Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is best known for its star attraction – the whale sharks. And while these large fish are a major reason to visit Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, we discovered that this top Osaka attraction offers much, much more.
Located in its own building by the water, the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is the world’s largest aquarium with 29,000 animals across 470 species. To say it is impressive is an understatement.
Enter the Aquatic World
Upon entering the aquarium, visitors are ushered through the Tunnel Tank, a transition space to transport visitors into the watery world of the aquarium.
At the top of an ascending escalator is the Japanese Forest exhibit. It feels almost surreal to be stepping into a verdant forest within a building but this feeling is quickly overtaken by the delight on sight of the adorable oriental small-clawed otters and Japanese giant salamander.
From here on in, the route through Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan descends downwards past the multiple tanks within the aquarium. Each tank has been modelled to reflect a different oceanic or coastal habitat from around the world.
Habitats from Around the World
These range from the isolated Aleutian Islands to California’s Monterey Bay to the tropical waters of Panama Bay and the Ecuadorian Jungle.
As you view the exhibits, you will be greeted by wonder after wonder.
In the Monterey Bay exhibit, gaze at “basking” spotted seals and California sea lions.
The Ecuadorian Jungle exhibit features giant arapaima and the world’s largest rodent, the capybara.
Journey to the South Pole at the Antarctica exhibit where penguins are huddled together.
Another delight to behold are the Pacific white-sided dolphins that dart about the Tasmanian Sea tank.
Whale Sharks at the Aquarium
The preceding tanks at Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan seems like appetisers compared to the main course – the Pacific Ocean tank. This is the largest tank within Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan.
Out of the blue, you will see behemoth whale sharks appear. Swimming slowing and gracefully, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan has not one but two of these gentle giants.
As they swim by, it hard not to marvel at their immense size. They make the manta rays and reef sharks that share the same Pacific Ocean tank look small in comparison.
Unique Views at the Osaka Aquarium
Another unique feature of Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is that route through the aquarium winds around the Pacific Ocean tank, revealing new depths of tanks such as the Monterey Bay tank and Tasmanian Sea tank too.
This means that it is possible to see animals such as the sea lions and dolphins at different depths.
This also means that it is possible take in multiple views and angles of the whale sharks too.
Another mesmerising exhibit is the Giant Kelp Forest where there are plenty of white oval squid suspended next to odd-looking sunfish.
There is plenty to see around Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and plenty of interesting marine creature. There is an area which provides a look under the Arctic seas too.
The habitats are all well-presented and a delight to view. You can easily lose track of time amongst the brightly-coloured displays and fascinating creatures.
The route through Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan ends at the touch pool where visitors can touch sting rays and small sharks in a shallow pool.
Before ending your visit, stop by the aquarium’s gift shop to pick up a souvenir to bring home.
Highly Recommended Osaka Attraction
A visit to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is highly recommended for anyone visiting Osaka. The aquarium is located within the Tempozan Harbour Village complex, and about a 10 minute walk from the Osakao train station.
Other attractions within the Tempozan Harbour Village complex include the Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel, Lego Discovery Centre Osaka and the Santa Maria cruise ship. Tempozan Harbour Village is a mall with plenty of shops and restaurants too.
For your visit to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, you can either buy your tickets from the ticket office or skip the queues and buy the tickets online.
We bought ours from Klook, an authorised reseller of Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan tickets.
When you buy the tickets through the Klook, and you will receive a QR code voucher which you can present directly at the entrance to skip the queue.
You can purchase your Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan admission tickets from Klook here.
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
Address: 1-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato-ku, Osaka City 552-0022 Japan
Little Day Out is an affiliate of Klook. Little Day Out receives a small commission for each ticket purchased to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan through our Klook link.