We are nearing the end of the two weeks vacation in Japan. On the twelfth day, we visited the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (海遊館). It is one of the largest public aquariums in the world and is located in the ward of Minato in Osaka, Japan, near Osaka Bay.

Nearing the aquarium

Entrance to the Kaiyukun

Rachel and I, in front of the Kaiyukan

Rachel and I, in front of the Kaiyukan

Theres a ferris wheel besides the Kaiyukan

There’s a ferris wheel besides the Kaiyukan

Our tickets

Our tickets

Rachel and I

Rachel and I

Japanese dude observing the fish

Japanese dude observing the fish

Penguin decors

Penguin decors

Rachel and I enjoyed ourselves at the aquarium very much. We saw live whale sharks, sun fish, and other exotic marine creatures for the first time in our lives.

Mark was quite a nuisance at the aquarium, constantly pestering everyone to hurry up and leave the place as he was getting very hungy (all of us had buns for breakfast, provided by our hotel except Mark who claims buns are not for human consumption). It doesn’t help that he cannot appreciate the beauty of the marine lifeforms and regarded all of them as “live seafood”, tempting him to eat them all up.

Indoor garden

Indoor garden

Theres even trees inside

There’s even trees inside

Mark is only 1.68m tall, but he is a giant among the Japanese

Mark is only 1.68m tall, but he is a giant among the Japanese

Feeding time for the otters

Feeding time for the otters

The otters pestering their keeper for food

The otters pestering their keeper for food

Some common freshwater fish in Japan

Some common freshwater fish in Japan

How these fish looks like on the surface

How these fish looks like on the surface

Small freshwater fish from the surface

Small freshwater fish from the surface

Coral reef fish

Coral reef fish

Rich assortment of colours

Rich assortment of colours

More coral reef fish

More coral reef fish

Check out the beautiful reflection on the water surface

Check out the beautiful reflection on the water surface

The fish feeds on cabbage!

The fish feeds on cabbage!

