Friday, November 3, 2017

Art Aquarium of Goldfish at the Nijyo-jyo

Nijyo-jyo (Nijyo Castle since 1603) used to be the Kyoto residence of Tokugawa Shogunate.  Its Ninomaru Palace was the stage of “Taisei Hokan (1867)”, the declaration of the returning the authority to the Imperial Court by the last Shogunate. The next year the Imperial Cabinet was installed in the castle.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Restoration of Imperial Rule, Art Aquarium Castle is held in the garden of Honmaru Palace inside the inner walls, which is not open to the public usually.  The Hommaru Palace Garden is transformed into a magical world with large scale installation of art aquarium of goldfish, light, and sound.

The main star is thousands of Goldfish.

The ambience is totally Japonism.

Movement of goldfish, their shadows, light of changing colors, and projection mapping create the phantasmagorical sequences of the folding screen.

Concave, convex, double, and other various lenses are put to an aquarium.
The fish swimming inside are seen small, big, double, or distorted, which creates a mysterious world.

Here is a kaleidoscope of goldfish.

Edo-Kiriko (since 1824) cut glasses are used as fish bowls.  
Edo-Kiriko is authentic Japanese craft made with traditional technique.  
Clear colors and delicate patterns are cut into glass.

There are many various different varieties of goldfish.

I wondered why these are named 頂天眼/ Celestial Eye.
Because their eyes are always gazing at the sky?

There is lymph in the bubble-like cornea of 水泡眼/Bubble Eye.

Most of the aquarium is polyhedron to make use of refraction effect.
The main aquarium, 18-sided polyhedron, shines like a diamond in illumination.
It is surrounded by the terraced goldfish tanks.

Surreal goldfish universe!

The reflections in the rippled water is also fascinating.

Gold fish is a popular pet like tropical fish.
I would have them in a glass bowl with loving care and attention at home.
To watch them swimming in a bowl was relaxing and peaceful.
At the Art Aquarium, I found them mesmerizing, enchanting, and even psychederic
 in a riot of color.


  1. Wow! Fantastic display of goldfish and colours. I've never seen anything like it.

  2. Fantastic! This Art Aquarium is amazing and unique. This is the first time I hear about this wonderful Art using colorful live fishes that swims and radiate a certain beauty and aura. I wish it was there during my visit 4 years ago.

    I love that Nijyo Castle for some reasons. One powerful psychic told me that my past life was in Japan and I had served inside that Nijyo Castle. I made a trip there and walked inside slowly. It was Deja Vue!

  3. I have never seen or imagined anything like this before. So many thousands of goldfish swimming in all directions, such beautiful glass containers, the colours and shapes are stunningly lovely. I would love to see this in person. How long will the Art Installation stay at Honmaru Palace? And what will happen to the fish when the installation is over?

  4. The night view is shining good while being taken.

    Best shot!

  5. I've never seen anything like this; utterly unique and amazing. What superb colors and movement. And the various colors of glass - it's like a fairy-tale land. But I feel sad as I'll never be able to visit the Nijyo Castle, so I thank you for sharing these photos. Do goldfish have any special meaning in that area or in Japan?

  6. The beauty of the Art Aquarium of Goldfish at the Nijyo-jyo is breathtaking. I can image myself many beauty but this one Art is amazing, at all! The lights, colours, their shadows, light of changing colors. WOW !!! By the way, the gold fish is the one which makes your dreams come true, we believe! The history of the Nijyo-jyo is also very interesting. I was learned at school, just general knowledge of Japan. Now I can see, that Japan is incredible wonderland!
    Thank you .

  7. Absolutely amazing !!!
    First time I see something like that !
    Thank you so much for sharing !!!!
    Have a lovely weekend !

  8. Phantastic and very impressing pictures!

  9. That's an astonishing creation. I can be mesmerised watching a few goldfish in a simple tank so I'd love to see this. I hope that the goldfish enjoy it too!

  10. Even one small goldfish swimming in a tank or a pond moves in ways that are mesmerizing to the eye. What a wonder to see so many mirrored and spread out, as if into infinity. This display reminds me of Yayoi Kusama’s art that often depends on duplication and mirrors. These artful fish are a fantastical sight living in a castle fit for mermaids!

  11. Så häftigt det hade jag vilja se. Men tyvärr lite långt att åka så jag får nöja mig med dina vackra bilder och så väl man kan se det du beskriver.Det där med guldfiskar har jag inte så mycket vetskap om så det var intressant att läsa dina beskrivningar.Tack för det.
    Ha nu en fin helg. Hos oss är det alla helgons helg då vi tänder ljus för de som inte finns hos oss längre både hemma och på våra gravar.
    Kram Meta

  12. Goldfish displayed like art is certainly a different idea!

  13. Dear Yoko - I would love to see this wonderful celebration to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Restoration of Imperial Rule.
    Each of the aquariums are uniquely different and each one equally fascinating. The colours, the ambience, and all the little fish look to be enjoying it too.
    I have never seen anything like it before, so appreciated your showing it to us - thank you.

