Japan loves goldfish, especially in the summer, during which festival goldfish-scooping games are always popular and yukata (light summer kimono) and hand-held fans often sport goldfish patterns. The delicate sound of the furin wind chimes and images of fish swimming in clear water evoke a relieving sense of coolness during the suffocatingly hot and humid season.
Taking this traditional symbol even further, Eco Edo Nihombashi Art Aquarium 2014 brings to the public 5,000 goldfish, including a couple worth around ¥200,000 and ¥300,000, all housed in themed sculpted tanks.
Aquarium designer Hidetomo Kimura, who produced the exhibition, combined traditional Japanese motifs with LED lights, project mapping and music for an event that takes a different turn in the evening. After 7 p.m., the lights and music change and the venue becomes a “Night Aquarium,” where viewers can enjoy the displays with a cocktail or two in a club-like atmosphere. On Saturdays and days before holidays, special live shows and DJs will also take place.
For those concerned about the goldfish living in such an unusual environment, Kimura reassures that they are well fed and taken care of, adding that they even employ staff to keep an eye on them after hours.
Eco Edo Nihombashi Art Aquarium 2014 continues till Sept. 23 at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall, near Mitsukoshimae Station; open 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Admission is ¥1,000 for adults, ¥600 for elementary school students and younger, and free for children under 4 years of age. For more information, visit h-i-d.co.jp/art.