Sunday, August 18, 2013

Osaka Aquarium and Umeda Sky Building



On the 11th, the day after the fireworks, Jonathan and I headed to Osaka. We took local trains instead of the shinkansen because we used seishun juuhachi kippu. That ticket gives you five days of unlimited travel on local and rapid JR lines. It's only 11,500 yen so that's only 2,300 yen a day. It's a really good deal if you have the time to take slower trains.

It takes about 4 and a half hours between Iwata and Osaka. We took a little longer because we stopped for lunch in Kyoto even though it's only half an hour from Osaka because we were really hungry. We knew of an area with a bunch of restaurants in the basement of the station, but they all had long lines. So we ended up just grabbing some things from a bakery. One of the things I got was a strawberry bun. I got it mostly because it was so adorable, but it ended up being really delicious too. The inside was really soft, but the outside was sugary and a bit crunchy.


We arrived in Osaka mid afternoon. First I wanted to go to the Pokemon Center in Osaka Station. I had seen online that they had a lot of Eevee merchandise now. It was super crowded and Jonathan didn't want to be there so I didn't get too much time to look around, but I did get a few things.


I got a Glaceon plushie, a ruler, and a towel with all the evolutions of Eevee. Soooooo cute!


Then we checked out the water clock. It took us a little while to find it because I read online that it was by the South Gate and I thought it was on the inside, but it's on the outside of the station.

It's a really neat waterfall and has a bunch of different designs. Every minute it shows the time. I saw a similar fountain in Kyoto, but it wasn't as big and I don't think it was a clock.



Then we headed to Osaka Aquarium (Kaiyukan). It's located in the Tempozan Harbor area. We didn't have time to explore the area, but the ferris wheel looked neat.

Osaka Aquarium is one of the largest in the world. It took us about two hours to go through it, though we did take our time and go pretty slowly.

First we went though a tunnel surrounded by a tank.


Then we went up an escalator and I saw the Santa Maria outside. 


There were some really big otters. I didn't know they could be that big! 


The seals were cute! :)


I'm not sure why they had a capybara (the largest rodent in the world), but they did.





Eventually you reach the main tank and spiral down around it. It's really neat!





There were some Spider Crabs and they were HUGE and sooooo creepy. 


The glass for the big tank is really thick! 30 cm! Here's an example of how thick it is. 


 I really enjoyed the jellyfish exhibit towards the end. Jellyfish are so weird and cool.


The huge ones were a little freaky and gross though, but still cool. 


Towards the end there was another seal. It was napping and then looked at us so sleepy and cutely!
 

At the end there was a petting area. I touched some sort of fish that was really rough and a manta ray. It was slimy and squishy. 


Jonathan took some videos while we were in the aquarium.


 

 By the time we left the aquarium it was dark outside. There was a performer nearby juggling fire.



The Tempozan Ferris Wheel is lit with a certain color depending on the weather forecast for the next day. According to Wikipedia green means cloudy. But I don't think the forecast I checked said cloudy and it was super sunny the next day. 


On our way back to Osakako Station we saw an interesting store that looked like it was overflowing.


We took the train back to Osaka Station. We were kind of hungry but didn't have time to eat because we wanted to make it to the Umeda Sky Building before closing. I took the time to take a few pictures of the area outside of Osaka Station though.




That is a popular place for people to put their feet in the water. We did that on our way back from Umeda Sky Building. Very relaxing!

The Umeda Sky Building is very interesting. Do you see the escalators near the top?


We took the elevator up and it was really neat because it was a glass elevator. Then we took the escalator which wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be. It was a really neat view, but it wasn't scary enough.

We were hungry and luckily they sold food up at the top. We both got some really tasty ice cream and had a really nice view while eating it.




After finishing our snack we headed up to the roof. I liked how the ground glowed in the black lights!




We saw fireworks way off in the distance. They're on the right side of the next picture.




That was a cheesy area for couples to take photos. There were a bunch of heart-shaped locks behind the bench. People could pay to engrave their names into a lock and put it there.



After spending some time up there we looked in the gift shop for a few minutes. I didn't buy anything, but I thought their mascot was cute. I didn't see much merchandise with the mascot though.


Originally I had planned for us to eat dinner in the basement (which is decorated like Japan in the Showa era), but it was already closed when we got there. We were able to walk around though.


 

We ended up getting food at a Family Mart instead. I'm not sure what I ate, but I had a mango parfait for dessert. Sooooo good!

6 comments:

  1. Dear Jenna,

    I'm not sure how I came across your post/blog about Osaka Kaiyukan & Umeda Sky Building. I would like to request your permission to save the pictures of the building for my own collection. I went there last month, but my camera was out of battery by night (as I spent whole day at Kaiyukan n Tempozan area so it was completely flat out). While waiting for the bus to go back to Tokyo, I had the chance to go up the observatory but no memory snapped there. We had a small camera but it wasn't functioning properly. Hope you don't mind giving me your pictures instead. I will really appreciate it. Thankss

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    Replies
    1. Sure! Save any pictures you want! :) That's too bad about your camera running out of battery. I would have been upset about that, too. I'm glad that these pictures are useful!

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  2. Hello, Jenna. Awesome blog! My husband and I are going to Osaka next year in Feb and I am working on our itinerary. Do you know of a place where I can buy tea cups perhaps? I keep seeing these in the Global Rakuten Japan website, tea cups made in Japan. Do you have an idea where I can find them? Thanks in advance! :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I don't know of any places that sell teacups. I know I've seen some in stores in Kyoto. Also, in many malls I've been to there's been some store that sells a lot of traditional cups and stuff. But I don't know anything specific. Sorry about that. :(

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    ReplyDelete