Marine World Uminonakamichi, the only aquarium in Fukuoka Prefecture, reopened on Apr. 12 after undergoing renovations. Previously, the aquarium showcased fish and other ocean life from the Tsushima Strait, but the revamped displays cast a wider net, focusing on all of the oceans around Kyushu. Most of the tanks were replaced or repaired, and new video and audio accompaniment was adopted.
Meanwhile, the popular dolphin and seal show pool was also upgraded. A new seal stage was added, which aims to make the seal shows even more up close and personal. The view of Hakata Bay from the pool is even better than before, and it makes you feel like the pool is an extension of the nearby ocean. At the newly installed Penguin Hill, you can get an up close look of the adorable penguins as they hang out on land and swim in the water.
The interior of the entire facility has been renovated to evoke the feeling of a resort, and nothing represents this better than the Central Garden. Built inside a five-story (15m) alcove, the relaxing garden features ample green spaces and a waterfall accented by natural light. The corridors that guide you through the facility are all black, which makes for a mystical atmosphere, but there’s actually a practical reason for the color scheme: it reduces the animals’ stress because it makes the human visitors harder for them to see.
Last but not least, the restaurant in front of the dolphin show pool and the souvenir shop also received facelifts. Meanwhile, the Hakata Bay Panorama Plaza inside Uminonakamichi Seaside Park will open in April, and Uminonakamichi Fireworks 2017, a fireworks extravaganza featuring Japan’s top firework artists, is scheduled for May 13. All eyes are on this event, which will be the first of its kind to be held in Fukuoka.