The final day in my trip was a pretty relaxed one. I decided to head on over to Kaiyukan, the impressive aquarium at Osaka bay. I’ve been there once before some 3 years ago, but with my renewed interest in all things aquatic, a return visit would not go amiss!
After meeting up with Mayumi, we sorted out travel. It’s pretty easy to get to from Umeda, the main station in Osaka. Just head out on the subway to Osaka-ko, the bay area. You can even get a special ticket that gives you unlimited subway access and a pass to the aquarium for one day to save you money.
As expected for a sunday, the place was packed full of families with excited kids and a few couples. (Aquariums are generally thought of as date spots in Japan). But although the atmosphere was animated, it didn’t ruin the great experience.
As aquariums go, this one is among the best I have been to, sending you plunging down several across different habitats that contain ecosystems, all connected to one-another in the great ‘Ring of Life’. The aquarium itself days that it is based on the Gaia principle expounded by James Lovelock – very simply that everything in the world is connected and balanced. I think the next photo captures that feeling.
The main attraction is a huge tank hosting many different creatures, the star being the plankton-eating Whale Shark. Huge and graceful, two of colossal animals swim around inside. Feeding time was interesting too, seeing the whale sharks opening their huge mouths, sucking in litres of water and filtering out the tiny particles of food.
Another of the stars was the strange Manta Ray. Ishigaki island where I went scuba diving in April has a famous spot for seeing the creatures, but I was unlucky at the particular time I went. Hopefully next time though! I was busy photographing the half-enraged Porcupine Fish (ハリセンボン), a favourite of mine for many years :p.
Of course though, what really got me grinning from ear to ear and elbowing aside the little kiddies next to me was the jellyfish section. I think I maxed out my camera SD card here. Still tricky things to photograph because of the lack of light and movement. This is one thing I really want better quality at high ISO settings for.
After the aquarium, we spotted a new set of capsule toys at Umeda station! Special squishy jellyfish figures for the summer. Oh yeah! These things are really sucking my money up ^_^;.
We took the JR trains back to Nagoya using the Seishun 18 Kippu. It worked out overall that I only used 3 days of travel on the ticket, so I have 2 spare days for a mini trip sometime before the end of September! Where to go next eh?
I’m now resting at home, trying not to count the numerous mosquito bites I received or rub my sunburn up the wrong way. Work as usual tomorrow morning. I always find it quite ironic that we speak of holidays and vacations as time off to recover from work or re-charge. I often feel just as if not more tired after a good holiday than I did before leaving! Tried in a good way, mind. I got to see that little bit more of this amazing world in 8 fulfilling days of adventure, art and nature.
Signing off for this trip, then. *Smile*.