Exhibition of Bizarre Creatures to be Held at Sunshine Aquarium in 2019
15.December.2018 | SPOT
Sunshine Aquarium in Ikebukuro, Tokyo is set to host its third Hen na Ikimono Ten (‘Exhibition of Strange Living Creatures’) from March 30 to early July next year in collaboration with Ikuo Hayakawa, author of the best-selling book Hen na Ikimono. The first and second exhibitions brought in close to 200,000 people.
The exhibition will feature a line-up of odd-looking animals with detailed audio commentaries from Ikuo Hayakawa himself to create an experience that will feel like you are immersed in the book.
Some of the creatures on display include the Peters’ elephantnose fish which has a chin like that of an elephant’s trunk, the Armadillo girdled lizard which puts its tail in its mouth and rolls up into a ball when it feels threatened, and the spindly, spider-like arrow crab. More creatures are scheduled to be announced in the near future.
If you’re a fan of weird and wacky wildlife then don’t miss out on this special exhibition.
Sunshine Aquarium x Ikuo Hayakawa 3rd ‘Hen na Ikimono’ Exhibition
Running: March 20, 2019 – Early July 2019
Location: Sunshine Aquarium
*Priced at ¥400 for users of the aquarium or observation deck and yearly pass holders.
Address: 3-1-3 Higashiikebukuro, World Import Mart Bldg. Rooftop, Toshima Ward, Tokyo
Now until March 20, 2019 – 10:00-18:00
From March 21, 2019 – 10:00-21:00
Price: Adults (High School Students and Above) ¥2,200 / Children (Elementary & Middle School Students) ¥1,200 / Infants (4+ years) ¥700
Official Website: http://www.sunshinecity.co.jp
Ikebukuro’s Sunshine Aquarium to Open Magical New Jellyfish Area
01.July.2020 | SPOT
Sunshine Aquarium in Ikebukuro, Tokyo is set to open its brand new jellyfish area as part of the aquarium’s third major renovation on July 9, 2020.
Jellyfish Panorama Tank
Two tanks will grace this area: the magnificent moon jellyfish will dance across the 14-meter wide “Jellyfish Panorama” tank, while sea nettle jellyfish, which are known for their long tentacles, will swim in the “Jellyfish Screen.”
The jellyfish exhibit already in Sunshine Aquarium is also being renovated, with gorgeous new flooring and walls being put in place. Six tanks will be housed here, including the 360° “Jellyfish Tunnel,” “Jellyfish Loop,” “Jellyfish Drop,” and “Jellyfish Dream.”
A Spectacular Performance of Music, Smells, and Lighting
The new jellyfish area will feature original sounds newly recorded to capture the vibe of the jellyfish’s movements. There will also be special fragrances you can smell, as well as beautiful lighting that twinkles like the swaying of the water. All of this serves to make visitors feel calm and relaxed.
Exclusive Tully’s Coffee Beverage
T’s Splash Nata de Coco in Oasis: Have-In ¥649 / Takeout ¥637
This refreshing carbonated drink is inspired by jellyfish filled with lemon flavoured nata de coco coconut jelly. Exclusive to Sunshine Aquarium, the drink comes with one of four possible special jellyfish straw flags.
Grand Opening Commemoration Products
High Grade Jellyfish Confection: ¥400
Limited in stock, this confection was made in collaboration with Ikebukuro’s long-stand confectionery shop Ikebukuro Miharado and also under the guidance of the aquarium’s jellyfish staff.
Jellyfish Konjac: ¥972
Konjac shaped just like real jellyfish.
Grand Opening Commemoration Menu
Jellyfish Cold Greens: ¥1,100 / CHUKA SHUNSAI RYOURI・HINABE SHU (Alpa Floor 3F)
Blue Hawaii Tiny Aquarium & Jellyfish Jelly: ¥495 AGIO (Alpa Floor 3F) *15 served per day
Select restaurants in Sunshine City Alpa will also serve up some limited-time jellyfish-inspired dishes and drinks from July 9 to celebrate the opening of Sunshine Aquarium.
Address: Sunshine City World Import Mart Bldg. Rooftop, 3-1 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 9:30-21:00 (until September 10) / 10:00-18:00 (from September 11)
General (High School Students and Older) ¥2,200 (¥2,400 from July 9)
Children (Elementary & Junior High School Students) ¥1,200
Infants (Aged 4+ Years): ¥700
Official Website: https://sunshinecity.jp/
*Photos are for illustrative purposes only. All listed prices are tax-inclusive.
