(You can skip this entire post if you’re not into fishes.)
Aquariums has been an industry which I’m somewhat familiar with in recent years. As far as possible, I would love to visit all the famous aquarium in the world, especially the one in Okinawa. Well, since I’m not gonna visit Okinawa yet, Osaka aquarium could be one step closer.
The most valued for money entrance ticket?
- Normal rates at counter: 2,300Yen
- Osaka Kaiyu Ticket: 2,550Yen (includes 1-day unlimited transport (bus/subway/tram) in Osaka City )
Paying 250Y for unlimited transport is a very good deal EVEN WITH JR PASS as the aquarium station (Osakako) is not a JR station. damn. but. just buy the Kaiyu Ticket. It is worth it.
Do note that you will have to purchase this Kaiyu Ticket at the Ticket office. Bought mine at Bentencho. Just tell the ticketing staff that you would like to buy the Kaiyu ticket. They should be able to understand. Otherwise, just show this picture.
The area at Osakako not only houses the aquarium. There’s a ferris wheel, a shopping mall and a Santa Maria attraction in the vicinity. Couldn’t explore anything else as I was pretty much in a really bad rush.
The walk to the aquarium was quite a distance (10 minutes) and it is located on higher ground. Follow the signs and you should see yourself walking up an escalator, leading to this view.
The view opposite the aquarium – there’s this large atrium with some street performances.
As I had the Kaiyu ticket, I could proceed straight to the ticket gantry and enter the aquarium. If I’m not wrong, I only managed to enter the aquarium at 5PM. Pretty late on my schedule for the day but at least I still had 2 hours before it closes at 7PM.
I like the various random photo spots they have around the aquarium. Despite being a 20 years old aquarium, there have been good efforts made on the theme-ing and upgrading works.
It started off with this semi-outdoor enclosure. I think it is quite well done with a man-made waterfall and real plants. Otters can be spotted here.
Do take note of the feeding time of the animals. Feeding is the most exciting time it can ever get inside the aquarium. It was a pity that I didn’t managed to catch a single feeding session as I was late.
If I’m not wrong, sea otters are the same species as those at San Francisco Fishermen’s Wharf. It’s quite therapeutic to stare at the lazy otters resting and slapping one another.
The aquarium is divided into various location themes – rain forest to antartica to montery bay any many more. However, I do notice that their habitats are slightly on the small side.
Ecuador Rainforest – Pirarucu (Largest freshwater fish which looks like River Monsters)
Looks like a capybara. Not 100% certain though.
Antarctica – Gentoo Penguin (Left) King Penguin (Right) the bigger one with the yellow chest.
The penguins are super adorable.. though I think it’s a little overcrowded in there, compared to the enclosure in Hong Kong. I also don’t like the fact that the glass panels are all splashed with water droplets as it makes taking photo really difficult.
Giant Isopod – also found in SEA Aquarium in Singapore. I don’t like it because it looks like some mega cockroach or something =S
In Osaka aquarium, they feature Pacific Whitesided Dolphins from Tasmanian Sea (not the usual bottlenose dolphins most aquariums have). The dolphin enclosure (once again) looks pretty small on first sight but it is actually of 3 floors depth! I like it that the have a short profile of the dolphins. It shows how precious each and every dolphin are.
The dolphins are pretty interactive and they might be attracted to people behind the glass. There was one man who made the dolphin dance and shake. Amazing.
The main feature and icon of the aquarium would be their biggest tank which houses ONE whale shark. No mantas. Whale Sharks are amazing creatures. They swim and look so graceful despite their big size. They look so harmless and it makes me cringe to see that people hunt them down for the shark fins and their fins can get really big due to their size.
Sometimes I wonder if aquarium can educate people to stop eating sharks fin.. I try my best to abstain from it but sometimes it can’t be help especially when it appears at the dinner of a wedding or corporate setting.. wells..
And this was the fish that I wanted to see really badly. The Sunfish aka Mola Mola. It is known to be the largest bony fish and I got attracted to it because it has this blank and somewhat stupid face. Heh. The first time I saw it was in the newspaper during christmas season and a santa dived into a Mola Mola tank. Sadly, this mola mola was all alone, being the only of its kind in the tank. There’s also an additional plastic layer behind the glass, possibly to prevent the fish from hurting itself by banging against the glass. It was almost motionless at one corner, swimming backwards at the same spot. Sometimes I can’t decide on my stand for animals/fishes in captivity. It’s like I want to see them and learn more about them but at the same time I feel so sad for depressed-looking fishes like this..
Sea Jellies collection.
A very familiar looking tank.. I guess most aquariums in the world are structured somewhat similar to one another for practicality issues.
Towards the end of the aquarium, there’s a mega touch pool where you get to feel and touch sea animals.. like sharks and rays O_O I didn’t want to put my hands in as I don’t want to hurt any of these animals. I mean.. it’s not natural that they get touched left right center and every time we touch I’m sure they lose a certain protection of their vulnerable skin.. Interesting but no.
The gift shop at the end of your visit is the killer. There are so many things that I was so tempted to buy but I managed to convince myself that they were useless items. The only thing that I bought which was not useless was the exclusive Whale Shark nanoblock – only sold in Osaka Aquarium.
After thoughts of Osaka Aquarium: I visited this place with high expectations despite not doing much research. I kind of hoped/expected/wished Osaka Aquarium was going to be something like Okinawa’s standard but I was so wrong. Osaka Aquarium started operations back in 1990 and it’s amazing to know that this aquarium still manage to maintain sufficient visitorship to keep it up and running. I didn’t think that there was only going to be one Whale Shark. I thought that there would be more as it was their icon. I didn’t know that there were no Manta Rays in the tank. I expected the big tank to have a proper viewing gallery, not a cylindrical go-around-in-circles tank. The thing I like about the aquarium is that it has a “stamping” station throughout the aquarium which makes it a little more fun. I also enjoy that it was not just a marine aquarium. There were various mammals which made the mix more exciting.
I guess I can only wait till I visit Okinawa’s aquarium before I pass the verdict to recommend skipping the Osaka Aquarium in your itinerary.
Chanced upon a Milky Ice Cream shop when I was walking to the bus stop. Worth a try!
This is the final entry of my Japan 2015 SPRING trip and.. I’ve just booked another return tickets to Japan earlier today.
Let the planning begin – Hokkaido 2015 🙂
Check out the other entries:
- JR Pass – To buy or not to buy & other train tips
- Tokyo – Tsukiji Fish Market
- Tokyo – Tokyo Dome and SHINee World Concert Special Edition in Tokyo Dome
- One night in Tokyo – Oedo Onsen Spa
- Half Day in Kyoto – Yasaka Shrine + Kiyomizudera
- Universal Studios Japan Express 5 – March 2015
- Free bicycle rental in Himeji + Kobe
- Osaka Aquarium
- Eating & Shopping in Osaka