Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan – Experience the Wonders of the Underwater World and Preciousness of Marine Life
December 14, 2019
The principal theme for establishment of the Osaka Aquarium KAIYUKAN was based on the Gaia hypothesis proposed by Dr. James Lovelock, a British scientist. The Gaia hypothesis is an ecological theory that the Earth with its many active volcanoes and all of its living creatures closely interact with each other to form, and function as, a single organism. Moreover, considering that there is considerable geographical overlap in the Pacific Ocean region between the Pacific Rim volcanic belt with frequent volcanic eruptions and an area characterized by rich biodiversity, the KAIYUKAN embodies the concepts of “the Ring of Fire” and “the Ring of Life” into all its exhibits.
The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is one of Japan’s most spectacular aquariums, world-renowned for its innovative presentation. Jayden and I entered the underwater world via the Aqua Gate which brought us to the Japan Forest where you can find adorable Asian small-clawed otters. Exploring further in, we passed by the Aleutian Islands, Monterey Bay, Gulf of Panama, Ecuador Rain Forest, Antarctica and the Tasman Sea. The environment of the Aleutian Islands is bitterly cold and harsh, and the islands are home to the Tufted Puffin. The cliffs of Monterey Bay, California’s coastline, are home to sea lions and seals. In the ice-shrouded continent of Antarctica, you’ll find numerous penguins.
The Tasman Sea section leads into the Great Barrier Reef, followed by the Pacific Ocean, the Seto Inland Sea, the Seasonal Exhibit, the Coast of Chile, the Cook Strait, and Japan Deep. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is a collection of over 5,000 connected coral reefs, extending 2,000 kilometres in length. This exhibit features vibrantly coloured fish swimming among an exquisite reproduction of the reef that mirrors both its form and colouration. To recreate the massive Pacific Ocean, this section features an aquarium 9 metres deep and 34 metres long, and houses my favourite marine animal – sharks.
Not only were we fascinated by the marine life, we also learnt interesting facts during our trip to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan – When currents from the south bring cool, nutrient-rich waters to the coast of Chile, they also generate massive amounts of both plant and animal planktons. This exhibit showcases species of sardines as they gather and swim around the rocks in search of that plankton. Japan Deep is another section that will capture all your attention. This exhibit centres on the inhabitants of a sloping section of ocean floor beneath the Sea of Japan, at about 200 to 400 metres in depth. We got a glimpse of the Giant Spider Crab, the biggest crab in the world and other mysterious forms of life of deep sea.
Before exiting the aquarium, we were awed by the most renowned collection of jellyfish nationwide. The exhibit is designed in a way to give visitors an impression of gazing into a galaxy of jellyfish floating in space.
You should visit the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan around late afternoon and stay till the evening. Every evening from 5pm, the “KAIYUKAN Night Aquarium” shifts away from its daytime form and reveals its otherworldly side. The music inside changes, and the fish swim amidst the deep blue sea under light like moonlight. It is a beautiful and mystical sight.
After your visit to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, you can head to the Tempozan Marketplace for dinner before riding the Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel. These activities are great for children. Don’t skip them if you’re visiting Osaka with your little ones.
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Address: 1-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato-ku, Osaka City 552-0022 Japan
Opening Hours: Daily 10am to 8pm. Please note that the opening hours vary by season. Check the website for updates.
Children under 3 years old: Free
Age 4 to 6: ¥600
Age 7 to 15: ¥1,200
Age 16 and above ¥2,300
Age 60 and above ¥2,000