Japan’s Pingu Exhibition to Take Place in Ginza Showcasing Lots of Noot Noot Treasures
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Swiss claymation children’s television series Pingu. Japan is celebrating the milestone with the “Pingu Exhibition” which will take place on the 8th floor of Matsuya Ginza in Tokyo from August 12 to 24.
Original material for Pingu by the show’s creator Otmar Gutmann will be exhibited, as well as the actual clay figures, dioramas, storyboards, and more that were used during the filming in Switzerland. Many of the 400 or so items on display have never been shown in Japan before.
There will also be a recorded interview with Seishi Kattou, the only Japanese animator that was working in the Pingu studio at the time. But the fun doesn’t end there, as there will even be an AR attraction made using CG and original animations from the Pingu in the City 3D CG film.
A peek into the exhibition
The secret story behind Pingu’s creation
Visitors will be able to learn about the author Otmar Gutmann as well as see production materials, storyboards, and other treasured items that give insight into how the creator and studio gave rise to Pingu.
Exhibits: Notes from Otmar Gutmaan, storyboards, clay figures, dioramas, pilot episode screening, and more
The Clay Room
Pingu’s iconic exaggerated elastic movements are made possible through the use of clay. These movements play an important part in conveying characters’ emotions and are one element of the show’s storytelling. These movements will be exhibited in the event’s Clay Room where you’ll get to see different models morphing into different shapes. These clay figures are all handmade by the Pingu studio staff themselves.
Exhibits: Clay figures, tools, Pingu studio videos, and more
3DCG Animation and Pingu in the future
Pingu in the City is a Japanese 3D CG animated series which used the same style of the original series but instead opted for computer animation, adding a different layer of charm to the internationally adored series. Visitors will be able to enjoy this digital Pingu in a variety of ways.
Exhibits: Digital videos, AR, and more.
There will also be exclusive Pingu exhibition merchandise on sale, as well as pre-sales of Pingu merchandise yet to go on sale.
Shin Sobue (Pingu Exhibition Art Director) | Comment
“This will be the first all-out exhibition for Pingu, a series which has transcended borders from Switzerland and the UK to Japan. This will be a happy exhibition that neatly divides everything for people to enjoy, from its mysterious language to its comical movements, story, and laid-back humour.” (Translated from Japanese by MMN)
Pingu 40th Anniversary Exhibition
Running: August 12, 2020 – August 24, 2020
会場： 松屋銀座 8階 イベントスクエア 東京都中央区銀座3-6-1
Kawasaki Aquarium to Open Inside Kawasaki Le FRONT This Summer
29.June.2020 | SPOT
Aqua Live Investment is set to open Kawasaki Aquarium, which will also be known as Kawa Sui for short, on floors 9F and 10F of Kawasaki Le FRONT, a shopping centre in front of Kawasaki Station, on July 17, 2020.
In the lead up to its grand opening, Kawasaki Aquarium launched its own official app, as well as opened purchases of Annual Passports to the aquarium, on June 17.
What is Kawasaki Aquarium all about?
The theme of Kawasaki Aquarium is “The World’s Beautiful Waters.” It will showcase creatures and living things from around the world—from the waters of Tama River which flows through Kawasaki to Asia, Africa, and the Amazon in South America—using the latest technology combining lighting, sound, and visuals.
There are three kinds of Annual Passports to choose from which let you access Kawasaki Aquarium as many times as you want throughout the year. They are valid for an entire year and let you bypass the ticket counter so you don’t have to line up. These passports can be bought via the aquarium’s official app before its grand opening. After that they can be bought either on the app or directly at the aquarium at the Passport counter.
Those who purchase an Annual Passport between June 17, 2020 and July 16, 2020 will receive an extra free two months on top of their guaranteed 12 months.
