Ochromonas vischeri (Golden Algae) in the East Namekawa Hikarimo Park(東滑川ヒカリモ公園の光藻)

“The East Namekawa Hikarimo Park” is a nickname for the East Namekawa Seaside Green Park in Hitachi City in Ibaraki Prefecture.

There are two caves along a walkway in the park and Ochromonas vischeri grow naturally there. They are called Hikarimo in Japanese. People can look inside the caves through the fence and see the golden surface of the water reflecting in the sunlight where the Ochromonas vischeri grow.

Ochromonas vischeri are a kind of golden algae and freshwater unicellular organisms. They grow in clean water caves all over Japan and in ponds in Sanin Area. The detailed ecology of them has not been elucidated yet.

Ochromonas vischeri of the Namekawa beach area were found in December of 2005 for the first time. In general, luminescence of the Ochromonas vischeri can be seen from early spring to June, but there in Namekawa it can be seen throughout the year. Hitachi City has the largest area in Japan where the Ochromonas vischeri grow now.