Penguin Aquarium

Oh man.. today was a day like no other. I don't think i've mentioned that Nagasaki has a penguin aquarium have i? We had made tentative plans to visit said penguins, but the kunchi festival was in our way a little bit. Despite kunchi, people still planned on going to the penguin aquarium, so Brian and I planned on doing the same. We tried to locate those individuals planning on going, but they seemed to have disappeared. "Screw it.. let's go there anyways. We're on a mission from god," i motivated Brian. "hell yeah.. penguins here we come."

Unlike most tourist attractions in Nagasaki, the penguin is way of the east side. Pretty much as far east as we are north of the central downtown area. It takes me about 40 minutes to walk to the Densha, and another 20 minutes from there downtown. It's faster by bus, but also more expensive. My masterful navigational, kanji recognition, and common sense skills would be my best tools today as we dared to take a bus somewhere far away. We rode the Densha as far east as it would go, and then began looking for buses.

Well lets see.... the bus schedule had one bus that was far more popular than the others. It had 3 or 4 stops at our location an hour, compared to others which stopped by once every two hours. I figured this had to be our mark, since the bus system has a real strict sense of direction. I double checked my map to be sure, and sure enough. The kanji for the penguin aquarium was the same for a notable bus stop on this route. huzzah.

I hadn't ventured this far east yet, so there was alot of beautiful landscape that i hadn't yet capture on film. Plus it was boring waiting 20 minutes for the bus to arrive at our stop. To pass the time, i attempted to figure out where all these buses were actually going. There's some much Nagasaki east, that i really didn't know what was out there, or ever how to get there.

As soon as the bus came, we were whisked away on the highway of love. The road connected nagasaki downtown to its East was cut into the side of several mountains, so one side of the bus had a fantastic view down to into the river valley. We even went by another hydroelectric plant that collected a large amount of mountain from the mountains ahead. Hydroelectric, Wind and Solar along with some Natural Gas have been Nagasaki's greatest power sources. I've come across two dams that must generate a massive amount of electricity.

The bus continued past the dammed lake and into a tunnel within one of the protective mountains. It was a rather long tunnel, actually. A minute later we emerged alongside the Nagasaki ByPass that connects Nagasaki to the rest of Kyushu. The ByPass goes through Isahaya and onto Fukuoka, eventually. The ByPass was suspended above the valley on a massive bridge. Both sides of the bridge were tunnels within the neighboring mountains. Our bus continued along the road the winded alongside both of the mountains and continued onto the city below us. East Nagasaki was really quite separated from its' parent counter part. Mountains seem to have that effect.

The view was extraordinary. Below us was the city that extended right to the beach of the bay. From there, the water went on to the horizon and met up with more mountains of japan opposite the bay. The terrain of japan is so beautiful.. there's really nothing like it in America. Sure we have mountains, but they aren't sandwiched between sea and ocean, nor is the sea sandwiches between mountain and forest. The sealine is so jagged, that you'll always see more land after a vast body of water. If only there was enough time to explore it all.

The bus descended down the road into the lower city. Brian noticed several road signs indicated the aquarium ahead, so we got off the bus. Our fare was 270 yen, i think. Rather pricey. We followed signs and came across our destination:

Penguins lay inside that very structure, i thought to myself. The aquarium was so kind as to have a vending machine outside to purchase your tickets from. Vending machines have an inherit flaw though... They cannot take a Student ID and give you a discount. Therefore, we went over to information and inquired to it's existance. For some reason, the penguin aquarium doesn't have a student discount. What kind of crock is that... It's a fricken Aquarium. This building bleeds learning. Whatever, we paid our $5 entrance fee and hopped inside.

Poised in the entrance, was a massive tank of fish used to feed the hungry flightless birds. The silver fish shimmered in the light and moved about in a very wave-like motion. It was alot like what you'd see on the discovery channel, but screw that... i'm looking for penguins!

