Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Osaka Aquarium (Kaiyukan)

Google Maps: Kaiyukan, Osaka
Osaka Aquarium was unplanned. We had kept a day for Osaka but we learned that the aquarium is only a ferry ride away. So we took it. To our surprise the aquarium was gigantic and contained seemingly infinite varieties of sea life. The tickets look a bit costly but once you are through, you will not regret an iota.

Shark Whale @ Kaiyukan

The ferry literally started from the backside of our hotel and directly took us to the aquarium. The only aquariums I had previously visited were in Patna Zoo and near Chaupati Beach in Mumbai. Osaka aquarium is hundred times bigger and thousand times varied than those. The entrance itself is a tunnel with baby sharks and hammerheads floating above and beside you. The elevator then takes you to the top of building.

A day with eagle rays, Kaiyukan

There are artificial habitats built for different amphibian species to make them comfortable. They looked comfortable. The exit from this section takes you on a spiral. There are several small and large fishes on exhibition - native japanese spider crabs, octopus, squids and lobsters. We saw dolphins bigger than us swimming behind the thick glasses. There were some weird ones as well like porcupine fish and giant salamanders.

Sticking to the glass, Kaiyukan

The heart of Kaiyukan is the central section which is a five storey aquarium with giant whale sharks floating in harmony with the small ones like mantarays and even tunas. It was mesmerizing to see them so close. We were thrilled, never have seen anything like this before. The spiral always has this on one side while on the other side the variety of exhibitions continues.

Entreance tunnel to Kaiyukan

At the end were emperor penguins, proud as ever, kept in freezing cold enclosure. There were mantarays swimming at a shallow open area where we were allowed to touch them. I touch one and it felt like my fingers went inside their skin, they were so slimy and soft. There is also a small section keeping various kinds of jellyfishes.

Emperor Penguins, Kaiyukan

At the end was the souvenir section. Japan being a costly country, the prices were high and yet it was crowded and buzzing with interested customers. We decided to come out and spend some time in the nearby mall which had a KFC also. The blue aquarium had acquired us as a lifelong fan. Visiting Japan and not visiting Kaiyukan would be a real miss.