3 Annual Passport Types
Dual Passport: Daytime & Nighttime
Allowed Entry Times: [Day] 10:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:00) / [Night] 18:00-22:00 (Last Entries 21:00)
Prices (Tax Included): Adults ¥6,000 / High School Students ¥4,500 / Elementary & Junior High School Students ¥3,600 / Children (4+ Years) ¥1,800
Daytime Passport: Daytime Only
Allowed Entry Times: [Day] 10:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:00)
Prices (Tax Included): Adults ¥4,000 / High School Students ¥3,000 / Elementary & Junior High School Students ¥2,400 / Children (4+ Years) ¥1,200
Nighttime Passport: Nighttime Only
Allowed Entry Times: [Night] 18:00-22:00 (Last Entries 21:00)
Prices (Tax Included): Adults ¥4,000 / High School Students ¥3,000 / Elementary & Junior High School Students ¥2,400 / Children (4+ Years) ¥1,200
Experience the aquarium at night
Kawasaki Aquarium is open everyday until 22:00. Visiting the aquarium at this time offers a completely different experience as warm lights set the mood and different sounds play from daytime hours. It’s also a chance to see nocturnal creatures that only come out at night. Plus, the aquarium serves alcohol and bar food in the evenings.
Download the app
The Kawasaki Aquarium app is free to download and lets guests enjoy coupons with their Annual Passport, gives them the latest news about upcoming events, lets them access the online shop, and more.
Kawasaki Aquarium (Kawa Sui)
Address: Kawasaki Le FRONT (Floors 9F-10F), 1-11 Nisshinchō, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Opening Hours: [Day] 10:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:00) / [Night] 18:00-22:00 (Last Entries 21:00)
Official Website: https://kawa-sui.com
*No refunds are given on Annual Passports
*Student ID required for students
*Free entry for those aged 3-years and below
*Those aged 12-years and below must be accompanied by a parent or guardian aged 16+
Help Rescue Sumida Aquarium’s Spotted Garden Eels by Showing Your Face Online
29.April.2020 | SPOT
Something unprecedented is happening over at Sumida Aquarium. The living creatures at the aquarium are starting to forget about humans as a result of the building’s closure in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, save for the aquarium staff who are looking after them. In the case of their spotted garden eels, the eels are now hiding in the sand, even when the aquarium staff check in on them.
What exactly is happening with the spotted garden eels?
Spotted garden eels by nature are extremely fragile and alert creatures, and so are prone to diving under the sand to hide themselves. Around 300 of these eels live in a single tank at Sumida Aquarium, and since they are used to people being in the aquarium all the time, they rarely bury themselves even when people get close. However, since the closure of Sumida Aquarium on March 1, 2020, a change has been seen in the spotted garden eels.
Humans not being around is the new norm for the eels. It’s as if they have forgotten about the existence of humans, and now hide themselves away when the staff come through. With the eels no longer showing themselves to the staff, it has becoming difficult to run daily checks to see if the eels are unwell, famished, and so on. The change of environment may even lead to stress of the eels fighting. It has become a serious problem for the staff to ensure they are living an adequate quality of life.
That is where Sumida Aquarium’s “Spotted Garden Eel Face Reveal Festival” comes into play. The aquarium has called for emergency measures for people to video call in to show their faces to the eels so they don’t forget about humans and so they no longer feel afraid of people being around.
Spotted Garden Eel Face Reveal Festival
The festival is a chance for people to meet the spotted garden eels from their own home by using an iPhone, iPad or computer to call in using video chat. As long as you can video call, anyone is free to join. Two sessions will be held per day where people can see the eels pop their heads out of the sand, feed, and so on.
This is the first time Sumida Aquarium has held such a project, and it may or may not work, but they won’t know unless they try. Check the dates below and see if you can get involved.
May 3rd @ 10:30-14:00 (JST)
May 4th @ 10:30-14:00 (JST)
May 5th @ 10:30-14:00 (JST)
How to Participate
Use an iPhone or an iPad to FaceTime any of the Gmail addresses below.i
１）Open the FaceTime app and enter any of the Gmail addresses. Select video call.
２）Screens will be placed in front of the water tanks with the spotted garden eels live. Once the call starts, show your face, wave your hand, and call out to them. Please note that talking loudly is strictly prohibited.
３）5 screens was the limit of what could be set up. They ask for you to call for only 5 minutes so that many different people can show their face so it feels like lots of people at a festival.
