time at hand. The trip to reach the aquarium is relatively long, but it offers the sight of the Sea of Japan’s wild coasts and of the surroundings’ mountain landscapes.
The only aquarium in Yamagata prefecture, Kamo Kurage is a very sough-after destination by Japanese local visitors, who come in a family trip, mainly on the weekend and school holidays.