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Reopened Hokkaido aquarium welcomes visitors with spectacular sardine show

A large school of sardines are seen swimming in a pool at the Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe aquarium in the city of Noboribetsu, Hokkaido. (Mainichi/Taichi Kaizuka)

NOBORIBETSU, Hokkaido -- An upgraded display of about 10,000 sparkling sardines swimming around an illuminated pool at an aquarium in this city in Japan's northernmost prefecture was recently held after the facility was temporarily closed due to the novel coronavirus.

The display at the Noboribetsu Marine Park Nixe shows sardines darting about in a pack during feeding times twice a day in a pool measuring about 10 meters wide, 5 meters in length and 2.7 meters deep while being illuminated by colorful LED lights. The show has been held since 2014 and the new version started in April but the aquarium was forced to temporarily close due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The facility reopened on June 1 but the number of visitors has sharply dropped compared to the pre-pandemic period. A manager commented, "Some visitors come just to see the sardine show. We hope people will be soothed by the sight."

(Japanese original by Taichi Kaizuka, Hokkaido News Department)

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