*The aquarium apologies if the eels don’t show themselves
*The aquarium apologies in the case that anything goes wrong with the call
*Only iOS can be used at this time and not Android OS
Beautiful Jellyfish Umbrellas Designed by Kamo Aquarium Will Keep You Dry
26.April.2020 | FASHION
YOU+MORE!, a brand of humorous merchandise and accessories developed by Felissimo, has teamed up with the famous Kamo Aquarium to release a series of jellyfish umbrellas.
The intricate umbrella designs were developed in cooperation with the staff at Kamo Aquarium’s Jellyfish Dream House. Three different kinds of jellyfish were used as inspiration for the umbrellas.
Moon Jelly Umbrella
YOU+MORE! Moon Jelly Umbrella – ¥1,600
Moon jellyfish are perhaps one of the most popular kinds of jellyfish out there. What may be the most striking part of this umbrella is the colour gradation which gives it a transparent effect. The edges of the umbrella are also curved, giving it a delicate silhouette and making it look even more like the real things.
The umbrella’s frames are built strong, and the material of the umbrella itself is a white glass fibre which serves not only to mimic the colour of a moon jelly, but so that you can still see through it too. (As a side note, all three of the umbrella designs are made from glass fibre.)
Northern Sea Nettle Umbrella
YOU+MORE! Northern Sea Nettle Umbrella – ¥1,600
Like the northern sea nettle itself, this umbrella features a dome shape and incorporates a stripe design. A northern sea nettle has 16 stripes, and so that many were added to the umbrella. The jellyfish staff at the aquarium praised this one as the most realistic.
YOU+MORE! Spotted Jelly Umbrella – ¥1,600
Like the northern sea nettle, the spotted jelly too as a cute dome-shaped body. If someone who has never seen one of these jellyfish umbrellas before sees this design, they’ll think of it as just having cute spotted design. However, a jellyfish enthusiast is sure to get excited as the sight of this one with its details like its orange colour and the dots around the edges.
Kamo Aquarium will begin selling limited edition versions from the end of June this year which come with an ephyra charmーthat’s the name for a baby jellyfish. The aquarium is currently closed until May 6 due to the coronavirus. The latest updates can be found on their official website.
Address: Okubo-657-1 Imaizumi, Tsuruoka, Yamagata
Official Website (Japanese): https://kamo-kurage.jp/
Official Website (English): https://kamo-kurage.jp/english/
Must-Visit Spots in Kagawa Prefecture in 2020: Cherry Blossoms, Dolphins, Bonsai & More
15.March.2020 | SPOT
Appreciation for the Seto Inland Sea in Japan is on the rise: American company Discovery named Shikoku one of its Top 10 must-visit rising locations around the world for 2020, and the city of Setouchi in Okayama has featured as a recommended travel destination in Western media. One particular location, Kagawa Prefecture, has been featured on many international travel sites as a must-visit place, including on Booking.com, Skyscanner, and REMOTE LANDS, with places such as Takamatsu, Teshima, and Shōdo Island being picked up.
Takamatsu is known as the doorstep that brings together the many islands of Seto Inland Sea. It’s a port city with great fresh food, highly convenient for travellers wanting to visit lots of different islands, and a popular region that brings together elements of Japanese culture.
Today, we take a look at some must-visit locations around Takamatsu, including a new facility opening, must-visit spots for spring to early summer, food, and more.
Shikoku Aquarium – The largest aquarium in Shikoku
Shikoku Aquarium is set to be the largest across Shikoku when it opens its doors to the public on March 20, 2020. It’s located inside Utazu Seaside Park in the town of Utazu where it will exhibit the creatures that live in Shikoku and feature the many different seaside landscapes located there. But the aquarium won’t just stop at showcasing animals, it will also be a cultural facility where you can learn about the history, culture, and natural environment of Shikoku, and there’ll be artwork perfect for the Setouchi Triennale contemporary art festival which is held around Seto Inland Sea every three years.
Address: Utazu Rinkaikoen, 4-1 Utazu, Ayauta District, Kagawa
[March 20, 2020 – September 30, 2020] 9:00-18:00
[October 1, 2020 – March 19, 2021] 10:00-18:00
[Golden Week/Summer Break] 9:00-21:00
No Fixed Holidays
Price: General (16+ Years & High School Students) ¥2,200 / Children (Elementary School Students) ¥1,200 / Toddlers (3+ Years) ¥60
Official Website: http://shikoku-aquarium.jp/
Well-Known & Little-Known-Good Cherry Blossom Spots
Kagawa Prefecture is home to many spots that offer beautiful sounds and sights throughout the four seasons. Cherry blossom season is right around the corner in Japan, so let’s take a look at some must-visit spots, both popular and little-known good ones.
