Home to a total of around 130 penguins (5 breeds), "Penguin Village" at Kaikyokan, Shimonoseki city's Aquarium, which is located by the Kanmon Straits, is one of the country’s largest penguin exhibition facilities.
One of the aquarium’s highlights is its enormous pool. One of the world’s largest penguin pools, it is around 6meters deep and holds about 700 tons of water.
But why are there penguins in Shimonoseki??
Shimonoseki once prospered as a base for the whaling industry. Its connection with penguins started about 60 years ago when a whaling ship brought back some emperor penguins from the Antarctic and donated them to the old Shimonoseki aquarium.
On December 1st, 2014, the penguin was designated as the official bird of Shimonoseki city.
Within the aquarium there are zones where penguins from warmer climes live! This is where your image of ‘penguin = iceberg’ may change completely!
The Humboldt penguin aka "the hole digging penguin" lives in the warm zone. In preparing holes in the ground surface and making waves in the pool with a wave maker, etc. the aquarium has created an environment that induces the penguins' natural behavior.
Events are arranged where visitors have the chance to touch the Humboldt penguins.
Further on, within the aquarium, you can also purchase cute penguin goods.
So penguins = icebergs?? And they don't move at all??
At this facility, the aim of the exhibition is to overturn the image that people usually have of penguins.
For example, at the "Great Penguin Formation" event arranged in the enormous pool mentioned above, you can observe penguins swimming around energetically as a flock! Though they famously cannot fly, seeing them swim looks almost as if they are flying in the water.
Shimonoseki Municipal Shimonoseki Aquarium, Kaikyokan
Address: 6-1 Arukapoto, Shimonoseki city
Open: 9.30-17.30 (Last entry at 17.00)
Access: 7 minutes by bus from JR Shimonoseki station, 30 minutes by bus from JR Shin-Shimonoseki station, 15 minutes by car from Shimonoseki exit (interchange) on the Chugoku expressway
Homepage: http://www.kaikyokan.com (Japanese)
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