Osaka Aquarium

Wake up and it’s raining so i go right back to sleep. No rush today and we need a good rest. We’ve been here in Japan almost 2 weeks and it’s been non-stop. When we do get up Rodney is there in the living room. It’s gonna be a rainy day so we’re thinking aquarium and have a chill day. We start trying to plan some things around a comedy show here in Osaka that Rodney hosts every Saturday and Sunday. We’ll be taking off tomorrow towards Hiroshima. Probably hit Nara and Kobe along the way. May get to South Korea and then aim to be back to Osaka the day before we leave to have another night out with these guys? Sounds like a plan to me!

We take our umbrella out into the rain. It’s not too heavy. We go back to the Namba Station area and end up finding a sweet little cafe on the second floor of a building called Miles. I’m assuming it’s a jazz-themed place since the Japanese seem to love their jazz.
Yep. Lots of jazz paraphernalia. Cozy spot.

The older owner guy is super polite. He seats us and gives us some menus. We ask for coffee and he goes through a whole process of boiling water and steaming, I’m not really sure what he’s doing actually. The result is amazing coffee though.

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A few other people come in while we’re in there and the owner’s wife comes out to help serve plates. Looks like it’s a mom and pap shop serving traditional style Japanese breakfast. Good find. The food is great. Queenie gets a traditional dish that basically has every food type on it and I get a kick ass scramble.

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Well that was a good start. We take a subway across town to the aquarium. It’s just a short walk from the station. Outside is a massive ferris wheel and a Lego giraffe.

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Oh hey Golgo 13, I drank some of your whiskey the other day. Can we get a ticket please?

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Well. That’s a large aquarium alright.

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We enter through the Aqua Gate. It kind of smells like miso soup. I guess that’s to be expected.

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The first area is a Japanese Forest. There are some ducks and otters, the tanuki of the sea!

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It looks like the aquarium is broken into themed sections, each one a water feature on Earth: Monterey bay, Gulf of Panama, Antarctica, Tasman sea, Great barrier reef, Seto Inland Sea, West Pacific Ocean, Aleutian Islands, Pacific North East, Cook Straight, Japan Deeps, etc… (No Atlantis). So, fairly massive aquarium to check out.

This aquarium is rad! I’ll just let the pictures do the talking.

Look at this guy awwwwww

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Capybara getting maid service

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Ohh coatimundi!

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Antarctic penguins. Normal and Emperor!

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It’s feeding time! They are all hopping out of the water onto the rock and waddling up to this girl as fast as they can. It’s adorable

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Penguin feeding hyperlapse

That thing Emperor Penguins do where they just stand still and stare like a seance.

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This girl was showing off all the tricks she’d trained the seal to do. He would wave, bow, roll over in both directions, play dead, do spin moves, and knew karate.

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Into the Seto Inland Sea. These larger exhibits with all sorts of fish intermingling are great. You can see the hierarchies of the creatures. There are so many things happening I could just sit and watch it all day. Watching the octopuses fight over a ceramic jug was great.

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Octopunch! POW! Get outta here!

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Up next I think is the Pacific. Shark time! And giant manta rays!

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We took a break and just watched it all for a bit. There are benches off to the side of the main walking path and right in front of the glass. It’s relaxing to just sit in the quiet and watch all the fish go by.

 

There was a little kid with a phone that caught this seals attention. He was basically following the phone around. The kid spun it in a circle and the seal would do a loop. Watching the kid giggling uncontrollably while the seal mimicked his movements absolutely made my day.

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These guys look funny going by with their mouths open

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These spotted garden eels are kinda cute. They just do this.

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We take a break in the Mermaid Cafe and watch some humans for a while. There are super long hot dogs in here that they recommend dressing up like a spotted eel. So of course we do and wash it down w a beer.

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Ok into the Japan Deeps!

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Holy shitballs! Look at this giant Spider Crab. That’s nuts!

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Haha now he’s getting chased around by this smaller one. Mating time?

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Sup?

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There is a whole room showing pictures of a sea otter named Pata that passed away recently. Cute lil duffer

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Oh we’re going to Canada!

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I look up at a large dome on the ceiling and there is a distorted blob of a smiling seal looking back at me. It was funny and creepy

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More penguins!

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At the end there is a kiosk where you can answer some questions and it will find a fish in the aquarium that matches your profile. Queenie and I get the same fish even though we had different questions.

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Captain Beefheart Trout Mask Replica 2

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Well that was a fun way to spend a rainy day. Jeeez we were in there for hours!

Might as well hop on the world’s largest ferris wheel. Is it really? It’s not, but it’s nice anyways. Good view and the changing lights of the interior are cool

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We get the dolphin car

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There is an indoor forest area here? With a bunch of wallabies?

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And turtles

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That was fun. Now it’s dinner time already, wow. We hop the metro back to Namba station and just have a look down the side streets on the way back for a good looking spot for dinner and drinks. We find a small Italian place. Why not, its cute.

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They don’t have an English menu. We try charades but it doesn’t seem to be working. The server gets the cook to come talk to us. I Google translate that I’m allergic to fish and he tells us several dishes as best he can in English without fish. Spaghetti, garlic toast, spicy chicken neck, cabbage balls, and chicken liver stew. We also start with 2 beer. And why not some sochu and oolong tea too!

Spicy chicken neck. This was like the crunchy cartilage from the yakitori places but with that szechuan sauce that numbs your lips. It’s really good, just have to take little bites at a time and come back to it. Great with beer.

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Garlic bread comes with some spaghetti. I start rolling the spaghetti in my fork on my spoon and Queenie is amazed. “Whoa Bee! That’s so fast!”, “You’ve never done this before? Used a fork and spoon to eat spaghetti?”, “Noo!”

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Chicken livers in a garlicky broth. Super good!

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There are 4 guys in business suits at the back table just roaring. This seems to happen a lot. I guess people like to get off work and get silly with some beers. I mean, who doesn’t.

We thank our server and the nice cook who’s been helping us order stuff. I snap a pic of the place on the way out.

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it’s just a short walk back to Namba Oasis from the restaurant. We chill in the living room with a beer and I hook us up with a hostel in Kobe for tomorrow while Queenie does some laundry. We can probably hit Nara in the morning and get to Kobe in the afternoon. Then do Himeji Castle on the way to Hiroshima. Seems ambitious but that’s just how we do it.

Rodney and Saki come back and join us on the couches. I guess Saki has been working 14-16 hour days recently. She’s a jr high teacher but they have the teachers doing all of these extra things like student guidance, looking into high school and giving recommendations, and she says there have just been tons and tons of meetings. Seems like some high expectations for a Jr Highschool teacher.

Rodney was at Sauce Boss. I remember him telling me about it the other night. It’s a wings place that just crushes it. Maybe try it out when we get back here.

We exchange goodbyes just in case we don’t see them in the morning. They’ve been fantastic. Hooking us up with this super convenient pad and taking us out on the town too. Can’t really ask for anything better. I’m glad we stayed here, I rather like Osaka. Has it’s own personality and flavor. Looking forward to getting back here at the end of the trip to rip it up with everyone one last time. Should make for a good trip capper.

But lot’s left to do! Nara and Kobe tomorrow and then I’m really really stoked for Hiroshima the day after!

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