Osaka: Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Located in Minato Ward in Osaka City, Osaka Prefecture in Japan, the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (海遊館) is one of the largest public aquariums in the world.

Also known simply as Kaiyukan, the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan was opened in 1990. It is comprised of several habitats where the 500+ species of fish and aquatic animals are distributed. The Kaiyukan also has 27 tanks in 16 main exhibits. These aquariums hold as much as 10,941 tons of water. The largest tank is 30 feet deep and holds 5,400 cubic meters of water. This tank holds the the most famous and biggest fish in the Kaiyukan - the whale shark.
Check how thick those aquariums are...
Thank God it's that thick!
Aside from that did you know that the tanks used in the aquariums are made of 346 tons of acrylic glass. The largest single pane measures six meters by five meters by thirty centimeters and weighs roughly 10 tons. 

Check out this interactive panel
Are you ready for the Kaiyukan experience?
Going back to the 16 main exhibits of the Kaiyukan, here are the list of habitats that you will see:
Some of the areas in the Kaiyukan
  1. Japanese Forests
  2. Aleutan Islands
  3. Monterey Bay
  4. Panama Bay
  5. Ecuadorian Jungle
  6. Antartica 
  7. Tasmanian Sea
  8. Deep Sea Zone
  9. Great Barrier Reef
  10. The Pacific Ocean
  11. Seto Inland Sea
  12. The Giant Kelp Forest
  13. Chilean Rocks
  14. Cook Strait
  15. Japanese Trench
  16. Jellyfish Area
The Tunnel Tank is also part of the Kaiyukan's exhibit but it is not part of the themed habitats.

Now let's check out some of the animals in the Kaiyukan...

That otter has a celebrity status

A giant arapaima
Show time for this sealion
The guy from Happy Feet
some jellyfishes

Some more jellyfishes
Kaiyukan's most famous whale shark
We visited the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan on the 10th day of our Japan tour. The great thing about our trip to the Kaiyukan was that it was unplanned. Our Japanese family brought us there on a surprise. Because of that I was not able to research about it hence I don't have any background about what to see and expect in the Kaiyukan.
Touch a ray
or a shark!
You can dip you hand inside this tank too!
Check out the rates first
You gotta love its facade.
The Tempozan near the Kaiyukan
Overall the Kaiyukan is a foreigner-friendly place. They offer Walkman type translator pieces and handouts and maps printed on different dialects.  Surely, the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is a place worth visiting for people who are young and young at heart.

Getting there:

From Kansai International Airport, ride a train going to Bentencho Station then transfer to a train going to Osakako Station. From there, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is just a few meters away by foot.

Overall rating


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