What can you discover at Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium?
You don't need to go to Antarctica to see penguins because Nagasaki is also an ideal place to visit.
When I was a little child, I extremely enjoyed watching the penguins waddling across the white snow on TV. Growing up, I have always been curious about how the penguins living in a snowless region look like. Therefore, my friends and I made a date to visit Nagasaki Penguin Aquarium on a bright sunny day in May.
From Nagasaki Station, we went across the walking bridge to Nagasaki Eki-Mae Minamiguchi bus station (in front of Kokoro Professional College), caught a bus to Aba-Kasuga Shako-Mae, and then get off at Penguin Suizokukan-Mae. It took about 30 minutes to go there with 320 yen.
This Penguin Aquarium is comprised of 2 parts:
The Aquarium area: a large building which is a place to take care of the penguins, different kinds of fish, and also the display rooms.
The other is Nature Zone, including 2 smaller areas: the Coast and the Biotope. Walking through the welcome sign is the Biotope.
Tips: You are allowed to eat and drink outside the Aquarium building, which means the Biotope and the Coast areas. These areas are very natural and suitable for a picnic.
The Biotope area has many connected lakes. At the time I came in May, water lilies were blooming all over the lakes. Among the lakes were "tiny forest pieces", with evergreen trees and twisted vines. There was also a "wetland area" with many reeds.
What's more, there were also dragonflies, butterflies, frogs and many kinds of insects whose names I didn't know. All of them leisurely continued their life in the midst of the forests as if we had not existed.
In May in Nagasaki, it was very sunny and scorching hot at noon. However, when we stepped into the Biotope area, which was densely covered with trees, the temperature dropped significantly, and the air was fresh and cool. I almost forgot the heat in the parking lot just a few dozen meters away.
Right on the top of the Aquarium building's gate is an enormous penguin. I also heard that this penguin would wear a coat in the winter.
The ticket to the Aquarium costs 520¥ per adult and can be bought at the automated ticket selling machine at the gate. I and my friends are all foreign students residing in Nagasaki, so we could visit for free. We only needed to go to the Information Desk in the foyer, presenting our foreigner cards and student cards to receive tickets.
Walking through the ticket gate, I immediately saw a pool with a lot of anchovies. They gathered into schools and swam around. I guessed there might be up to thousands of anchovies inside.
Stepping a bit closer was a huge glass pool that was about 4 meters high. I stood below looking up at dozens of penguins swimming above, like a flock of giant birds "flying" in the water. It was so impressive!
Another smaller glass pool was next to it. Never before in my life have I seen such many strange species of fish like that. I and some primary students around just kept staring at them.
Going inside was the living area of the penguins of warm climate. These penguins were enjoying the sunshine of May in a very leisurely way. They looked so cute either when swimming freely in the pools or waddling back and forth. Standing behind a low piece of glass, I was even able to touch them if reaching my hands out.
Notes: At noon, the staff members begin to feed the penguins with fish. Yes, this looks interesting, but to be honest, I don't like the smell of raw fish because it is too strong. If you are the same as me, remember to prepare a mask in advance.
There are really so many fascinating things at this Aquarium. My trip has yet to finish, and I will come back in the next part.
We still haven't visited the 2nd floor and the Coast, have we?
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