Marine life frozen in time at Japan's Ice Aquarium
Fond of frozen fish? Japan's quirky Ice Aquarium has plenty of marine life, but it's all dead.
Turn on the TV in Japan and you're bound to see someone slicing up a tuna on a cooking show while commentators ooh and aah. It's no wonder, then, that during the current heat wave frying Tokyo, people are heading north for chills and eye candy in the form of giant fish popsicles.
The Kori no Suizokukan (Ice Aquarium) in Kesennuma, northeastern Japan, packs about 450 specimens of marine life frozen in large columns of ice bathed in blue light. Some 80 species, including saury, octopuses, crabs, and skipjack, are preserved in lifelike poses. They seem to be swimming in ice.
Opened in 2002 in the Uminoichi seafood market, the Ice Aquarium uses flash-freezing technology to preserve fresh fish unloaded in Kesennuma's port on the Pacific Ocean. Inside, the ambient air is a cool minus 5 degrees F (minus 20 C), and guests have to don parkas to keep warm. There's also a hunk of Antarctic ice on display.
Fish aren't the only thing put on ice in Kesennuma. Local refrigeration firm Okamoto Seihyo specializes in what it calls "ice art" and can freeze everything from salmon to bottles of sake and action figures to flowers--a Mother's Day bouquet goes for about $46. These are all presented in cylinders of ice that are given as gifts. If you're the receiver, you'll need plenty of patience.
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