Golden algae a treat for visitors in western Tokyo

“Hikarimo” light algae that turn the waters of Chofu’s Saneatsu Park into virtual puddles of gold have returned for yet another season, a rare occurrence. The golden algae have been spotted at the park in western Tokyo, dedicated to the memory of novelist and poet Saneatsu Mushanokoji (1885-1976), since 2005…

Its glittery appearance is the result of the algae reflecting sunlight. It is now at its peak and can be viewed until around September, said officials from the neighboring museum that commemorates Mushanokoji and his work.

The 5,000-square-meter park contains the house where he spent his last years.

According to officials, visitors to the park first noticed the glittering algae in a puddle of a garden where “shobu,” or sweet flags, was growing. That was nine years ago. Experts later confirmed it was hikarimo.

Hikarimo, found in abundance in Futtsu, Chiba Prefecture, is designated a natural treasure by the government.

“Shobu will also be at their peak from late June to July. We want people to come to see the golden glittering (algae) along with our exhibits,” said Mitomu Irago, 28, a museum official.

There is no charge to visit the park.


Photo caption: The golden algae of Saneatsu Park in Chofu, western Tokyo, is seen in this photo taken on May 28. (Yukari Takahashi)

The Asahi Shimbun

View original article at: Golden algae a treat for visitors in western Tokyo

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