Thursday, January 8, 2015

Japan Day 6: {Osaka} Tempozan Harbor & Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

The main reason we went to the Tempozan Harbor was to visit the Osaka Aquarium, which is located in the same area. The main part of Tempozan is a shopping centre with a large food court with both Japanese restaurants and some western fast food outlets. 

The Tempozan Ferris Wheel was the biggest, tallest and most technologically advance ferris wheel on earth until the London Eye was built. This massive structure is a fantastic place to see the sights of Osaka. 

The kids did not really ask to ride the ferris wheel, so we did not include this in our IT.  It was jsut enough for us to see it. 

It was only mid-day, but we felt that we already did a lot.  We helped my sisters check out of their hotel, the Toyoko Inn, and spent the morning at Kuromon Ichiba.  After my sisters left for the airport to go back home to Manila, my family and I continued with our self-guided Osaka itinerary. A visit to the Osaka Aquarium was next on our list.

The front desk staff of our hotel, Fraser Residences, was so helpful and considerate; they advised us to buy tickets in advance as the queue for buying the tickets can get quite long. We were not really aware of the Osaka Kaiyu Ticket until Hani, our very helpful concierge, convinced us of the savings for the 5 of us, and she even gave the kids free telescopes to view the fishes better. For Y 2,400 we got an entry ticket to the aquarium as well as unlimited rides on the local trains and buses for one day. On their own such tickets would've cost Y 2,000 and then we would have to spend some more for our transportation.

Read this post if you want to know what's on my list of Japanese Travel Cards that is value for your money.

My kids just have to stop for food!  We passed by this small kiosk selling Japanese waffles, and the kids wanted to try some. 

Stopping for a quick photo op before we went in the Kaiyukan.

The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is an eye-catching red, gray and blue buidling, and is Osaka’s biggest attraction showing some of the amazing sea life from the Pacific Rim, from jellyfish to whale sharks, which are the largest fish found in the ocean.  This aquarium is rated one of the best aquarium in Japan and among the best in the world. There are hours of informative entertainment for young and old.

This is one of the biggest aquarium, with eight floors containing 14 different water habitats, which range from tropical forests to icy arctic waters.

Just try to avoid the weekends and holidays when it can get very crowded. I think if it were not that crowded that day, my kids would have loved to stay longer.  But the crowd was just too much the day we visited.  Taking a close look at the fishes was an adventure upon itself.:)

The giant spider crabs are one of the famous attractions.

As we exit the aquarium, we saw a large Petting Pool where you can reach down into the foot-deep water and touch the Manta Rays, Zebra Sharks , and Leopard Sharks as they swim by.

The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is located in the Osaka Bay Area.  We decided to walk around the Tempozan Marketplace when we were done with the Aquarium.

A ferry know as the Santa Maria offers cruises of the Osaka bay area.  The ferry is a replica of the Santa Maria which Columbus used when he discovered the North American Continent.

The sun was still up when we left the Kaiyukan so we decided to have dinner at Tempozan Marketplace. We found this small food stand in the food court area which sells freshly cooked pasta carbonara. We all ordered that, with the 3 kids going back for seconds.

The freshly cooked pasta is placed in a big wheel of parmesan and begins to melt the cheese and turn it into a creamy gooey lovely sauce. An amazing pasta dish!

I've updated this post to provide a link to ALL MY JAPAN POSTS!