“Ocean, Meet Whale Shark”- printed on the ticket to Osaka’s Aquarium, the whale sharks were the main exhibit to this fun aquarium that also sports a beluga, sun fish and Asian porpoise.
With the coming of winter, comes the various illumination shows throughout Kansai, the first of which was a display outside of Osaka’s Aquarium, roughly an hour by train from Kyoto Station. Since Nicky and I have never seen a whale shark, which the aquarium is famous for, we decided to join Erin for another day in Osaka, this time further from the people and closer to the bay.
Having been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I can say for certain that this aquarium is not quite as good- however, it has many things which makes it worth a visit, including, naturally, its two captive whale sharks. There was also a sun fish, beluga whale, asian porpoises and giant porcupine fish. We were able to go through the whole aquarium in about an hour and a half- their rendition of a coral reef was quite pretty as well, and on the way out, we were able to watch a feeding show. The diver was dressed up as Santa, so we were quite amused. I am working on making a movie with the footage from the day.
After the aquarium, we went to Coco’s for lunch, as they have an unlimited drinks bar, and then afterwards, we shopped around the mall for a little bit as we waited for it to get dark enough to see the light exhibit. On the third floor, surprisingly, there was a petting zoo! We were able to play with llamas, puppies, kittens, goats, chipmunks, rabbits and sheep. The goat was surprisingly tender, and the rabbits were also pretty relaxed, but the dogs seemed to be a little worse for wear. We concluded that they must be rescue dogs, as Japan has a serious problem with owners giving up their pets when they go beyond the “cute” phase.
At 5 o’clock, we headed outside to check out the lights. It was really cool. I am not much of a Christmas person, but the one thing I love about the season is the lights. I’m looking forward to going to as many of the illumination shows as I can. It truly is gorgeous.
On the way home, we made a stop in Takatsuki to meet up with Taisuke (he had ordered Nicky a hanko [personal stamp, which is used instead of signatures in Japan]), before he invited us out to sushi boat. I have never actually had sushi boat before, but it was super fun, and cheap! Every plate was a $1, and for every five dishes, you got a chance to win something from the ball catcher at your table. We won one prize; a samurai character holding a Christmas wreath. It was pretty cute, and fun. Afterwards, we forced Taisuke to do Purikura with us, much to his embarrassment, before we headed home.
It was a really fun day, but we were dead tired when we got home. It’s really too bad that Osaka is so far away!