Kaiyukan (Osaka Aquarium), Osaka
We had not particularly planned to visit an aquarium while in Japan but Andrew, our tour leader, enthused about this one so much that we decided to give it a try, and we were so glad that we had. It presents the marine life of the Pacific Rim in a really effective way. At its heart is a huge tank with whale sharks, smaller hammerheads, rays and many other Pacific fish. You wind you way down a gentle spiral around this tank with multiple opportunities to enjoy watching the fish at all levels, from near the surface to the "ocean" depths. The experience is enhanced by the carefully chosen background music, and seats are provided at intervals so you can sit and admire the spectacle.
But there are other delights too. We loved the river otters and their marine cousins, the rainforest fish and monkeys scrambling overhead, and the huge leggy king crabs. Among other highlights for me were the penguins, who have the experience of gently artificial snow drifting down on their heads, though I felt their tank area was a bit small. And the beautifully lit jellyfish drifting against another well-chosen background track were mesmerising.
The creatures are housed according to the area of the Pacific Rim where they live, so you will visit, for instance, the Gulf of Panama, Monterey Bay and the Tasman Sea. An excellent balance is struck between education and entertainment, with touch tanks for children (and adults!), informative displays about climate change and so on. I have a short video of some of the creatures we saw at the aquarium that may give you just a little sense of our experiences here.
This is not a cheap outing. Entry for adults is 2,300¥, though Andrew managed to wangle us the group discount (2,000¥ each) even though we were one person short of the 15 required! Seniors pay 2,000¥ and children 1,200¥ (school age) or 600¥ (pre-school). There are though various multi-attraction tickets available if you're planning on doing more in this part of town. With more time we would have loved to have ridden the giant Ferris wheel, and could have got a ticket for both for 2,900¥.
The aquarium has, of course, a gift shop, and a cafe which we didn't check out. There are lockers usefully available at the entrance - I paid 200¥ to leave my heavy bag in one of the smaller ones (larger ones cost 300¥ or 500¥).
Next tip: a night out on Dōtonbori
its very nice aquarium, most unique there is the shark whale which is amazingly big you can see in the picture. and the eating show is also very nice.
other sharks and strange fish are all present in a very bigggg cylinder which is 5 floors tall and you keep going down and down watching all the fish in the tank.
others like dolphing, penquins, seals, crabs, gellyfish...etc usual stafff
there is an area for kids to touch the fish in a very shallow pool,, very nice experience for adults and kids.
it costs around 2000 en or 22 dollars...
its a huage one with a nice view,,, for 700 en per person.
it have around 60 cars, only 4 are transparent so you can see below you. and you can choose to stand the transparent car qeue. its better but if the qeue is long i dont advice cause it takes 15 mins between 2 transparent cars....
There are a few things to do around here. I have been here 3 or 4 times. I mostly enjoyed the Aquarium and the IMAX theater. Except that I would also reccomend the Ferris wheel as it can be quite fun and you get great view of Osaka. One can also find Suntory Museum, a shopping center and Santa Maria Bay cruise. The last one is a double size replica of the ship that Columbus discovered America and you can hop on a 50 minute ride along the Osaka Bay Area. One can buy combo tickets at discounted rates. Last time I was there I got the Aquarium/IMAX ticket at 2500 yen instead of 3000 yen.
This is quite a nice aquarium. It contains a small whale shark, dolphins and many others.
May get crowded with Students though, so go really early or late.
The Main tank is several floors high and the walking course spirals down around it.
Entrance fee is 2000yen for Adults and 900yen for kids.
Check their webpage for closing dates.
The Aquarium is one of the places I was advised to visit.
As an African, I have had very little contact with the sea really, so this visit gave me the chance to see so many marine creatures in one place- corals, fish, crustaceans.
Some were very colourful, others large and menacing.
It was a great experience.
Since you've been in Osaka, you may have noticed a giant, friendly-looking cartoon fish (or something) that keeps popping up on signs in the subway or here and there around the city. This is the whale shark kept at the Osaka Aquarium, who would love it if you dropped by to visit (cheesy!). The Aquarium is incredible, and the area surrounding it is a lot of fun too. Two activities other than the Aquarium that I would highly recommend are the nearby ferris wheel, and the Imax 3D. The former will give you a terrific view of the harbour and much of Osaka. It's so big, it takes about half an hour to go all the way around. As for the 3D Imax, this just about blew my mind. We saw Deep Sea 3D, and the 3D technology was incredible. Really, you've got to see it to believe it. Spectacular.
