Swimming with the Fishes

Carolyn and Mary Jane spent their day in Osaka at one of the largest aquariums in the world, KAIYUKAN.  It was just steps away from where the Queen Mary docked.  We followed lots of little Japanese school children into the building, and prepared our ears for all their laughter, squealing, and shrieks of joy.  This was just hours before the horrible earthquake hit northeastern Japan.

The aquarium is based on 13 different eco-systems along the Ring of Life, which follows the Pacific Ring of Fire.  It includes the Japan forest, Aleutian Islands, Monterey Bay California, Gulf of Panama, Ecuador rain forest, Coast of Chile, Antarctica, Cook Straight, Tasman Sea, Great Barrier Reef, Seto Inland Sea, the Japan Deeps, and the Pacific Ocean.

The layout and design of the aquarium is totally inviting.  We stayed in the morning until our camera batteries died, headed back to the ship for lunch and to recharge the cameras, and went back for the entire afternoon.  When we finished, we had taken almost 1,000 pictures between the two of us.

We discarded a large number of the photos we took due to the difficult shooting conditions.  The tanks are constructed of 30 centimeters thick acrylic, which in many places is curved.  Moreover, they have the various eco-systems lighted differently, depending on the type of light that is typical for that environment, so some tanks were bathed in green light, sun light, or blue light, depending on the needs of the tank’s inhabitants.  Plus the inhabitants are always on the move, especially the jellyfish, which were absolutely fascinating to watch. So, forgive us for some of the photo quality blips, but we thought you would still enjoy them.

The whale shark is really HUGE but seems docile in his environment.

Look for Freddy.  Carolyn was totally enthralled with this fish, because his body looked like feathers rather than scales. He sat there watching us as we watched him, plus his color scheme is the same as the décor in Carolyn’s new home.  Whatever the reason, introduce yourself to Carolyn’s new best friend, Freddy.


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4 Responses to “Swimming with the Fishes”

  1. Wonderful photographs especially of the jellyfish! Loved seeing them. What all did you experience of the earthquake and tsunami or did you? I don’t know how you took such good photographs of the fish and all when they were in those tanks. They must keep the walls of the tanks extremely clean and the lighting is excellent. Thanks for sharing.

  2. As always we LOVE your photos. Wonderful! And amazing how you captured all these magnificent creatures under conditions challenging to photography. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Love reading all the blogs and seeing the pics! So amazing!! The jellyfish are so unique and bizzarre! I would love to have a wall aquarium in my home of just different species of jellyfish to watch! So, Freddy’s pic must now be framed or turned into canvas artwork for Carolyn’s home 🙂 I love that fish too!
    So sad about Japan’s earthquake. They have truly been devastated on so many levels. It is amazing and lesson-worthy that they are not fighting, looting or screaming at others. In a pic from yesterday, I saw they are just standing calmly, waiting in line for any shipment of food or water in between searching for/helping others.

  4. Barbara Greenstein March 19, 2011 at 3:33 am

    So is Carolyn’s decor and friend Freddy bright blue, penguin black and white, or jellyfish orange and white? GREAT pictures! Did you use snorkels in the fishtank and shoot from there? Or steal a few Jacques Cousteau pix from the ship’s library?! Your trip-a-log has been such a treat (or should I say “Re-treat” from life as it is for me today. Thank you!!!)

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