Rich colours and layering

Rich colours and layering

Observing the coral fish from the water surface

Observing the coral fish from the water surface

A school of orange fish

A school of orange fish

A school of sardine

A school of sardine

Shiny, shimmering sardine

Shiny, shimmering sardine

Rachel and I with the sardine

Rachel and I with the sardine

Sea octopus crawling around

Sea octopus crawling around

Another look at the octopus

Another look at the octopus

Freshwater Amazon fish

Freshwater Amazon fish

Giant Amazon fish

Giant Amazon fish

More giant Amazon fish

More giant Amazon fish

Close-up shot of one of the giant Amazon fish

Close-up shot of one of the giant Amazon fish

White arowana fish

White arowana fish

A lady observing the fish

A lady observing the fish

Fat Amazon fish

Fat Amazon fish

Top view of the same fish

Top view of the same fish

Scary-looking reptile-like fish

Scary-looking reptile-like fish

The full body of this strange sea creature

The full body of this strange sea creature

Black duck

Black duck

Brown duck

Brown duck

The duck looks graceful on the surface, but have to paddle fiercely underwater

The duck looks graceful on the surface, but have to paddle fiercely underwater

Elegant white crane

Elegant white crane

Giant tortoises

Giant tortoises

Sunbasking seal

Sunbasking seal

Sea otter washing its face

Sea otter washing it’s face

Scratching its belly

Scratching it’s belly

Rachel and Meiyen with the otters in the background

Rachel and Meiyen with the otters in the background

Cleaning itself

Cleaning itself

Sea lion flipping around the water surface

Sea lion flipping around the water surface

Peeking out of the water

Peeking out of the water

Swimming sea lion

Swimming sea lion

The penguin enclosure

The penguin enclosure

More penguins

More penguins

Two medium-sized fish

Two medium-sized fish

Fierce-looking fish

Fierce-looking fish

Mark says these are all delicious, edible fish

Mark says these are all delicious, edible fish

Giant luohan fish

Giant “luohan” fish

More fish swimming around

More fish swimming around

Mark went crazy when he saw this delicious grouper

Mark went crazy when he saw this “delicious” grouper

These fish were all swimming seafood to Mark

These fish were all “swimming seafood” to Mark

A really fat fish

A really fat fish

Sea turtle

Sea turtle

Stingray gliding around with other fish

Stingray gliding around with other fish

Hammer head stingrays

Hammer head stingrays

Gliding at the bottom

Gliding at the bottom

Stingray swimming around with the other fish

Stingray swimming around with the other fish

Underbelly of the hammer head stingray

Underbelly of the hammer head stingray

Freaky face of the stingray

Freaky face of the stingray

Wider view of the underbelly of the stingray

Wider view of the underbelly of the stingray

Diver with food to feed the fish

Diver with food to feed the fish

Feeding all the fish

Feeding all the fish

Feeding time for the stingrays

Feeding time for the stingrays

Some of the stingrays prefer to eat on the seabed

Some of the stingrays prefer to eat on the seabed

Finishing up the last bits of food

Finishing up the last bits of food

Majestic giant stingray

Majestic giant stingray

A very peculiar looking giant fish called Sun Fish

A very peculiar looking giant fish called Sun Fish

Look at the silly lips

Look at the silly lips

From another angle

From another angle

Rachel and I with the strange looking tail-less sun fish

Rachel and I with the strange looking tail-less sun fish

The sun fish has a very silly-looking face

The sun fish has a very silly-looking face

Rachel alone with a sun fish

Rachel alone with a sun fish

Behold the whale shark!

Behold the whale shark!

School kids gawking at the whale shark

School kids gawking at the whale shark

The full length of the magnificent whale shark

The full length of the magnificent whale shark

The underbelly of the whale shark looks like a Chinese korou pao

The underbelly of the whale shark looks like a Chinese korou pao

There are two whale sharks in the giant tank

There are two whale sharks in the giant tank

This fish likes to swim beneath the whale shark

This fish likes to swim beneath the whale shark

Lots of other giant fish in the whale shark tank

Lots of other giant fish in the whale shark tank

Frontal view of the whale shark

Frontal view of the whale shark

A dolphin

A dolphin

Rachel is happy at the aquarium

Rachel is happy at the aquarium

A giant catfish

A giant catfish

The delicious Hokkaido King Crab, live

The delicious Hokkaido King Crab, live

Close-up of the crab

Close-up of the crab

Electric blue fish

Electric blue fish

Clown fish

Clown fish

Sea cucumber

Sea cucumber

Beautiful sea creature

Beautiful sea creature

Tiny button mushroom-shaped jellyfish

Tiny button mushroom-shaped jellyfish

Long flowing jellyfish

Long flowing jellyfish

Jellyfish that looks like scallops

Jellyfish that looks like scallops

This jellyfish looks like firework sparks

This jellyfish looks like firework sparks

Really small flower pedal-shaped jellyfish

Really small flower pedal-shaped jellyfish

Close-up of a jellyfish with strange pink tentacles

Close-up of a jellyfish with strange pink tentacles

Top view of the same jellyfish

Top view of the same jellyfish

Glowing yellow jellyfish

Glowing yellow jellyfish

Floating about

Floating about

A very beautiful jellyfish

A very beautiful jellyfish

View of the same jellyfish from atop

View of the same jellyfish from atop

Elegant white dancing jellyfish

Elegant white dancing jellyfish

Stringy jellyfish

Stringy jellyfish

Another white jellyfish, propelling itself forward

Another white jellyfish, propelling itself forward

Electric bolt-like jellyfish

Electric bolt-like jellyfish

Translucent ghostly looking jellyfish

Translucent ghostly looking jellyfish

Lightbulbs ljellyfish

Lightbulbs jellyfish

Glowing orange jellyfish

Glowing orange jellyfish

Assorted mini jellyfish

Assorted mini jellyfish

Cotton-like jellyfish

Cotton-like jellyfish

This is not a pistachio nut - its a strange-looking sea creature

This is not a pistachio nut – it’s a strange-looking sea creature

Rachel collecting the Kaiyukan chop in her notebook

Rachel collecting the Kaiyukan chop in her notebook

We went shopping at the Kaiyukan gift shop - Rachel bought a spoon and a handphone strap

We went shopping at the Kaiyukan gift shop – Rachel bought a spoon and a handphone strap

Rachel likes otters very much

Rachel likes otters very much

Sea otter handphone strap

Sea otter handphone strap

Street performer outside the Kaiyukan

Street performer outside the Kaiyukan

We had a quick lunch at a Japanese fast food outlet called First Kitchen, located in a shopping mall food court near the aquarium. It was surprisingly good! There were a large variety of sauces for the french fries and the burgers were a nice fusion of Japanese and western flavours.