Opposite the food tank, was the bottom portion of the King penguin tank. Several penguins would swim down looking for food in the 6 meter deep tank. Some would play with each other in the form of tag. Others would just move around for the fun of it. I think the really up the mercury levels in the fish they feed these penguins because they seemed pretty uncaring of their whole tanked imprisonment.

Off to the side was more interesting sea creatures.

There were a ton of weird looking fish from the deeps of the ocean swimming around in a very crowded tank. The stingray made quick movements though, despite the overpopulation. There was this HUGE 6 foot long fish though that must've been bored out of his mind. I mean, this picture was probably taken on a good day. He should just kill all the other fish for the hell of it. Then things would get interesting.

Downstairs was kinda boring so we went upstairs for some actual penguin action. Besides the top of the king penguin tank, the walls were filled with exotic underwater creatures. They had jellyfish, exotic fish, squid, and some massive crabs.

These were the crabs of the largest species of crab in the entire world. I'd love to see how big they could get because the ones at the Aquarium were large enough as is:

They also had some cray-fish (...i think) and some other huge fish.

Anyways... enough of that crap. We came to see PENGUINS!


Just behind us was the emperor penguin tank with alot of bored penguins. This little fella was falling asleep just staring out the window.

Just outside was a much large area with many more penguins. Little ones, fat ones, short ones, tall ones, but all cute and all penguin. These little guys were far more energetic than the emperor penguins.. Maybe that's because they were outside in the sunlight, rather than inside.

Just then an announcement occured, "Penguin Touching today at 2" Oh sweet mercelious glee, you get to pet penguins! We walked outside and stood in line:

In line, i told Brian the story of how one of my friends got to pet a penguin on one of her news shoots. "now i've one-upped her, since i've also got to pet a penguin, but in japan!". Brian replied, "no no no, you've got to go a little bit beyond that. you've got to completely one-up her." I thought for a moment.. "alright.. how about you distract the attendents, and i'll punch that little penguin over there. I don't think she'll be able to one-up getting thrown out of a Japanese aquarium."

Oh hilarious gander.. As we approached the penguin pen, it was almost our time for the petting! There were two penguins in the pen, and they alternated who got to go to which penguin. The little kid before us went over to the one of the right. He was so elated to see such a magnificent creature up close. The penguin, on the other hand, didn't have the same reaction, and bit the kid's petting hand.

We went over to the other penguin that wasn't so bitey.

Whoo hooo! Petting a penguin! Can't you see how happy i am!

Well that was fun.. Brian and I went back inside and walked around a bit checking out more penguins

We also checked out the gift shop, which had plenty of crap.. How can you run a gift shop and not have anything that says "nagasaki penguin aquarium" on it. Jesus.. where is the tourist love?

What a day.. but such great times had to move on, especially since we hadn't eaten all day. Unfortunately all the food at the aquarium was for the penguins, so we had to find a location to score some food at.

The aquarium was right on the east bay of nagasaki. here's a panoramic shot.

After eating some delicious Hokka-ben, we continued North to see what there was. What luck, there was a book off. Inside they had a copy of DDR kids version, Xenogears, Limited Edition Cowboy Bebop for Ps2, Mother 1 + 2 on GBA, Phoenix Wright 1 on DS, Shikigami no Shiro 1 on Xbox, that weird egg rpg game for the DS, the bleach psp game, and a super gameboy. whoo!

We continued down the street and came across a Sega World. Complete with a Rumble Roses banner out in the front.. despite never having an arcade version of the game. Inside i finally ran across an Arcade unit of Idol@master

Five had talked about this game on the SPAMM forum a while ago, but i really have no idea how you even play the game. It's kinda like a dating sim...? i guess.

The stair case in this place was rather awesome. here's a panaromic shot of the place: here and a Supernova poster about internet rankings.

Across the street was a Justco, so we decided to check it out. Justco is kinda like a Sears, Macy's, and Target all rolled into one big department store.

Fun for the whole family.. gawd, those manequins remind me of "oh mikey!" In their toy section that had some Kitten figurines.

If i got one, it'd have to be #12.

Their food section had real melons

Just like you see in anime and video games. ^_^

Anywho.. here's all the pics from the day:

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