Ritsurin Garden (Takamatsu)
One of the most famous historical gardens in Japan, Ritsurin Garden is home to around 320 Yoshino cherry trees, whose pink colour reflects beautifully off the lake together with the 1,000 green pine trees.
Marugame Castle (Marugame)
Marugame Castle is one of only 12 castle in Japan to have an original wooden tenshu, or castle tower, built. From the great height of the castle’s stone wall, which is the tallest in Japan, one can gaze down at 1,000 cherry blossom trees in bloom.
Around 3,000 cherry trees bloom on t he island, including Yoshino cherries, yama-zakura, and yae-zakura, which roll from the port to the lighthouse.
Asahiyama Forest Park (Mitoyo)
Asahiyama Forest Park is located on the peak of Mt. Asahi, up 238 meters high. There, you can witness 2,000 vibrant cherry blossom trees bloom in spring, including Yoshino cherries. The park’s observation deck is popular too, offering a 360° panoramic view.
Experience the world of bonsai in Kagawa, the only place in Japan which produces pine bonsai trees
Interest in bonsai trees continues to grow every year not just in Japan but overseas too. The number of people incorporating them into their lives as interior decoration is on the rise. Kagawa Prefecture is the only place in Japan which produces pine bonsai trees, the largest places being Kinashi and Kokubunji in Takamatsu. There are around 60 bonsai makers in both of these towns, so you are sure to spot some if you walk through them.
Official Website: https://takamatsu-bonsai.com/en/
The new Takamatsu Bonsai no Sato is also set to open on April 17, which will include an information centre providing information on bonsai culture in Takamatsu, and there will be workshops too. Whether you’re new to bonsai or a pro, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Takamatsu Bonsai no Sato
Grand Opening: April 17, 2020
Address: 353-1 Kokubunjichō Kokubu, Takamatsu, Kagawa
Travel to Kagawa this spring to enjoy the cherry blossoms and pay a visit to the new Shikoku Aquarium.
DIOR FROM PARIS TO JAPAN Exhibition Shows Off Dress Line-Up Inspired by Japanese Culture
The DIOR FROM PARIS TO JAPAN exhibition at HANKYU Umeda Store in Osaka began on March 1 where it is set to run until March 22.
The collection features a complete line-up inspired by Japan’s rich culture, from dresses serving haute couture to exquisite Lady Dior bags re-interpreted by various artists. This exhibition is a coming-together of DIOR and Japan and expresses savoir faire the way a maison should.
The exhibition is also home to a gift shop selling a range of different items. It also has an audio guide presented by Japanese actress and fashion model Yuko Araki and actor and model Ryusei Yokohama, both of whom were selected as Japan Fashion Ambassadors for this exhibition.
See the worlds of DIOR and Japan collide at DIOR FROM PARIS TO JAPAN.
DIOR FROM PARIS TO JAPAN
Running: March 1, 2020 – March 22, 2020
Location: HANKYU Umeda Gallery (HANKYU Umeda Store Floor 9F)
Address: 8-7 Kakudacho, Kita, Osaka
Official Website: http://bit.ly/DiorFromParisToJapan
Studio Ghibli Museum Photo Exhibition to be Held at HMV&BOOKS SHIBUYA in Tokyo
A photo exhibition will be held at the HMV Museum in Shibuya from March 6, 2020 for a limited time in promotion of the release of Studio Ghibli Museum’s first official photo book, Ghibli Bijutsukan Monogatari (“The Story of the Ghibli Museum”).
“Ghibli Bijutsukan Monogatari” Photo Book – ¥3,800 (Exhibition Pre-Sale: March 6, 2020 / General Release: March 20, 2020)
Photography is strictly forbidden at the Studio Ghibli Museum, but this exhibition gives a rare look inside without having to go inside. There will be panels of photos of both inside and outside the museum, a display of miniature figures of characters like the Robot from Laputa: Castle in the Sky, writings from Studio Ghibli film producer Toshio Suzuki, and more. The museum’s popular photo spots will also make an appearance at the exhibition for taking a photo next to.
