Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

After an amazing breakfast at the hotel full of sausages, scrambled eggs, kiwi, strawberries, fried octopus ink, donuts, bacon, cereal, yogurt, and milk… we hopped on the metro to go to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. We bought our tickets and made our way into the orange building (see photo below). Then, we took a LONG escalator to the top of the red and blue building. The entire aquarium was designed so that you started with the creatures above water (at the top) and then made your way down and around to the deep sea creatures (the bottom). It was a pretty ingenious idea.
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We saw everything from otters and turtles to pacific white-sided dolphins and ringed seals. Not all of the animals were willing to pose but Wyatt (8 year old) and I ran around trying to get their attention and crawling on the ground to get a better view. We even had a staring contest with a capybara and questioned whether or not it was actually animatronic.
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Osaka Acquarium 12We happened to walk by the dolphins right around feeding time with a crowd of 50 other people who all had their cell phones raised above their heads to record what was happening. I lifted Wyatt (8 year old nephew) above the crowd and managed to get this photo.Osaka Acquarium 3

And then there was the Pacific Ocean tank which spanned 4 floors with millions of gallons of water. If you look closely in the photo below, you can see a whale shark above the sting ray and a hammerhead shark in the lower left corner.

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At one point, we passed by this tank full of tiny tiny fish that could open their mouths freakishly wide. My imagination combined the notion of an unhinged jaw like snakes have and a vicious creature from a horror movie. However, each one was no bigger than my pinky finger. While we were here watching these little fish, a little girl with a super fancy jacket, purse, and hairstyle came up and grabbed Alex’s hand (~1 year old) and started chatting him up in another language. This went on for about 5 minutes with her family standing on the other side of the hallway just watching and taking pictures… kind of like we were.

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Osaka Acquarium 5Once we were finished going through the aquarium, we ended up back at the gift shop (of course) where I bought a plush sting ray magnet and Alex proceeded to pick up and throw things all over the store. Thankfully, the attendants were more amused than anything else.

After this we went to Coco’s Restaurant for lunch just across the courtyard from the aquarium. After eating, we walked through the mall that was attached and I found the most amazing shop. There were ninja throwing stars and beautiful chopsticks and umbrellas that looked like swords and sushi magnets and more. It was such a cool store. I really wanted to buy some real, authentic throwing stars for my husband but I ended up just standing there for a long time contemplating if and how I would get those through airport security on the way back to Prague.

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