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Land of the Rising Sun


This was my first time to have spent time in Japan around nature reserves around Mount Fuji.
Japan is dotted with scenic views of beautiful mountains. There are many volcanoes too, some are active and some dormant. Somehow the water seeps down through these porus volcanic rock and makes its way out from a weak spot in the earth. This water is mineral rich and is clear and sparkling. It is in these waters that there are many aquatic plants.

Once I saw the water and the greens in the water, my mind travelled straight to Mr. Amano’s 40m Nature Aquarium in Lisbon. The view from the top was exactly the same. The stem plants, the color pattern, the planting ratios! It all made sense to me now. Perhaps Mr.Amano had seen this sometime and put it together in Lisbon when creating his master piece.
The water is around 13°C in summer and am sure the temperature will drop in the winter months.

In the Kakatige river I learned that the water that we see is almost 28 years old or that is the time the water takes to go from being ice on Mount Fuji to going into and coming out from under the earth!
The water seemed soft but not too sweet to taste. There were not too many fish, I believe only a few fishes could survive in such cold water.
And one such pretty fish is the Rainbow Trout.

The following are the few plants (some in Japanese names) found in the river and I just wished that we could have these plants in the aquarium, but I doubt as we cannot have such cool clear water.
-Many kinds of moss
-Elatine triandra
-Polygonum Species

I also happened to visit a Wasabi farm and I was amazed at the way Wasabi plants are grown. This is an edible plant and not for use in an aquarium. It’s too spicy for the aquarium, so it’s better off on your dining plate. Wasabi is nothing but Japanese horse radish and is used as a spice supplement when eating raw fish ‘Sushi or Sashimi‘. The Japanese people need this for almost every meal. The tuberous root of this plant is used to make a paste which is consumed with fish. It’s a little acidic in nature and transforms into a wonderful flavor in your mouth. First it tastes spicy and then the sweetness sets in.
Mr.Amano is the only person I have seen to date who could consume large amounts of spicy Wasabi and he said it’s a trait of the Amano family, other Japanese eat it like how Indian’s eat pickle.

There is lots to learn from the plants and I wish that people from all over the world visit Japan and go spend some time to watch the way the plants are arranged in the river. This will surely bring a lot of skill and inspire you to design a beautiful aquascape.
Happy Aquascaping.

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