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5 Reasons to Visit Osaka’s Aquarium


I can’t decide which bit is my favourite: the penguins who stand under the “snow” and let it fall on their heads; the creepy but fascinating giant spider crabs wandering around; the whale sharks which glide by, showing off both their size and the amazing spotted patterns on their backs.

There is so much to enjoy at Osaka Aquarium, Kaiyukan, and my camera soon fills up with images of creatures living in or near the sea.

Some of the best reasons to try Kaiyukan are:

1. Exploring the sea from top to bottom

Osaka’s aquarium is designed very cleverly. When you first enter, you take a series of escalators right to the top of the building, and for the rest of your time there, you wind your way down and around through multiple tanks. The top includes creatures who live on land but like being near the sea, and then you get deeper and deeper until you discover the giant spider crabs on the bottom of the ocean floor.


2. So many cute animals

Japanese people love cute things and there is no shortage of cute at Kaiyukan. There is a big display of penguins who dive, swim and hang around under the source of snow-like ice flowing into their enclosure. Surprisingly cute is the capybara, which although basically being a giant rat, is completely endearing when I see its keeper feeding him a pile of vegetables.

3. Lots of weird and wonderful animals

I was mesmerised by the jellyfish propelling themselves around. The giant salamanders both freaked me out and intrigued me. Seeing a whole tank of squid floating around made me question some of my previous meal choices.


4. Tempozan Marketplace is nearby

You might wonder why a large shopping mall, located directly next to the Osaka Aquarium, is such a good thing, but there are two important reasons. One, there’s a 100-yen shop, so everyone can go crazy buying cute and useful things. More importantly for the kids, Tempozan is home to a Lego Discovery Centre! This is like a large indoor Lego playground good for at least an hour of fun, plus the shop includes a Pick-A-Brick wall to stock up on much-needed Lego pieces by the gram.

5. The once-largest ferris wheel

Also right nearby Kaiyukan is the Tempozan Ferris Wheel. I was told that when it was built it was the largest ferris wheel in the world, but that some other country quickly built a bigger one. Nonetheless, it’s enormous (over 110m high) with great views and you can pick a car with a glass bottom if you are feeling particularly brave.

Amanda Kendle is a born and bred Perth girl who loves to hang around with her rubbish-truck-loving four-year-old son. Amanda has lived and worked abroad in Asia and Europe and has been blogging about her travels at home and abroad for almost a decade at Not A Ballerina.

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