We bought our lunch from this fast food store

We bought our lunch from this fast food stall

Our lunch from First Kitchen

Our lunch from First Kitchen

My delicious burger

My delicious bacon egg burger

Rachels burger

Rachel’s burger

Thereafter, we headed to Hei Men Fish Market as Mark had a severe craving for fresh seafood after the aquarium visit. The fish market seems to specialise in selling fugu (puffer fish), with a fugu specialty store located practically every alternate store. We spotted a fish store specialising in whale meat. This upset Rachel and I who do not support whale fishing.

Fish market entrance

Fish market entrance

Lots of people at the fish market

Lots of people at the fish market

Rachel at the fish market

Rachel at the fish market

Vegetable and fruits stall

Vegetable and fruits stall

Obasan selling fried seafood

Obasan selling fried seafood

We bought squid and sweet potato

We bought squid and sweet potato

A pharmacy where Rachel bought some ulcer medicine

A pharmacy where Rachel bought some ulcer medicine

Japanese beancurd

Japanese beancurd

Atrocious whale meat specialty store!

Atrocious whale meat specialty store!

We bought a cup of concentrated liquid beancurd to share - it was very thick and filling

We bought a cup of concentrated liquid beancurd to share – it was very thick and filling and we were glad we didn’t order a cup each

This is what a wasabi plant looks like

This is what a wasabi plant looks like

Freshly slaughtered fugu

Freshly slaughtered fugu

You need to be highly trained to prepare fugu meat, removing the poison

You need to be highly trained to prepare fugu meat, removing the poison

Live as well as sliced up fugu

Live as well as sliced up fugu

Fugu are priced differently according to grade and size

Fugu are priced differently according to grade and size

Fish tails for feeding cats

Fish tails for feeding cats

After leaving the fish market, we made a short stop at the “Akihabara of Osaka”, Nipponbashi (日本橋). Like Akihabara, this shopping district is packed with electronic gadgets and toys. There were lots of porn shops as well. It is here that we chanced upon the most vile porn video store ever – a shop specialising in all kind of sick fetish videos ranging from hidden cameras to torture to woman urining or defecating…

Anyway, we did not stay long here as all of us were very irritated with Mark  who is constantly hunting for Transformers toys everywhere he goes. If we were to linger there longer, we jolly well might get stuck there for the whole day waiting for him.

An entire Taito arcade building

An entire Taito arcade building

Super sick porn video shop - its called SLUM

Super sick porn video shop – it’s called “SLUM”

Cute little green van

Cute little green van

We headed to the shopping belt of Dōtonbori (道頓堀) in the evening where we spent the rest of the day shopping. Rachel and I bought quite a bit of clothing from a large Uniqlo store.

Dōtonbori is a single street, running alongside the Dōtonbori canal between the Dōtonboribashi Bridge and the Nipponbashi Bridge in the Namba ward of Osaka. A former pleasure district, Dōtonbori is famous for its historic theaters (all now gone), its shops and restaurants, and its many neon and mechanized signs, including snack/candy manufacturer Glico‘s giant electronic display of a runner crossing the finish line.

We had okonomiyaki (お好み焼き)for dinner; some expensive yakitori(焼き鳥 やきとり) as well as some takoyaki (たこ焼き or 蛸焼)for supper. These are all famous local food in Osaka.

As per our previous nights, we did a quick supermarket sweep and bought some discounted food back to our hotel to eat. That concluded our twelfth day in Japan – a really jam-packed schedule. 🙂

