As one of the largest public aquariums in the world as well as Osaka’s most popular date spot, Osaka Aquarium was even chosen as TripAdvisor’s No. 1 in Asia! With such accolades and so much to see (8 floors and 27 tanks in 16 main exhibits!), Osaka Aquarium is surely the best spot to go when you don’t know where to start in Osaka!
Bring your friends, family, or significant other, as this guide will help you maneuver your way through the undersea world.
The tunnel entrance that greets you is what you see when you first head towards the aquarium. The sheer blueness of the water and the swimming sea creatures surrounding you preludes to the underwater world you are about to experience! It does make you feel as if you have just plunged deep into the ocean.
At the topmost floor you can find a mystical recreation of Japanese forests and riversides, the home of cute critters such as otters and mandarin ducks. Where else can you find such animals feeding and playing in their almost-natural habitat?
You can see adorable sea otters at the Aleutian Islands area on the 7th floor. Sometimes special events are held, such as allowing the furry critters heart-shaped goodies like carrots. It makes for a perfect photo op!
At this exhibition you can see California sea lions and spotted seals which are normally found in Monterey Bay at the California coast. Depending on the day, there is a chance to see feeding time 1-3 times a day. This is the time when you can see their oh-so-cute expressions!
Sloths and porcupine fish are the main attractions at Panama Bay of South America. However, you can also see the South American coati climbing trees or digging in the sand to much amusement. Be sure to look out for these furry friends!
You can also find sawfish and sharks on the 3rd floor.
From 5pm begins the “Sea of the Night,” and the aquarium takes on an entirely different aura. The dimmed lighting makes a superb contrast with the bright blue emanating from each exhibition, creating quite the romantic atmosphere. This is probably why Osaka Aquarium is well-known as a famous date spot! But never fear, this place is not just for couples! The Aquarium also conducts special night tour packages for children, women-only, groups and more on an irregular schedule. So check the website for more information: Special Night Tour Package*Japanese Only
Ever wanted to touch a ray or shark without fear of getting hurt? Well, you can do this at the Touch Pool zone in the Maldives area! The rough texture of sharks and slimy rays will be a great new experience for some. You can also find coral reefs here.
Like most aquariums and zoos, visitors can observe how animals react during feeding times. There is actually a schedule online so make sure not to miss out on seeing your favorite animals munching down on their lunchtime grub!
Ever wanted to see penguins up close and personal? Well you can do that in the penguin zone, where their sub-Antarctic habitat has been recreated with fake waves as well! So have fun watching the penguins flap and waddle around in the open air exhibit.
On the 3rd Floor is an area recreated to resemble the freezing Arctic. The dome-shaped ceiling makes it possible to meet eyes with a passing sea lion looking down at you! Trust me, the charming expressions of these animals are so adorable you might even spend a few minutes just walking around staring above you.
The Marine mates of the aquarium will take you on 4 guided tours, which involve helpful explanations about the sea animals, and even allows you a behind-the-scenes tour of areas usually only accessible by staff! You can see feeding and other activities super up close and personal!
The marine life showcased here varies by season, but is always a pleasant surprise!
If you like isopods, this area is for you! Japan Deep is home to many mysterious marine life forms, such as the Giant Spider Crab, the biggest crab in the world!
This is one of the most renowned collections of jellyfish in the world! Feel as if you are literally floating along with the magical beings as you follow their ethereal motions throughout the exhibition.
Osaka Aquarium is not only for marine animal lovers. For shopaholics and those who love browsing fun products, Tempozan Marketplace is the spot.
Adjacent to the aquarium, you can find 100 shops and restaurants in this festival/marketplace-themed space. Even better there is a food court and an amazing view of Osaka Bay.
Tempozan Marketplace*Japanese Only
If you’re lucky you may able to see a diver cleaning the tanks or feeding the animals around in the aquarium…and if you are super lucky you might be able to see him donning a Santa outfit or holding a signboard, as this is actually a popular way to propose to someone! Just like being in a drama.
At the Tempozan Marketplace you can also catch street performances like acrobats, juggling, magic, and more! Fun to enjoy on a date or with friends and family!
From household pets such as cuddly dogs and cats to kangaroos and everyone’s favorite alpaca, if you have kids, this would be the best place to hang out and meet animals you normally can’t even get close to!
Not far from Osaka Aquarium is Diamond Point, a romantic getaway spot. It’s recommended that you go over after finishing a day at the aquarium so you can get fantastic sunset views at this point.
It would be the perfect date!
This is one of the largest Ferris Wheels in the world at 100m and 112.5m in diameter and takes 15 minutes to complete a run! On a clear day you can even say Osaka Bay, Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, and Kansai Airport. Also, the Ferris Wheel is lit up in red when it’s sunny, green for cloudy and blue for a rainy day.
In brief, these are the 20 reasons why Osaka Aquarium is a must go for any visitor to the Kansai region. Also, even if you don’t necessarily enjoy water and marine animals, there are so many other places to go and things to do, such as shopping and eating at Tempozan Marketplace and checking out the gorgeous sunset views at Diamond Point. So there you have it! You have no excuses not to go now, so enjoy your time at this amazing aquarium!