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Me, Steve, a whale shark, and several thousand of our closest friends.

Osaka Travel Blog

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He's the main attraction and he knows it. Osaka Aquarium.
It is every diver's dream to meet up with a whale shark out in the deep blue. That hasn't happened for me (yet), but at least I got a good look at one  today at Kaiyukan (the Osaka Aquarium).

Steve and I purchased a $24 pass at Namba Station that included a one-day aquarium pass and an all-day subway ticket. Luckily, one of the nice helpers at the station took pity on us and guided us to the correct area for this purchase, which was an unlabeled room down a long hall.

We arrived 30 minutes after the 10am opening and were surprised by the crush of people. Monday should be slow, right? Nope. The exhibits on the top floors near the entrance were a mad house, with hundreds (possibly thousands) of children and their adults pushing forward to see the otters, penguins, fish, ducks, and turtles.
C'mon, mister, howz 'bout a little kiss?
It was impossible to see anything through the crowd without a good amount of patience and a bit of pushing forward. I thought, this place is awful! But the crowd thinned out as we moved to the lower floors. (Tip: The whales, dolphins, stingrays, etc. are in deep tanks that are visible from all floors, so if that's what you are there to see, head down to the lower floors right away.)

So, down below we were able to observe the big guy without getting trampled. It's a fascinating creature: a shark that looks and acts like a whale. He was traveling slowly from one end of the aquarium to the other. He wasn't so much swimming as lumbering... very unshark-like. Wickipedia tells me the whale shark can grown up to 40 feet long, and that he is a filter feeder, straining its meals (krill, plankton, little stuff) through its oversized mouth.
Jellyfish at Osaka Aquarium.
He had an entourage of small fish surrounding him like a cloud, following his every (oh-so-slow) movement.

So, yes, the whale shark was great. But what I really loved about the aquarium was... the jellyfish exhibit. It was science fiction, art and science right there live and in person. I have never seen such bizarre, other-worldly creatures in my life. Several tanks held a wide variety of species, and I took a million photos, which I admit look totally fake, or retouched, but I swear they are not! (I have posted them, as well as some videos.)

After the aquarium visit, our afternoon was waaaaaay too activity-filled. First we went to join a gym (more on that tomorrow), and then we tried to go to the Kita district in the north, but overshot it by several stops on the subway.
My nemesis, Osaka's subway system.
We wandered around in confusion, trying unsuccessfully to line up the location with our map. We were set straight in the tourist office...then back on the subway for the correct stop, Umeda. Finally there, we walked along the shopping arcade (Hariku-Higashidori street), crankily dubbing it vastly inferior to our "own" Minima neighborhood. We were both sore and thirsty, and searched in vain for an Irish pub. (I hear Guinness is good in these situations of travel overload). Then, inexplicably, we decided to get some grocery shopping done! Doh. We forgot just how far away it was, so it took a very long time. We got lost trying to find our way back to the hotel and then it was really time for a Guinness. We didn't bother dumping the groceries in our room, it was straight to the English Pub at our hotel for a glass of the black stuff.

Properly refreshed, we hobbled back up to the room. I've had a nice bath, and here I am at my computer feeling better. I refuse to leave until tomorrow!
skippyed says:
You can pay to dive with the Sharks in our aquarium, I haven't tried it yet!
Posted on: Mar 27, 2010
portia says:
hi, I just went to the aquarium yesterday, no crowds, very nice experience. How have you been?
Posted on: May 22, 2009
cmgervais says:
Thank you! I agree, it was fantastic... except for the crowds!
Posted on: Oct 23, 2008
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Hes the main attraction and he kn…
He's the main attraction and he k…
Cmon, mister, howz bout a little…
C'mon, mister, howz 'bout a littl…
Jellyfish at Osaka Aquarium.
Jellyfish at Osaka Aquarium.
My nemesis, Osakas subway system.
My nemesis, Osaka's subway system.
Mad crush of iguana viewers.
Mad crush of iguana viewers.
Dozing seal, or is it a sea lion? …
Dozing seal, or is it a sea lion?…
Freaky turtle at Osaka Aquarium. H…
Freaky turtle at Osaka Aquarium. …
Time to feed the penguins. Osaka A…
Time to feed the penguins. Osaka …
How does one get the job as Pengui…
How does one get the job as Pengu…
He was making sure the little ones…
He was making sure the little one…
A little penguin. Osaka Aquarium.
A little penguin. Osaka Aquarium.
Look at her face reflected in the …
Look at her face reflected in the…
Crazy spinning otters at play at …
Silly otters, putting on a show at…
Silly otters, putting on a show a…
Osaka Aquarium.
Osaka Aquarium.
Fascinating jellyfish.
Fascinating jellyfish.
Jellyfish at Osaka Aquarium.
Jellyfish at Osaka Aquarium.
More jellyfish at the Osaka Aquari…
More jellyfish at the Osaka Aquar…
Even more jellyfish at the Osaka A…
Even more jellyfish at the Osaka …
Jellyfish at Osaka Aquarium.
Jellyfish at Osaka Aquarium.
Father and daughter at the Osaka A…
Father and daughter at the Osaka …
Ah true, so true.
Ah true, so true.
Off to the next destination...
Off to the next destination...
Hot cans of coffee and cafe latte …
Hot cans of coffee and cafe latte…
Osaka
photo by: yasuyo