People are travelling far and wide to catch a glimpse of the rare beauty in this koi fish pond.

Koi fish are considered lucky symbols in Japan, as they’re frequently associated with perseverance in adversity and strength of purpose. Often appearing in ponds at gardens and holy sites like Buddhist temples, where the colourful carp serve to represent courage in the Buddhist faith, koi are also admired for their name, which, despite being written with a different kanji, sounds identical to the Japanese word for love.

Now, one special koi (fish) is attracting attention around Japan for displaying an extraordinary level of koi (love), as it’s been revealed that it has love hearts around its eyes. And people are making the trip to Mie Prefecture to see it, where it lives in a pond with other carp at Ise Sea Paradise, an aquarium in Ise City not far from the revered Ise Jingu Shinto shrine.

“Let’s look for the Heart Koi!! In this pond of koi, there’s only one fish with a heart pattern around its eyes!! It’s hard to find, and even harder to photograph! By all means, please get the heart’s koi (love)!!”

The unusually patterned fish was first spotted by a visitor who pointed out the markings in an online post back in October. Once staff saw the photo of the fish, they took a good look at the pond and confirmed its existence, sharing a picture of it on their Twitter account, and inviting people to come search for the heart-eyed fish themselves.

The fish shot to stardom shortly afterwards, with appearances on television and social media posts raving about its unusual look.

The markings really are impressive – not only do they perfectly resemble the shape of love hearts, but they’re also an orangey-red colour and there are actually two of them, each one perfectly placed around each eye.

According to comments online, the fish is incredibly hard to spot, given that the hearts aren’t really distinguishable side-on, which means it has to be facing you for the hearts to appear.

Visitors are enjoying the challenge of looking for the fish in the pond, with some even saying that if you find the fish, you’ll also find love.

While it’s unclear whether or not a trip to see the heart-eyed fish really will result in finding the love of your dreams, we do know that those who visit Ise will find love in some shape or form.

After all, the architecture in the area is so stunning and the food so good that you’ll fall in love with the place and its regional specialties, regardless of whether or not you lock eyes with its famous fish.


Ise Sea Paradise / 伊勢シーパラダイス
Address: Mie-ken, Ise-shi, Futamichoe 580
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Images: PR Times

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