You will first see two different pools based on the motifs of Kamo River and Yura River. A Japanese giant salamander appears from the shadows of moss-covered rocks. Char and landlocked masu salmon swim gracefully, unperturbed by the roaring waterfall nearby. Enjoy this mystical hidden natural sanctuary to your heart’s content.
One of Japan’s largest Japanese giant salamander exhibits
The Japanese giant salamander is designated as a special natural treasure of Japan and has been called “a living fossil” and “one of the world’s largest amphibians.” Much is still unknown about the behavior of this rare species. KYOTO AQUARIUM’s Japanese giant salamander exhibit puts the spotlight on this species native to Kyoto’s river ecosystems. It is one of Japan’s largest exhibits of its kind.
Recreating a mystical habitat formed by the three water sources of the Kamo River’s upstream ecosystem
In a pristine natural environment untouched by human activity, where snowmelt from the mountains is slowly filtered in the ground, a Japanese giant salamander and a school of dwarf rill trout live quietly. To realistically capture such a scene from Kamo River’s upstream ecosystem, we recreated the three sources of water found in this habitat: Iwashimizu, or water that seeps through cracks in rocks; Yusui, or water that wells up from the sandy river bottom, and Shizuku, or water flowing through breaks in the surrounding moss.
All of Yura River’s upstream, midstream and downstream ecosystems, in a single pool!
The Yura River’s upstream, midstream and downstream ecosystems are expressed in a single pool. Swimming gracefully in the pool are char and landlocked masu salmon, representing the upstream; the Japanese minnow and Zunaga-nigoi, representing the midstream; and carp and Japanese silver crucian carp representing the downstream. Visitors can enjoy Yura River’s many and varied aquatic life along with the changes of the four seasons.
KYOTO AQUARIUM is proud of how it has developed an exhibit based on the behavior of the Japanese giant salamander. If you are lucky, you may see the Japanese giant salamander dash at tremendous speed to catch small fish. It has shoe-button eyes, small hands like a frog, and a slow and measured way of rising from the water to breathe. All these features make the Japanese giant salamander very endearing.