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Friday, July 17, 2009
Go swim with fishes high in the sky
By ERIKO ARITA
Does the ocean glitter like a cool mirage in your overheated mind this summer? Rather than trek out to the real thing, all you have to do is dive up to the "Sky Aquarium III" exhibit running through Oct. 4 at Tokyo City View on the 52nd floor of Roppongi Hills' Mori Tower.
There, the event, whose six zones are themed on "illusion," will allow you to seemingly swim with a host of colorful fish hauled up to the heights so you can savor life from the depths.
One zone, the 4-meter-long, 2.6-meter- high tank called "Caribbean Blue Hole," is like a glass mushroom whose inhabitants the visitors can view from all around and also from below — "which makes you feel like a diver," according to the organizer.
In "Art Aquarium Gallery," which 10 artists cooperated on to design, fish do their things amid artistically positioned corals and waterweeds — while in the "Fantasia" zone, jellyfish are illuminated by changing laser lights that together create a mysterious beauty.
Arriving at the "Japonism Gallery," visitors are treated to the sight of goldfish in tanks placed like a flight of stairs they can look down on — and another tank like a traditional cylindrical Japanese paper lamp through which the shadows cast a new light on the beauty of their movements.
In "Kaleidorium," meanwhile, a truly mirage-like effect can be had by viewing the tank and its residents through a lens that turns their world into a marvelous geometric show as if seen through a kaleidoscope.
Finally, in the "Prisrium" zone, the strangest visual effects present themselves as the fish swim in a tank shaped like a multifaceted diamond.
As if all that isn't enough of an alluring mirage to tempt you off the searing streets, at a cafe on the same floor exhausted submariners can refresh themselves with cocktails and soft drinks while casting a leisurely eye over high-rise fish in adjacent tanks.
"Sky Aquarium III" is on the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower building in Roppongi Hills. Access is via Roppongi Station's Exit 1C from the Hibiya subway line, or a four-min.-walk from Roppongi Station's Exit 3 from the Oedo subway line. The event opens from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (last entry 11:30 p.m.), and admission is ¥2,000 (adults), ¥1,500 (university and high school students), ¥700 (junior high school students to those aged 4) and free for infants. For more information, visit www.roppongihills.com/tcv/ (in Japanese) or call Tokyo City View at (03) 6406-6173.