Exclusive Desk Calendar (*Limited to 500 people per day, first-come first-served)
Desk calendars will also be available, featuring the photos used at the exhibition.
Exclusive Exhibition Merchandise
Tote Bag – ¥2,000 / T-Shirt – ¥2,800 / Hanging Scroll – ¥30,000 / Photos (3 Designs) – ¥8,000 Each
Visitors will be able to get their hands on the photo book early at the exhibition, and those who buy it at HMV&BOOKS SHIBUYA will be invited to a signing and talk session on March 7, 2020 on a first-come, first-served basis. The signing will be attended by Kanyada and Toshio Suzuki, who will also be present at the talk event in addition to film director Ryutaro Nakagawa.
Exclusive merchandise will be sold at the exhibition. The exhibition itself encourages people to feel like a lost child, and its layout will reflect that without any set paths or routes.
Dive into the wonderful world of Studio Ghibli at the Ghibli Bijutsukan Monogatari Photo Exhibition.
*Please note that the number of people allowed to enter the exhibition will be restricted due to the ongoing situation surrounding the new coronavirus. This will widen the space between visitors and allow them to enjoy the exhibition in an uncrowded space. More details can be found on the official HMV Museum website.
Ghibli Bijutsukan Monogatari Photo Exhibition
Location: HMV Museum (HMV&BOOKS SHIBUYA Floor 6F)
Running: March 6, 2020 – March 19, 2020
Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00 (Open from 17:00 on March 6, 2020)
Last Entries: 20:30
Entry Price: ¥500 (Tax Included) *Free for preschool children
Event Page (Japanese): https://www.hmv.co.jp/news/article/2002141000/
*Opening hours subject to alteration
*For more details, please check the event page above or HMV&BOOKS SHIBUYA’s official Twitter page
Kyoto Aquarium to House 20 Types of Jellyfish With New ‘Jellyfish Wonder’ Area
29.February.2020 | SPOT
Kyoto Aquarium is currently undergoing a large-scale renovation and is set to reopen on April 29, 2020.
When it reopens, visitors will be able to visit the new jellyfish area, called “Kurage Wonder” (Jellyfish Wonder), which will span 350㎡ in width and 40 meters in length. It will house the largest number of different species in western Japanーup to 20ーwith around 5,000 individual jellyfish to see, like the northern sea nettle and pacific sea nettle.
The area begins at 10 individual water tanks where you can see how moon jellyfish change and grow. It then moves onto the 6.5 meter circumference “GURURI” panorama tank which offers a 360° view of 1,500 moon jellyfish.
This tank is entered through an arch, which once you pass through leads you under the tank where your vision is filled with the sight of countless moon jellyfish.
The new “Kyoto Jellyfish Research Lab” has also been built where guests can observe the staff breeding and researching jellyfish on a day-to-day basis. Enjoy hearing how the jellyfish are cared for behind the scenes while chatting together with the staff. Various other activities you can participate in will be introduced in the future too.
Discover the wonderful world of jellyfish at the newly-renovated Kyoto Aquarium.
Address: 35-1 Kankijicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
Reopening: April 29, 2020
Access: 15-minutes on foot west from Kyoto Station’s Central Exit / 7-minutes on foot from Umekōji-Kyōtonishi Station via the JR San’in Main Line
Official Website: https://www.kyoto-aquarium.com/en/
NAKED SAKURA AQUARIUM: Cherry Blossoms and the Sea Come Together at Tokyo’s Maxell Aqua Park
23.February.2020 | SPOT
Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa has announced the holding of a new exhibition entitled “NAKED SAKURA AQUARIUM” which will run at the Tokyo-based aquarium from March 1, 2020 to April 19, 2020.
Offering “cutting-edge Tokyo entertainment,” the exhibition is combined music, lighting, and visuals with living beings. Using the latest in leading edge tech, visitors will be treated to a visual treat of animals living harmoniously with the season. The exhibition promises you will notice something new with each visit. Enter a world of spring like never before as cherry blossoms and the ocean come together through digital art.
Cherry Blossom Tayori
The entrance to the aquarium will be in full bloom with cherry blossoms. The water tanks in the centre will be perfectly pink and house madai snapper, a type of fish also nicknamed “sakura-dai” around this season.
