Enoshima Aquarium

It was another beautiful summer day, with the heat boiling every drop of water in my body. My wife and I were happy we could spend some time just relaxing at home, but we wished there was somewhere we could go. We felt that it would be nice to go on a mini day trip to get our minds off the heat. After that, we went to buy our tickets from the nearby Family Mart, a local convenience store chain that is very popular in Japan. The next day, we headed out driving to Enoshima with a book bag filled with 6 bottles of water, tons of Jagariko snack cups (these are potato sticks with various flavors), and some onigiri from another convenience store.

We drove about 1 hour to get to Enoshima. The parking area felt like it was a completely different business on its own since there were multiple, multi-leveled ramps we could park in. The aquarium was across a body of water, which conveniently had a bridge built above it, and we could go up by escalator, stairs, or by elevator. The walk to the stair area from the parking lot took a bit over 10 minutes itself. Once we ascended and crossed the bridge, we saw that the park was huge, and there were a variety of buildings with different marine lifeforms inside.

One of the main attractions that made the park so special was being able to get close enough to touch the dolphins. When they felt like it, the dolphins would swim close to the edge of the pool and stick their heads out for visitors to touch them briefly. When they didn’t feel like it, the trainers would bring fish and guide the dolphins along the edge of the water so that they could be petted by the guests. The dolphin was very slippery like rubbing your fingers over a wet bar of soap, yet the skin was softer than a memory foam mattress mixed with a block of tofu. It felt so rare to touch a dolphin since you don’t particularly see them in areas of New York that aren’t in very few parts of the City.

After we pet the dolphins, we moved on to the other tanks in different buildings. There was a huge variety of oceanic organisms found within the tanks, and most of the tanks were so tall we could walk under them and see the fish swimming all around us. There were a lot of really cool looking fish that I’ve never seen before. This included eels and a variety of crabs, fish that looked like seaweed, and many little fish that I wouldn’t be able to describe properly. There was one main attraction other than the dolphins that Enoshima was famous for. We headed for that building after we saw these fish.

Jellyfish are some of the most magnificent creatures you will ever see in the ocean. Their very existence is mysterious. How do they see their food without eyes? Eat without having teeth like ours? Poop using their… ok, never mind that question. The point is, these wonderful creatures glow in the water with a brilliant light that is not commonly seen in many other animals. Jellyfish come in a huge variety, and some of them are barely visible in the water when you are standing right next to them. I know this by experience because when I went clam digging, I nearly punched one on the head reaching down into the sand beneath… Not really the smartest thing to do when you consider the stingers they have on their arms.

Jellyfish are some of the most majestic creatures living in the oceans. Enojima’s researchers have dedicated a majority of their time studying Jellyfish compared to the other sea life in their aquarium. I don’t know the reason for these studies, but somebody in Japan thought these jellyfish (fish?) were really cool and wanted people to learn more about them.

Overall, this was a really fun trip to the Enoshima aquarium located in Fujisawa City. I would love to return one day and see all the fish again. There is nothing quite like seeing the life beneath the ocean. I look forward to my return trip sometime this year. When the sun sets over the water, it feels like being placed on your own magical little paradise as you are surrounded by the beauty of the ocean.

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Shark eggs illuminated with fluorescent bulbs behind a glass case

Remember, always make the most out of each day, as you never know what new experiences may come to your life. If you never try, you never learn and can’t make yourself grow as a person.

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