Osaka, Japan with Kids: Kaiyukan Aquarium

IMG_3611The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is a must-see for travelers spending time in Osaka, Japan.  I’ve been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, the New England Aquarium in Boston, and many others, and I can say with certainty that the Osaka Aquarium is among the best aquariums in the world.  The variety of sea life and massive tanks made it an astonishing sight to see.

At one point, I snapped a photo with a whale shark, a hammerhead shark, a manta ray, and a spotted eagle ray all in the same picture. The sun fish, dolphins, sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, and penguins are sure to delight children and adults alike.  There were several species of massively large animals, including jelly fish, crabs, and salamanders.  My 10-year-old daughter loved the touch pool where she could pet small sharks and sting rays as they swam by.

The massive shopping malls and endless variety of stores in Osaka are mind-blowing (I could spend days on end just shopping in Osaka and never enter the same store twice), and the aquarium is no exception.  After spending a fair amount of money in the somewhat small official aquarium store inside the aquarium, I discovered another much larger shop downstairs that stocked toys, clothes, kitchen items, chocolates, and many other products featuring images of the marine life found in the aquarium.

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