Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Marient Museum and Taki Dam

On October 10th, hubby and I visited Hachinohe city fishery science museum Marient. We stayed at a hotel near Hachinohe railway station the previous night. We checked out of the hotel at about 8 am and went to see the museum. The museum is located 15 kilometers east of Hachinohe railway station and it took us about 35 minutes to reach there by our car.

Hachinohe city fishery science museum Marient opened in 1989 and features a marine plaza along with a lot of interesting exhibits and materials related to fishes living in Hachinohe waters. There is a theater named Umineko Theater which introduces the sea of Hachinohe along with the habitat of black-tailed gulls on a 3D screen. There is another section named ika-paradise which gives information about squids. The museum also features a water tank where visitors can touch some unique sea creatures with their own hands.

We reached Marient Museum at about 8.40 am. The museum opens at 9 am and so we moved around near the museum and got a beautiful view of the sea, Hachinohe harbor, and Kabushima Island. The island has a sacred shrine named Kabushima Shrine that looked stunning from the museum building premises. Kabushima Island is famous as the breeding ground for thousands of black-tailed gulls.
Building of Marient Museum

Building of Marient Museum

I am standing near Marient Museum (not seen). Kabushima Island is seen in the background.

Kabushima Island and shrine

Hubby and I near Marient Museum (not seen) along with the sea

At 9 am we bought tickets worth 300 Yen per person as admission fee for Marient Museum and entered inside. The exhibits of the museum are located at the third floor of the building. As soon as we entered the third floor, we saw that people were busy putting their hands in a water tank which contained many tiny fishes named doctor fish (also called Garra rufa). These are toothless fishes and known to consume the dead areas of human skin. Nowadays in Japan, there are many spas which offer pedicure and manicure services using doctor fish. Hubby and I put our hands in the water tank where the doctor fishes nibbled away our dead skin. The fishes were tickling my hand and so I could not keep my hand inside the water tank even for one minute. In fact, manicure using doctor fish was the highlight of our visit to the museum. I compiled a video of us putting our hands inside the water tank containing many doctor fishes.
A water tank with doctor fishes

A compiled video of us putting our hands in the water tank having many doctor fishes

Next, we saw a huge aquarium inside the museum. Fishes living in Hachinohe waters like fat greenlings, slime flounders, white trevally, banded houndshark, red gurnard, jacopevers, Japanese sea bass, and several other kinds of fishes swim inside the aquarium. It was very pleasing to the eyes. We took a few photos of various kinds of fishes.
A huge aquarium with various kinds of marine fishes

Marine fishes inside the aquarium

Marine fishes inside the aquarium

Marine fishes inside the aquarium

I am standing in front of the aquarium

Hubby standing in front of the aquarium

There is a section inside the museum that gives information about the internal earth and the deep ocean world with a variety of information materials and videos. A model of the deep sea drilling vessel named Chikyu scaled to 1/100 of the original is kept in this section. The vessel is 210 meters long and can accommodate 150 persons. Presently, the vessel has a drilling capability of 2500 meters. In addition, an instrument that can detect vibrations inside earth is also exhibited. It was fun to tap the instrument and observe the effects of vibrations on a computer screen.
A model of the deep sea drilling vessel Chikyu

Hubby standing next to the model of Chikyu

Hubby experimenting with an instrument that can detect vibrations

I am standing next to the instrument that detects vibrations

I am standing next to a model that explains about the internal earth

Next, we visited the corner named ika-paradise where a lot of information about squids is displayed. I got a bit tired of moving around and so I sat on a bench near the huge aquarium while hubby moved around inside the museum.
Hubby enjoying the ika-paradise

Hubby reading some information about squids

Hubby walking inside the museum

I am sitting next to the huge aquarium

Afterwards, we went to the observation deck located at the fourth floor of the museum building. From this deck we got stunning views of Kabushima Island and Hachinohe harbor. It was so serene and beautiful.
Stunning view from the fourth floor observation deck

I am standing at the fourth floor observation deck

At about 10.30 am, we left Marient Museum and next visited Ryusendo Caves in Iwate prefecture. The caves are located about 110 kilometers south-east of Marient Museum and it took us almost 3.5 hours to reach there by our car. After about 100 minutes of driving on the mountainous road, we saw a beautiful dam named Taki Dam located in Kuji city of Iwate prefecture. Hubby stopped the car and we enjoyed viewing the dam and the surrounding nature. The walls of Taki Dam are 70 meters high and the crest length is 187 meters. It is a concrete gravity dam and was constructed in 1982. The dam is located on Osanai River of Kuji River System. The place was very quiet and serene. There was no one around and we walked across the dam and enjoyed the beautiful view around us.
Hubby reading information about Taki Dam

Beautiful view from Taki Dam

Taki Dam

View from Taki Dam

View from Taki Dam

Taki Dam

I am standing at Taki Dam

Afterwards, we visited Ryusendo Caves about which I will write in the next post. We finished visiting the caves at about 4.15 pm. Later hubby drove up to Morioka railway station which was about 2.5 hours drive from the caves. We stayed at a hotel near Morioka station for the night. Hubby wished to see Akita Shinkansen Komachi coupling with Tohoku Shinkansen Hayate at Morioka railway station. Hubby likes shinkansen bullet trains a lot and we did not wish to miss the opportunity of seeing the coupling of trains from a close range. So we bought platform tickets to enter Morioka railway station platform for shinkansen bullet trains. It was exciting to watch the coupling of technologically advanced shinkansen trains and I compiled a video of it.

A compiled video of Komachi shinkansen coupling with Hayate shinkansen at Morioka railway station

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