On a grey, wet, and chilly Saturday 7 April 2007, I headed out to the Osaka Aquarium to see the acclaimed main attraction - the world's only captive whale shark. Despite the rather hefty entrance fee of 2000 yen (about NZ$24), the aquarium is a place I can recommend fully to visitors in Osaka. In fact, compared to an underwater attraction here in Auckland, New Zealand, which charges roughly the same entrance fee, the Osaka Aquarium (or Kaiyukan, as it is known) is far better value for money.
The layout of the aquarium is very clever. Visitors arrive and, after paying the entrance fee, take an esculator to the 8th floor. From there you wind your way back down to ground level, passing progressively 'deeper' waters of the same tanks in the centre and around the edges as you do so. This means you get to view life at all layers of each tank. In some, there isn't much variation (as with the Pacific Dolphins), but in others you do see quite a lot. Despite the noisy little children and the rather crowded feeling you get in places, the aquarium has plenty of amazing sights besides the impressive star attraction in his/her equally impressive tank. This is a must see sight in Osaka. Don't miss the whale shark and the graceful manta ray (in the same tank), the delightful seals and sealions, the spooky and alien-like spider crabs, and the cute and playful sea otters.
Kaiyukan aquarium has 15 tall tanks rising up 8 floors and each tank represents a different habitat such as the " Ring of Fire" and " Ring of Life", over 30,000 creatures can be observed in the tanks.
You will enjoy it!!
It is interesting, because you will see one very-very big aquarium, but you watch it from different depth: surface, middle, and bottom.
If you go there by 1-day subway ticket, you will get discount for the entrance fee (I forgot, discount 10 or 20%).
I just know that we can buy pass ticket for aquarium + 1 day subway for only 2400 yen at Umeda subway ticket locker. By using the ticket you can get a little discount to Osaka Castle too. Entrance fee for aquarium is 2000, 1 day subway is 850 yen. With pass ticket you can save 450 yen.
The marine/harbour village in Osaka is the only Aquarim in the the world with a Whale Shark in captivity, the whole complex is well stuctured and planned out as you would come to expect in Japan, the price for entry was around 15GBP not bad espeacially if your intrested in marine life and animals.
I enjoyed the aquarium, but it's a good idea to go when it's quiet, a weekday for example, otherwise the crowds are horrendous. Osaka people aren't exactly renowned for their manners in such situations either, plenty of elbows going here and there.
There are plenty of different species to look at, and it's worth a visit as long as it's not on the weekend.
Starting from Japanese forest, down to the underwater creatures in Pacific Ring of Fire (volcanic zone), to Antartica and so on. See the dolphins dive and swim very fast! You can even see the penguins--they made the temperature in the penguin "cabin" similar to the pole. The big aquarium in the center where we follow down in spiral circle has big ocean creatures such as mantas and sharks. At the end of our journey, we can see beautiful colourful glowing jellyfish.
The Osaka Aquarium is a great thing to do if you need a break from the urbanity. I found my visits there very relaxing. The fish are really diverse, my favourites being the whale shark and manta ray in the big central tank and some of the brilliantly coloured jellyfish. On weekends the place can get crowded, and sometimes there are massive groups of students visiting. Also check out the nearby Suntory art museum (the modern looking building next door). The food court in the Harbour Village is fairly standard fare, although I had a great curry/sausage okonomiyaki in one of the sit-down restaurants.
This is one very very big fish tank. It's a well laid-out, interesting and informative centre, with a route that winds down around the aquarium, from surface creatures such as otters to the giant spider crabs in the darkest depths. Enroute you'll meet dolphins, penguins and the huge whale shark among others in a collection that represents much of the Pacific rim sealife.
Immerse yourself for a few hours - an honestly delightful way to spend an afternoon and probably one of the few must do activities in Osaka.
In my experience the best time to get there is mid afternoon during the week as the school parties seem to arrive in the morning while the weekends are characterized by swarming crowds.
The aquarium takes about 3 hours to walk around so this should allow you to finish just in time to see the often beautiful sunset across the bay.