Alvinology goes to Japan - Day 12 of 14 - Alvinology

Alvinology goes to Japan – Day 12 of 14

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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6 comments
  1. Enjoyed the info and pictures.
    I am in Texas and have never been to Japan, but like the culture.
    Thanks for the blogs.

  2. You list Marks height as 1.68 meters and say he is a giant among the Japanese. I lived in Japan for eight years and saw many people taller than this. Wikipedia lists the average height of the Japanese male as 1.7 meters and three of my Japanese wife’s brothers are taller than me, I stand a towering 172.72 meters. Mark is actually just a smidgen short of average. 🙂

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