Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Beyond The Sea (海遊館)

Visiting Osaka's premiere aquarium was the first item on my weekend to-do list.

Being unable to visit during my previous Golden Week trip, due to the insane crowds and a particularly nasty 101 degree fever, I was quite excited.

Since the ferry dumped me out at the port at six in the morning, I had ample time to camp outside the building and watch as a Japanese man's morbidly obese corgi waddled its way around the dock.

Osaka's Kaiyukan is one of the largest aquariums in the world. There are 16 tanks in all, each representing a different region's aquatic life, such as Antarctica or Monterey Bay.

The largest Pacific Ocean tank, which houses the two enormous whale sharks, is nine meters deep and holds over 5400 tons of water. The tank is made of special, crystal clear acrylic glass and is perfect for viewing. A student told me that the technology used to synthesize such glass was pioneered in Japan.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the different forms of aquatic life at Kaiyukan. The sight of Japanese families huddled around the various tanks, children enthusiastically counting the spider crabs, fathers gazing mesmerized at the schools of sardines as they whizzed by - One question was on all of their minds...

"I wonder if I can eat all this stuff!?"


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