Spilling Cherry Blossoms
This area will be like an atrium, with water tanks and showcases lined up beautifully next to each other and decorated with cherry blossom art flowers. The water tanks, which bring to mind the image of a “banquet,” will house sakura-dai, sea goldie, and other fishes.
Dancing Cherry Blossom Garden
In the immersive Patterns area, you can see the “possibilities” of the four seasons as digital art works to combine a seasonal landscape with the sea creatures on display.
Also in the Dancing Cherry Blossom Garden will be Cape penguins who will put on a performance using their physical abilities. The performance, which is split into two parts, will make use of projection mapping. The first part will see the bloom of yaezakura cherry trees, while the second part will have jacaranda, also called the “purple cherry blossom,” a flower that blooms in South Africa where Cape penguins originate.
Dolphin Performance Day Version – Cherry Blossom Dance
The daytime dolphin performance sees visitors gathering in the amphitheatre. This interactive performance is inspired by springtime banquets and Hanami flower-viewing. Enjoy seeing the dolphins dance high-speed to the rhythm of Japanese rock music.
Dolphin Performance Night Version – Cherry Blossom Story
The nighttime dolphin performance uses the water, lighting, visuals, and music to celebrate cherry blossoms in the evening. Enjoy a more delicate, but powerful performance from the dolphins, and see the flowers in all their beauty.
Jewellery Fish Rumble
The ceiling and walls of the spacious Jewellery Fish Rumble area all have reflective mirror surfaces. Countless pink and blue illuminations light up this evening cherry blossom-themed area, where you can enjoy a digital Hanami experience together with the jellyfish.
Katou Flower Lantern
The NAKED SAKURA AQUARIUM cafe and bar is adorned with a cylindrical water tank with illuminated coral. The cafe/bar is inspired by Katou, which is when the evening light feels like it is being lit up by fully bloomed cherry blossom flowers. The menu includes a selection of cherry blossom and matcha drinks, as well as a selection of sweet treats perfect for the Hanami season.
3 Dango & Mini Taiyaki – ¥500 (Red Bean Paste/Cream)
Sakura Mizu-warabi Rice Cake – ¥500
Enjoy a completely different kind of Hanami experience at Maxwell Aqua Park.
*Photos are for illustrative purposes only
NAKED SAKURA AQUARIUM at Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa
Running: March 1, 2020 – April 19, 2020
Address: Shinagawa Prince Hotel, 4-10-30 Takanawa, Minato Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00
Prices: General (High School Students and Older) ¥2,300 / Elementary-Middle School Students ¥1,200 / Children (4+ Years) ¥700
Exhibition Page: http://www.aqua-park.jp/special/snowaquarium2019/en_index.html
Maxell Aqua Park Shinagawa Official Website: http://www.aqua-park.jp/aqua/en/
Interview: Internationally Popular Japanese Artist Chocomoo Talks About Upcoming Harajuku Exhibition
23.January.2020 | SPOT
A huge exhibition of Chocomoo’s artwork is set to adorn WITH HARAJUKU HALL from August 20 to September 28 this year for “Chocomoo EXHIBITION -OUR SECRET PARTY- Supported by WITH HARAJUKU.”
Chocomoo is a Japanese artist born and bred in Kyoto. Her work is known for its originality and pop style which she draws in black and white. Her work has been used for clothing and apparel brands, for music artists, and for many other special collaborations with other companies. She is active internationally and draws huge popularity with Japanese women between the ages of 10-20. We have translated an interview with her which was just released.
“I’ve loved drawing ever since I was a kid. I’d draw in notebooks, sketchbooks. When I went to New York for the first time, too, I kept a sketch diary and would draw in the park. I was later asked by a guy who managed a gallery if I’d put my work on at his site.”
It was there at that gallery exhibiting several of her works that the first buyer came by.
“I sold my first piece of art. A piece of art drawn by an ‘ordinary person,’ not someone who was an active artist. It was about 30 dollars, if I recall, but I was super happy.”
New York helped pave the way for Chocomoo to begin her first steps towards becoming an illustrator.
She would post her art on her blog and social media, which was seen by singers and songwriters who got in touch with her. She penned artwork for their tour merchandise, album covers, and more. Recently, she collaborated with Italian car brand FIAT. They released 100 limited edition cars with her art on it. Japanese convenience store FamilyMart even sold umbrellas with Chocomoo’s illustrations on them. The reach of her work has no limits.