  14. This is beautiful... I had never seen such thing before...

  15. This is a truly stunning, magical post. I love your images 💜
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  16. Heel bijzondere vormen van viskommen als kunst, prachtig !, zo veel goudvissen
    bij elkaar heb ik nog nooit gezien, ze zijn zo mooi!!
    Wij hebben een vijver met goudvissen, maar niet zo veel, en mag ze graag zien..
    Yoko wens je een mooi weekend!

    lieve groet

    Very special fishes like art, beautiful!, So many goldfishes
    Together I have never seen them so beautiful !!
    We have a pond of goldfish, but not so much, and like to see them ..

    Yoko wish you a nice weekend!

    with kind regards

  17. Hello Dear Yoko!
    Your photos and fish are fantastic.
    I first watch something so wonderful.
    Blessed weekend.

  18. Hello Yoko,
    this is very stunning! I never saw something like that. It's so colorful.
    Have a nice Sunday

  19. Oh Yoko, these are stunning pictures. I have never seen -- or even imagined -- such examples of living art. Beautiful. And the pictures are calming and relaxing -- I am sure even more so when seeing them 'live'. Thank you for showing thee.

  20. Dear Yoko,
    The pictures are spectacular, truly ART AQUARIUM! They must create a hypnotizing effect together with the sound you mentioned. What sort of sound, by the way? I felt this kind of effect in Shanghai Ocean Aquarium in jellyfish zone, by synchronic rhythm they were moving with.
    Thank you for the comment. I was publishing a new post the minute it arrived. Good night!

  21. After reading all of your delightful comments, I came back here and scrolled down through this post again. I was amazed at how much I missed the first time I saw it. What struck me this time were the colors, all the beautiful hues, as well as the reflections. Your photography is an art unto itself. I do a lot of silly stuff but you make photos worthy of a museum! Thanks so much for taking the time to go through my posts and comment on them. Your efforts are greatly appreciated!!!

  22. Oh! This is truly wonderful! Such imagination and planning must have gone into creating the goldfish installations, I could spend hours just looking at tem all. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing experience with the Mosaic Monday crowd this week.

  23. I agree...WOW! This is just amazing! I cannot imagine seeing something like this in person. I would close my eyes and still see them. Beautiful works of art!

  24. I have never seen anything like this Yoko. Your photos are amazing. The glass bowls are so beautiful. I would be mesmerized by this display. My Grands would also love it!

  25. I don't believe there are enough adjectives to describe this display (and the post). As others have said, I have never witnessed anything like this - a mesmerizing combination of shapes, colors, light, not to mention the fish. Love it. Thanks SO much for sharing.

  26. Dear Yoko,
    What a unique and wonderful idea for an art display. The variety of colours and glittering light is amazing. I enjoyed this very much.

  27. 素晴らしいです。二条城にこんな水族館のような金魚が展示されているとは、来年の夏が楽しみになりますね。

  28. Wow Yoko, I'm astonished,this is all so amazing,mesmerising and unique. Your photos relate the light and colour beautifully. Brilliant post....lovely to witness in person.

    Thank you Yoko,

  29. This is so beautiful Yoko, I am speechless! To visit this magical show must be an extraordinary experience! I think it would take my breath away - so much wonder! WOW!
    Thank you for these marvelous photos! :-)

  30. ライトを浴びて芸術的な美しい器の中で泳ぐ金魚たち、皆を楽しませてくれますが、ストレスもたまらないかと、思いました。東京、大阪、にも出向いてますけど運ぶのも大変でしょうね。暗闇のなか見事に金魚たちを浮かび上がらせて撮影されましたね。とっても綺麗!

    1. ありがとう。私も同じことを思い、金魚に感情移入しました。私が金魚ならすごいストレスです。でも、ショービジネスの好きな金魚もいるかもしれないね。


    Never saw such enchanting harmony of elegance and beauty!

    you are AMAZING revealer of natural and artificial aspects of your surroundings!

    i am amazed with with the love for art and creativity of your people to glorify the nature as marvelously!
    this is magical place that hold my eyes and filled my mind with delight and absorption!I called my both sons and showed them by enlarging the images ,they just loved it .
    thank you for sharing the historical background also ,this is pleasure to know more about your glorious part of land my friend

  32. Marvelous! I'm speechless. I'm glad to have find your beautiful blog.


  33. Your photos are full of magic, Yoko. I have never been to an aquarium, I promise that the next city that I visit, if there is one, I will see it. I love.
    Buen fin de semana,amiga.

  34. That is amazing. I have never heard of making an art installation of goldfish, and it is a wonderful idea. I wish I'd seen it. What I like most about it is that it was done with such thought and care so that everything seemed perfect.

  35. What a combination of color, light, crafts in glass and natural beauty for the senses! To see it as I live and breathe had to be fantastic. To see it here hereby is not small thing either. Not only I have enjoyed the beautiful photographies, also the information to near the fish protagonist and of the place where it was possible to contemplate this fabulous exhibition. Thank you very much, Yoko.

  36. I see your blog daily, it is crispy to study.
    Your blog is very useful for me & i like so much...
    Thanks for sharing the good information!

  37. Estou realmente encantada, porque nunca vi nada igual em efeitos, luzes e beleza. As suas fotos, temas publicados, me fazem ficar cada vez mais admirada com a beleza do Japão. São postagens que nutrem o meu coração, digo alma, e me fazem ficar feliz, gratidão minha querida Yoko.


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