Many people may ask, “Why build an aquarium in the Kyoto basin, far from the sea?”
Naturally, the ocean is essential to an aquarium.
However, the ocean is not the only home to aquatic life.
Surrounded by mountains on three sides, the Kyoto basin is blessed by abundant water resources brought by the rivers that flow from the mountains.
More than 10 Class A rivers run through the city of Kyoto, notably the Kamo, Katsura and Uji rivers. Long known as a city of Sanshisuimei, or scenic beauty, Kyoto has fostered a unique culture around its rivers.
For example, in the Heian period (794-1185), river infrastructure was developed to transport goods, and classical Japanese waka poetry was written in connection with rivers.
In the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1573-1603), the custom of creating kawayuka riverbed verandas began. In the Edo period (1603-1868), the Yuzen dyeing technique emerged.
In this manner, Kyoto’s development has been closely tied to its rivers throughout its history.
Against this historical backdrop, Kyoto will see the birth of its first aquarium in 2012.
Rain falling on the Tanba mountains and the Ashiu virgin forest emerges as spring water, which forms creeks and eventually becomes large rivers, finally flowing into the sea.
KYOTO AQUARIUM recreates the connection of life from the source of Kyoto’s rivers to the sea and the ecosystems where numerous life forms co-exist.
Furthermore, in addition to offering exhibits, KYOTO AQUARIUM regularly holds interactive events where visitors can have fun while learning about aquatic life, as well as presentations by specialist aquarium keepers.
KYOTO AQUARIUM aspires to be a comprehensive “edutainment*-oriented aquarium” where children living in Kyoto can learn about and interact with water resources and aquatic life.
KYOTO AQUARIUM will also strive to protect the natural environment as a facility at the forefront of Kyoto’s efforts to become an environmental model city. Measures include conserving power through solar power generation, and supporting the breeding of Kyoto’s rare species.
We hope that the aquarium will become an essential facility for all those who admire Kyoto.
We also hope that all visitors will truly enjoy this aquarium.
The aquarium opens on March 14, 2012 (Wednesday).
*Edutainment is a combination of “education” and “entertainment.”