“When I create a piece, I incorporate a lot of positive words into it in the hopes that it lifts people up.”
One distinct aspect of Chocomoo’s art is the black and white monotone colouring. When asked why she draws in this way, she said: “I did calligraphy from elementary school to high school and was captivated by how we would write in black. When using black ink, it has a matte look to it, and when using black paint, it’s got a glossiness. I think that’s part of the reason why I do it.”
This will be Chocomoo’s biggest exhibition. She is currently working on new material and looking into the details of the exhibition. Speaking about it, she said: “I want to try evolving in a way that’s me. I’m aiming to stimulate the people who come to see my work in a different kind of way.”
She also commented on the ‘OUR SECRET PARTY’ part of the exhibition title. “It’s an exhibition of my work, but I want everyone to enjoy it like they would a party. There’s also new things to be discovered which you won’t no about unless you visit, so I put ‘secret’ in there.”
Chocomoo was asked to give a comment on her future plans and goals. She said, with a smile: “I want to steadily keep doing what I’m best at without changing what I already have, but I also want my work to reach lots of children too. I’d be happy for them to colour in my work, and I want to challenge myself to making some kind of video format aimed at kids. After that, since I’ve already painted a car, I want to go bigger and paint an aeroplane!”
Interview/Original Text: Naho Sotome (五月女菜穂)
Photos: 大黒屋 Ryan 尚保
English Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
As Chocomoo looks to expand her portfolio and reach, we look forward to seeing what she has in store for her exhibition in Harajuku.
Chocomoo EXHIBITION -OUR SECRET PARTY- Supported by WITH HARAJUKU
Running: August 20, 2020 – September 28, 2020
Location: WITH HARAJUKU HALL (1-14-30, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo) *Building under construction at the time of posting this article
Exhibition Website: http://chocomoo-exihibition.com/
The World’s First Living Siren Displayed at Ikebukuro’s Sunshine Aquarium to Spook Visitors
31.December.2019 | SPOT
From January 23 to March 8, 2020, the family-friendly Sunshine Aquarium is getting a horror makeover by haunted house producer Hirofumi Gomi. From sight to sound, the aquarium’s unique characteristics have been transformed to trigger your senses. The aquarium will even display a legendary siren.
The horror aquarium debuted in 2016 as the Noroi no Mizugushi (Curse of the water comb). Following its great response, it returned in 2017 as Ayakashi no Ningyo (Ghost Mermaid) and again in 2018 as Shichinin Misaki (Themed on the legendary seven ghosts spotted in lakes and oceans). The horror aquarium has raked in a total of 65,000 visitors. This year’s Siren is bound to bring as much of a scare as its predecessors.
A siren is a creature that takes on the appearance of a beautiful woman. Known to lurk in the depths of the sea, they lure in sailors with their beautiful singing to sink their ships. Stories of sirens have been told throughout the years in countries all over the world. The seductive and simultaneously deadly creature has aroused our curiosity for decades, leading to Sunshine Aquarium actually capturing one to display to the public. This one is particularly terrifying. Nobody knows what it is capable of.
Note: Sirens are not real creatures and the displayed siren is not real either.
What was once a relaxing and soothing atmosphere has taken a complete turn. Goosebumps will raise on your skin as you delve deeper into the unknown depths of the aquarium with family and friends.
Horror Aquarium: Umi no Yōjo “Siren”- Ikiteiru Kyōfu-
Running: January 23 ー March 8, 2020
Opening Hours: 18:30 – 21:00
*Closes at 22:00 on Fridays, Weekends and National Holidays (Last Entry: 30 mins before closing time)
*Sunshine Aquarium’s usual exhibition period runs until 18:00. (Last Entry at 17:00)
Venue: Sunshine Aquarium (3-1, Higashiikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo
Price: Two Adults (Above High-School-Age): ¥3,500/ One Adult: ¥2,200/ Child (Middle School/ Elementary School-Age): ¥1,200/ Infant ( 4-years-old and over): ¥700
*Young children must be accompanied by an adult or a carer of at least high-school-age. Those under 4-years-old can only enter with the consent of their accompanying carer or adult.
Advanced tickets are currently being sold as of December 19, 2019. Please visit the aquarium’s official website for more information on tickets and year-long passport memberships.
Sunshine Aquarium Official Website: https://sunshinecity.jp/en/