Dotonburi entrance

Dotonburi entrance

Rachel and I in Dontonburi

Rachel and I in Dotonburi

Street view

Street view

Agnes b. - one of Rachels favourite brand

Agnes b. – one of Rachel’s favourite brand

Lots of giant billboards everywhere

Lots of giant billboards everywhere

Part of the famous Dontoburi canal

Part of the famous Dontoburi canal

A shopping mall besides the canal

A shopping mall besides the canal

Asahi neon signboard

Asahi neon signboard

Neon signboards everywhere

Neon signboards everywhere

The famous Glicos running man billboard

The famous Glico’s running man billboard

Running man signboard

Running man signboard

Rachel and I copying the running mans pose

Rachel and I copying the running man’s pose

Giant octopus signboard

Giant octopus signboard

Kabuki theatre building

Kabuki theatre building

Kabuki posters

Kabuki posters

A Sanrio specialty shop

A Sanrio specialty shop

Busy street

Busy street

I suppose this restaurant specialises in fugu dishes

I suppose this restaurant specialises in fugu dishes

Rachels favourite place - cosmetic store

Rachel’s favourite place – cosmetic store

As usual, Mark headed straight to Mandarake to hunt for Transformers toy

As usual, Mark headed straight to Mandarake to hunt for Transformers toy

Mandarake - Marks favourite shop in Japan

Mandarake – Mark’s favourite shop in Japan

Rows and rows of comics in Mandarake

Rows and rows of comics in Mandarake

I like this manga title

I like this manga title

Rachel and I went to check out cult brands and vintage stores

Rachel and I went to check out cult brands and vintage stores

I like these, but they were too expensive at around S$400 for a pair of jeans

I like these, but they were too expensive at around S$400 for a pair of jeans

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Mascot of another Japanese snack brand

We had dinner at this giant food court

We had dinner at this giant food court

The entrance

The entrance

Me posing with the cute obasan who guided us in

Me posing with the cute obasan who guided us in

The obasan posing alone

The obasan posing alone

This fat moustache guy is all over the place

This fat moustache guy is all over the place

Hes all over the walls too

He’s all over the walls too

Cashcards are used to make purchases in the food court

Cashcards are used to make purchases in the food court

The cashcards issued to us

The cashcards issued to us

Gold moustache man statue

Gold moustache man statue

Inside the foodcourt which is decorated like olden Japan

Inside the foodcourt which is decorated like olden Japan

Rachel was delighted to spot an old Shiseido poster

Rachel was delighted to spot an old Shiseido poster

Retro tin robot

Retro tin robot

Caricature/potrait artists works

Caricature/potrait artist’s works

Fortune-telling posters

Fortune-telling posters

Fake retro photo studio

Fake retro photo studio

Painted fake old buildings

Painted fake old buildings

Red lanterns

Red lanterns

The icon of the Osaka World Expo

The icon of the Osaka World Expo

An interesting car

An interesting car

Colourful flags

Colourful flags

Fooling around with some Japanese traditional toys

Fooling around with some Japanese traditional toys

Retro Japanese kids playing cards

Retro Japanese kids’ playing cards

Retro games

Retro games

Various food stalls

Various food stalls

Another food stall

Another food stall

Noodle stall

Noodle stall

A ladies club

A ladies’ club

Gyoza specialty stall

Gyoza specialty stall

Fake retro Japanese provision shops

Fake retro Japanese provision shops

A liquor bar

A liquor bar

We chose to eat at this stall

We chose to eat at this stall

Preparing our food

Preparing our food

The lady who prepared our okonomiyaki

The lady who prepared our okonomiyaki

Our dinner is almost ready

Our dinner is almost ready

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

At the cashier where we paid for everything

At the cashier where we paid for everything

We had yakitori for supper

We had yakitori for supper

The ad said there were 8 sticks - they cheated by counting the stick of lemon too!

The ad said there were 8 sticks – they cheated by counting the stick of lemon too!

Fierce-looking takoyaki chefs

Fierce-looking takoyaki chefs

Yucky octopachi balls with no sauce

Yucky takoyaki balls with no sauce

Rachel bought a Japanese red bean paste pancake to eat

Rachel bought a Japanese red bean paste pancake to eat

Rachel with her fish-shaped pancake

Rachel with her fish-shaped pancake

Roadside stall selling pork innards

Roadside stall selling pork innards

Mark tried this stirr-fried pig innards from a roadside food kiosk

Mark tried a plate of it

Food we bought back to eat in our hotel

Food we bought back to eat in our hotel

Rachels shopping haul at Uniqlo

Rachel’s shopping haul at Uniqlo

My Uniqlo haul

My Uniqlo haul

Links to my previous blog entries on my Japan  trip:

Day 1 – Kansai Airport, Hokkaido

Day 2 – Skiing, Otaru

Day 3 – Asahikawa, Asahiyama Zoo

Day 4 – Sledding, Shiroi Koibito, Crab Buffet

Day 5 – The 60th Sapporo Snow Festival

Day 6 – Staying with the Asai, Shōnan

Day 7 – Ueno, Tokyo

Day 8 – Shibuya and Akihabara, Tokyo

Day 9 – Ikeda, Osaka

Day 10 – Kobe

Day 11 – Kyoto

Day 12 – Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and Dotonbori

Day 13 – Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge and Mt. Rokko

Day 14 – Return to Singapore

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