We visited the Osaka aquarium (Kaiyukan) on a rainy day. The aquarium is located on the shore of Osaka bay, next to the Tempozan Ferris wheel. The outside of the building is peculiar and definitely hard to miss. The visit starts on the top floor greenhouse with an exhibit representing the Japanese forest; small mammals and amphibians are on display. The lower floors contain various tanks with sea mammals, fish and some reptiles. The main tank of the aquarium is impressively large and spans several floors in height and hosts the famous whale shark which was unfortunately photo-shy on that day. On the lower floors, giant Japanese spider crabs and an impressive collection of jellyfish steal the show.
When I visited Osaka-jo with my parents, we saw a group of several middle-aged men with their birds of prey. I think that they often meet on Osaka Castle’s premises. The men were sitting nearby the west entrance of the castle, like old acquaintances, caring for their birds. If you happen to be in the area of Osaka castle on a weekend, pay them a visit and you may be lucky and given the privilege of holding a bird of prey!
The Osaka Castle is one of Japan’s landmark castles. It is surrounded by an impressively system of defenses comprising huge walls and wide moats. Some of the rocks making its walls are gigantic, and the methods they used to bring them there is mind boggling (I’ve heard they used wooden barrels filled with air to navigate the rocks from the quarry to the castle). The Castle and its surrounding park is a great place to take a break from the crowded streets of Osaka and the view of the city from the observation deck is really worth the visit. The lower floors of Osaka castle present the lords and battles that made the history of the city of Osaka.
Dotonbori street is the main attraction in Osaka. The street, which follows the Dotonbori canal is filled with shops and restaurant. The region around Dotonbori itself is filled with shopping opportunities. A unique feeling to Dtonbori are the many brightly lit displays and mechanized signs. Some of them include the giant crab (Kani Doraku restaurant), the hanging Fugu fish (Zubora-ya restaurant). Famous landmarks include Glico Man runner sign, Kuidaore Taro the drum playing clown. Looking for those landmark while walking on Dotonbori street is quite a lot of fun.