The Nagisa Tank at Yokohama Hakkeijima Sea Paradise is so immersive that when you stand in front of it, you almost feel like you've dived right in and are swimming with the fishes.
The 1.5-meter-deep outdoor tank is meant to recreate the environment of a shallow sand beach in the tropics and it contains about 30 species of sea creatures.
A sea turtle and a blowfish head straight at the camera placed at the bottom, and a shark more than 1 meter long slips past it from behind.
“Many fish have become friendly with people,” says aquarium keeper So Abe, 45. “They come to you when you bring your face close to the window.”
The Nagisa Tank enables visitors to take a close look at the faces of the animals within and even check out their eye movements.
The tank contains not only several varieties of shark including the scary-looking sicklefin lemon shark, but also the graceful green sea turtle and the hump-headed Napoleon fish.
The reddish manybar goatfish, which has what appears to be a long mustache, is called "ojisan" in Japanese, which is rather unfortunate because that means “middle-aged and older men.”
The aquarium feeds small fish with krill and squid fillets, while green sea turtles are fed cabbage and lettuce, says Abe. The sharks make do with ... fish.
To ensure that all the fish have a chance to eat, their food is thrown to where each group is hanging out.