Photo/Illutration Visitors enjoy exhibits at the Atoa aquarium housed in the newly opened Kobe Port Museum in the city's Chuo Ward on Oct. 29. (Yoshiaki Arai)

KOBE--Incorporating scenic designs and digital art, the Atoa aquarium that recently opened in the Shinkocho district of the city's Chuo Ward is dazzling visitors.

The aquarium exhibits approximately 100 fish and amphibian species in about 60 tanks, using lasers and projectors to create a fantastical atmosphere.

Atoa occupies the second through fourth floors of the Kobe Port Museum, which also opened on Oct. 29 as part of the city government's redevelopment project for the waterfront area of the port.

The commercial complex has a total floor space of about 5,600 square meters.

The aquarium is divided into eight areas, each with its own theme.

Standing in "The Fluctuation of Life" section on the second floor is a cylindrical tank, which is 3 meters tall and 5 meters in diameter and contains a stingray.

The "Light and Shadow" section on the third floor features a glass tank under the floor, inside which colorful "nishikigoi" carps swim. The section also features projections of scenes of the four seasons.

The "Encounter of the Miraculous Planet" section--also on the third floor--boasts a spherical tank with a 3-meter diameter for cherry bass and other fish. It is complete with mist and laser effects to create an out-of-this-world ambience.

There is a food court on the first floor of the Kobe Port Museum where nine restaurants operate.

The aquarium is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission is 2,400 yen ($21) for junior high school students or older, 1,400 yen for elementary school students and 800 yen for children aged 3 or older.

For more information, visit the official website at (