Japan iv: Last day in Osaka at the Aquarium
After an epic first day my feet were still killing me. I had intended to go to Universal Studios Osaka as well as the Umeda Sky Building. After hearing that Universal was all line ups and pushy people (even if you showed up when the gate opens) I decided that spending $75 just to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Japan was just not going to be worth it. Instead, we decided to hit up the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan where we got a deal on entry and unlimited subway use for the day at just $25 (2300 yen).
We started the day with a quick meal at Japan's version of Whole Foods. I actually wandered into two grocery stores in Osaka (both in Fukushima) and they were really upscale but actually not all that expensive. They reminded me of A&P designed by Pusateri's. I was impressed and very happy with my meals (and cheese - holy cow, Osaka has so many kinds of cheese! How is Korea missing all this?!).
Getting to the Aquarium was a pretty simple task requiring only one transfer. Unfortunately for us we were using the JR line so the extra subway access was nothing special. It took what felt like no time to get from Fukushima Station to the Aquarium in Tempozan Harbour Village (Osakako Station). Leaving the station it was pretty clear that even arriving at 10 AM was a bit late. Everyone was going to the Aquarium. There are tons of signs at the station and being that it was a stunning day all we had to do was follow the view of the ferries wheel. I had seen the building online and in travel books so seeing it in real life was pretty rad!
Since we had already purchased our tickets all we had to do was swipe in through the subway turnstyle entry and be on our way. The aquarium begins and ends with sharks, so don't freak out thinking that the first shark experience is all you'll get. There's plenty more where that came from!
We started inside wandering around in air-conditioned bliss, headed outside briefly to see the sea otters, and then went back in where we saw a variety of fish, penguins, a capybara (yes!), and a giant tank spanning several floors representing the Pacific Ocean. The Osaka Aquarium is also home to the whale shark - a majestic being we must have watched for over an hour.
I loved watching these guys swim up against the glass.
After hanging out with the rays and sharks for a while we decided to mosey along. We saw a ton of jellyfish then really got to the piece de resistance: the moment I was challenged to pet a shark.
I did it. I didn't get a picture because quite frankly I was terrified even though these guys were tiny. It felt like a cat's tongue - rough and a little slimy! The shark hung out for a while - I think he/ she half expected me to go for more but I wasn't ready to get in there again.
Z enjoying a big moment - the video is a good 30 seconds long/
After the aquarium I headed into the mall nearby to find a snack and some Hello Kitty goodies.
They had the most random food court, but I wasn't all that hungry so I treated myself to a black sesame soft serve cone and was well on my way.
They had a little petting zoo of a couple of sheep and rabbits. It was super random in a corner of this bizarre little mall beside Lego Land and the ferris wheel.
Stay posted for my last night in Osaka and an epic night with new friends and one famous Mr. Yano!