Sunday, November 11, 2012

Osaka Aquarium and Osaka Castle

We only had one sightseeing day in Osaka, by choice - as we preferred to eat, shop and do nothing, and the only thing I wanted to do was bring Sofia to the Aquarium, since the Osaka Aquarium or Kaiyukan is said to be the biggest aquarium in the world, our whole family came along for the ride.

Fish are food, not friends, but here, we were the food.

Entrance to the Osaka Aquarium is JPY 2,000 for adults, JPY900 for children 7-15 old and JPY600 for children 4-6 old. You can also get a Kaiyukan Combo day ticket for JPY2,300 which combines entrance to the aquarium and free rides on local trains and buses for the same day (a bus and train day pass is JPY850 so you can save JPY550 per adult with a combo ticket). The ticket also serves as a discount card if you show it to other attractions that you visit on the same day. 

Sofia with our Aquarium Combo ticket.
We didn't get her one as she still travels for free.
Sofia, Gammy and Ninang Ads ready to visit the fish.

The subway stop is closest to the aquarium is called Osakako (which means Osaka Port). Once you get there, just walk towards the direction of the giant Tempozan Ferris Wheel as the aquarium is right beside it.

Approaching the Tempozan Ferris Wheel.
Sofia and Ninang, with my mom and dad taking their own picture
 behind them, and a class on a field trip.
Me (wearing my new Onitsukas) and Fif horsing around
while my dad checks if he got a good self portrait.
Sofia at the tunnel upon entering with a stingray.
We arrived in time for the otter's feeding.
We passed a lot of stamping areas and wondered
why we missed the part where the souvenir stamp booklets are sold.
Sofia's favorite are always the penguins.
It's fun to watch the dolphins because
they're very playful.
After walking quite a bit, we found a kiosk with the
stamping booklets. They sell it for JPY300.
We bought one and went back to get all the stamps we passed.
We passed the dolphins drinking water.
When we passed the penguins again,
Fif tried to be one of them.
The first stamping station was for the sea otters.
This time when we passed the sea lion,
one of them was resting on the platform.
Sofia and Ninang Ady were very OC about stamping.
This one was the sea lion stamp.
Sofia and the blue fish Ninong kissed last year.
He's still not a prince.
December 2011.
Which one is Nemo?
We were happy to see the giant turtle
because it meant the stamper should be near.
My dad and the tako before he became takoyaki.
Sofia and Gammy doing shark mouth.

After you exit, there is a aquarium shop one floor below. My favorite buy from there is the different sea creatures cutlery. Sofia has the cutest Fish Spoon and Lobster Fork. I got it for her in December but she loves it so much, we went back to buy more (hoarder mentality - just in case we need some more!)

There is a food court in the mall beside the aquarium so we went there to grab a late lunch. We were so hungry, the options just managed to confuse us so we were happy to settle to KFC, which was faster than deciding collectively what Japanese place we wanted to try.

Fif can never resist the picture holes.
Close up of gammy and Fi.
We saw the cutest little pig paos. 

On our way out, we passed a coffee shop across the street and we had to make a stop because Sofia saw some of her closest and dearest friends.

It was Choco Bear...
and Ice Cream Bear.
They went to Japan too!!!
and they even brought their kids!

Since we had our local transportation day passes, I convinced the family to take the opportunity to go sightseeing as well.
On our way to Osaka Castle.
Ady doesn't like walking for sights,
walking for shopping is ok,
so she and ma just waited on this bench.
You can see the Castle from these gates.
Sofia was game to go,
because she got her grandfather to carry her.
Osaka Castle
It's nicer in vivid. The leaves are just starting to yellow.
Fif and Me in front of the castle. 
Sofia found another picture standee.
We stopped to snack on a Coke Float,
while enjoying the scenery.
The view was also nice from the picnic tables.
My dad and Sofia stopped by the
old school drinking fountain on our way out.
Bye Castle! That was a good photo op.

This was the extent of our sightseeing day for this trip. I guess, that's really our favorite travel formula. 
Nice place with good food + shopping + see something new + take a few photos + lots of time sitting around cafes = successful trip for us. just saying.

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