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Japan Journal Day 3: Whale of a Time at Osaka Aquarium

Updated: Jan 5

I realised that the photos I uploaded were bugged for Day 1 and 2 and many past posts. Wix has a terrible storage capacity, so only those that remain in its database can be seen from mobile view. I apologise for that. However, there isn't much I can do at this point if I want to include pictures with the blog, so please refer to my Instagram for all the photos or view them using a laptop/desktop/computer.


Anyways, today is the third day. My brother spent the whole night taking care of our laundry, so he was more sleep-deprived than I was. Running on three cups of coffee today, he navigated us to the Osaka Aquarium after breakfast, which consisted of curry bread and a very innovative way to make tea!



Instead of a tea bag, the entire sachet works like a tea leaf infuser. Just use it to soak and stir while you're at it, and then you get tea instantly. The curry bread was cold, but it tasted like curry on the inside, so I'd say it was a mediocre breakfast.



We weren't the only foreigners here. This is the aquarium building, and we had to queue to purchase tickets from the booth with a little waiting time as we couldn't get it online. It was too complicated and restricted.



The entry window is only 15 minutes, so don't miss it!



While waiting, we took a walk. There are combo tickets to Legoland, a cruise to USJ and a cruise trip out to the sea that I don't know the details about. However, I was feeling dizzy the whole time, so we didn't get them. Tickets during the holiday peak period cost us 2,900 jpy each. Honestly, I've seen better aquariums than this. However, it is one of the only aquariums that have whale sharks.



While waiting for our turn to enter, we accidentally chanced by an ex-Michelin star takoyaki booth in the shopping centre. Trust me, it was worth every bite, even if they were small. No need for sauces, the one on the right is beef, and the one on the left is octopus. Both tasted great.



After entering, this is the map that we saw. The aquarium seemed to be telling us a message to protect the environment better in ways that we can, as all marine life is related to our actions on land, too.



Entering the tunnel, we spent a while looking at the fishes that swam freely. However, nothing caught my eye.



I spent more time waiting for a picture of otters here than taking pictures.



Look at the amount of oil on the glass. The aquarium wasn't in its cleanest state with tourists and children who couldn't keep their hands to themselves.



My brother helped to take a picture of this animal I can't remember. Coyote? Coat? I don't recall lmao



Anyway, tetras are a staple in just about every aquarium exhibit if there is one thing I've learned.



Then we have this guy just bing chilling on a log. My brother thought it was a fake stuffed animal at first when he spotted it. I missed it completely but after closer inspection, it was breathing so we knew it was alive.



This is where the big fishes play. I don't know all their names, but they look delicious.



Arowanas are expensive fish that many people keep for good luck. They are expensive fish, and this one could fetch a rather high price with how big it is.



Right after the Arowana, I thought these were Luohan fishes. However, after reading, I noticed that some of the fish mixed in this tank were more dangerous than that.



Do you recognise this fellow? It's a piranha. However, even after three minutes of showing it my teeth for demonstration, I couldn't confirm if it had razor-sharp teeth. If anything, all these fishes seemed to be devoid of teeth.



Pingu!



Here, my brother helped to capture these fast dolphins. It was difficult to get a good picture with our slow camera shutters on the phone.




I wasn't kidding. Video evidence is available.



Here, I got excited. Finally, I would see the whale shark in action! In my head, this creature had to be about as long as a building because I don't know much about it.



For size comparison:



Just how long is it? The tank looked cramped because there were two whale sharks and many other sharks and fish in it.



My brother took a picture of this derpy little thing. It's actually not that little.



Although the whale shark was big, it wasn't the only big thing in the tank.



Moving from them, my brother took pictures of some rather familiar fellows.




For a while, we wondered why. Then, he figured the aquarium was built in a way that we would see the same tanks multiple times along the route. It made sense, but it was also rather disappointing as I was expecting to see something new.



New was what I saw. This is in the seasonal tank, and the tank wouldn't always remain the same. There was only one lonely sunfish, and it's the derpiest thing I've ever seen.



In the same tank as it were cuttlefishes. I thought they were squids at first, but they probably belonged to the same family.



After moving past the whale shark and derpy sunfish, we found this handsome fellow! This is a crab native to Japan with a fish that camouflaged behind it. Bet you didn't see it at first glance!



The rockfish blended in so well that I had to do a double take.



Here, my favourite part of every aquarium arrived! They were all so tiny and without colourful lights to illuminate their translucent beauty, it was painful to watch.



These had longer tails.



This swam upside down expertly.



This had thicc legs.



These looked like they were flying.



Look at how adorable these little sea mushrooms are!



I'm sure this fish meant to camouflage itself.



That anemone is doing it all wrong by sticking to the glass instead of a rock.



In that same corner, we spotted the most expensive buffet item: a snow crab!



Shrimp-like creatures that look questionable to eat.



Crabs that live in cold waters of 5 degrees or less.



A variation of salmon.



One of the aquarium's mascots. There were more of these fellows, actually, but it was so crowded, so we left earlier. The poor seal looked sleepy.



We didn't actually see any narwhals, but this statue display made up for it. Apparently, narwhals are endangered.



On the way out, I saw these birds, and they were stinky!



I have no idea if these bones are the actual thing.



A whale shark's jaw is approximately that big.



We didn't get any souvenirs because they weren't cute. However, this megalodon on display would have made a better souvenir than anything they sold.


Hungry and cold and tired, we walked back, and I remembered seeing some food I wanted to try.



Taiyaki! Doesn't visiting an aquarium make you want to eat fish and octopus? That's exactly what I did. They cost 500 jpy in total.



With some food in me, we decided to travel to Nara. After changing trains, I was caught off guard by how adorable the deer-themed train was.



My heart couldn't take all this cuteness as we headed for Nara.



After arriving at Nara, we realised there were two different train stations. We will be using the other train station to head to Kyoto tomorrow after seeing the deer and temple.



On the way to the hotel we saw this church that was actually an operational kindergarten.



The streets had a charming vibe between olden culture and modern bustle.



There were so many random mini-shrines along the way.



This is a pond near our hotel, the Nara Visitor Centre Inn.




The setting sun at four in the afternoon cast a wonderful glow on the streets. It looked so magical.



I doubt I'd ever get sick of this view if I lived here.



That house looked so cosy.



The hotel lobby. They speak English and Mandarin here. With so many resources to help guests, I already feel very comfortable.



To experience a ryokan on a budget, my brother and I opted for the traditional Japanese room. As it turned out, tatami really was like what we saw yesterday opposite the koi pond garden. It was kinda weird.



The view outside my room window is amazing.



After putting our stuff down, we went out to find dinner. I came across a shop selling these cute deers and couldn't help myself!



Look at them! I wouldn't be sick living in Nara at all.



There were many things I had never seen before. This is a functioning loom that they use to weave all the cloth the shop sells.



This shop sells paint, ink and paper. I was caught off guard by the origami paper they sold.



After not being able to find anything satisfactory, we ended up at Mos Burger, where the trainee staff messed up our order. Thankfully, the more experienced staff sorted that out swiftly.



The meal was less than $10 each. I opted for a salad, while my brother opted for onion potato rings. The burger was with Hokkaido Gouda Cheese.



As we headed back after dinner, we found the mochi shop that had been full of people. After the crowd was gone because they were all sold out, we realised that it was famous because of its homemade process!



The hotel provided a cute pyjamas to wear so I wore it as I wrote the blog. Hopefully, I'll get a good rest tonight because my brother and I are sleeping in separate rooms. While I sleep, I hope to dream of deers that I will see tomorrow!


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