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DAY 3 IN JAPAN

I felt both excitement and dread for day three. I was about to go solo and check out Kaiyukan Aquarium. I’ll just meet up with everyone else for dinner afterwards. Despite all the horror stories of getting lost in Japan in my head, I just had to suck it in and do it. Thankfully, it wasn’t a traumatic experience.

KAIYUKAN AQUARIUM

I got off at Osakako Station and walked to Kaiyukan Aquarium. The weather was comfortably cool; so a couple of blocks walk wasn’t too much of a hassle. The streets were pretty much deserted… very few people with a number of stores that were closed. It was weird for me since it was a weekday.

looking towards Osakako Station. i took pictures in case i got lost on the way back.

looking towards Osakako Station. i took pictures in case i got lost on the way back. i know… paranoid.

Once I got there, I went straight to the aquarium and bought my ticket. Entrance costs 2000 Yen for adults (around Php800).

Kaiyukan Aquarium -- huge and unique structure

Kaiyukan Aquarium — a unique and beautiful structure

The place is HUGE, needless to say; and it housed thousands of species of marine life. They had dolphins, penguins, stingrays, sharks, turtles, giant crabs and so much more. What’s great is that these animals are encased in huge aquariums where they could swim freely, with coral reefs and rock formations that simulated the real ocean. Here are just some of the awesome things I saw:

TEMPOZAN MARKET

It took me around two hours to explore the aquarium. After shopping for some souvenirs, I headed to Tempozan Market to have lunch.

Tempozan Market entrance

Tempozan Market entrance

I had some karaage at the food court and it was delicious!

chicken karaage with rice and veggies

chicken karaage with rice, coleslaw and potato salad

Since I had a couple of hours to kill before meeting up with my companions, I looked around and found some more stores which sold great Japanese souvenirs. There were also a couple of unique shops that sold vintage items.

this store sold vintage Coca-Cola merchandise, among others

this store sold vintage Coca-Cola merchandise, among others

My last stop at Tempozan was the Giant Ferris Wheel. It offers an amazing view of Osaka at a maximum height of 112.5m. One ride costs 700 Yen (less than Php300), which is really worth it.

view from below the wheel

view from below the wheel

Kaiyukan Aquarium and Osaka Bay

view of Kaiyukan Aquarium and Osaka Bay

view of Tempozan Bridge

view of Tempozan Bridge

Before heading back, I made one quick stop at Milky for some ice cream. I know it’s cold; but I just had to try this one.

choco chip cookie soft ice cream

choco chip cookie soft ice cream. yum!

SHINSEKAI: Three restaurants. One big dinner.

I successfully met up with my other companions (yes!) and we headed to Shinsekai for dinner. It was sort of the Old Osaka and it is said to have some of the best local food. We walked around first and took in the sights.

Since we couldn’t decide on one thing to try for dinner, we settled on just eating all of them! I was in for the food trip of my life when we ate at three different restaurants, starting off with kushikatsu (deep-fried skewers), followed by sushi, topped off with some blowfish.

With full stomachs, we headed back to the hotel to rest. My solo trip was a success. I didn’t get lost in the craziness of the Osaka Railway system. As a bonus, I tried as much local food as I could in one night.

Next up, seeing Hello Kitty, Snoopy and Elmo at Universal Studios!

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