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Friday, May 28, 2010

Get squiddy

Staff writer

Squid are one of the sea creatures that feature most often in Japanese cuisine — whether as sashimi, squid-ink pasta or Hokkaido's renowned ika meshi (squid sausages filled with rice), to name but a few squiddy specialities.

News photo
Marine art: A yellow kobushime (Sepia latimanus) squid on show in Ikebukuro

However, in its summer exhibition "Fushigina Ika no Nakamatachi" ("Mysterious Squid Friends"), Sunshine International Aquarium in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district will give visitors a chance to see these fascinating creatures alive and doing what comes naturally (in captivity).

The aquarium has special tanks that replicate as far as possible the natural ocean habitats of various species of these "carniverous cephalopod sae mollusks . . . with eight arms and two long tentacles" (thank you, "Webster's"), including Metasepia tullbergi, sometimes known as the "ninja squid," which can change its color and form at anytime, and Sepia latimanus, which is known for its long body which can reach more than 50 cm in length.

All in all, the exhibition is a great chance to appreciate these entertaining and nutritious creatures — while they are still alive.

The exhibition runs through Aug. 31 at Sunshine International Aquarium in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. it is open daily from 10 a.m to 6 p.m., and admission is ¥1,800. To get there, take the Yurakucho Subway Line to Higashi Ikebukuro Station, from where it is a 3-min. walk. For more details, visit www.sunshinecity.co.jp or call (03) 3989-3466.

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