If you had asked me to write an itinerary fora single day in Osaka, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (海遊館) would not have been my first choice; I do not have much of an affinity with the ocean, there are castles and lots and lots of shopping streets to visit and the aquarium is fairly out of the way, geographically speaking.
But M really wanted to see the whale sharks and mola mola fish so off we went to explore, amidst mostly excited primary school children. If I once thought Sydney Aquarium - the destination of a handful of primary and high school excursions - was impressive, Osaka Aquarium, a megaplex of eight stories of tanks, trumps it in size alone
PROTIP: You can buy an Osaka Kaiyu Ticket for 2400円 for an entry ticket into the aquarium and unlimited rides in most of Osaka's internal transport for a day. The ticket is adorable to boot~ If you're going from Namba station, you need to go all the way to the end (near the shops) for the ticket office. Ask someone at the station.
The place is laid out in a spiral formation, centered around a massive, eight-floor tank containing all manner of whale sharks, stingrays and smaller sharks. You slowly work your way down through different themed 'environments', starting with an indoor rainforest canopy and eventually ending up in Antarctica.
All the tanks are at least several stories high and really imitated the sense of the ocean environment's continuity because you were watching the same animals at different depths of water and different species of animals interacting with one another.
The dim lighting, moving animals and glass did not create the best conditions for photo taking but my 50mm at f/1.8 did the job as best as it could. The jellyfish were incredibly beautiful
Favourite animals - the 'blimp seals' as I christened them. Because really. I've never seen such fat seals my entire life, just lazily floating about and descending down to boop lazily against the glass ceiling of the Antarctica room.