Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan Whale Shark

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan – Everything You Need to Know

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan Whale Shark

Even with stiff competition, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is one of the best things to do in Osaka. With our guide, find out all the vital info.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Photo Credit: Christopher Chan via Flickr cc

Osaka is so much more than Universal Studios Japan (USJ) and takoyaki. It’s also home to a world-class indoor aquarium – Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. One of the biggest in the world, you could spend hours here entranced by the slow moving fish, rays and jellyfish. 

Read on for a full round-up of the aquarium’s attractions and facilities, details of how to get there, and even some recommendations for things to do nearby. 

Aquarium Attractions

This eight-story aquarium is comprised of 27 tanks housing more than 620 species of marine life – from Japanese spider crabs and ocean sunfish to the aquarium’s stars, the whale sharks. Here are some of the top attractions to check out whilst you’re there: 

1. Whale Sharks

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan Whale Shark

Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley via Flickr cc

Being the largest fish species, there’s no doubt that the two whale sharks here are the stars of Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. These sharks lurk in the Pacific Ocean exhibit, a tank 9m by 34m in size and containing 5,400 tonnes of water. 

 

2. Interactive Exhibitions

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan Ringed Seal

Photo Credit: Bong Grit via Flickr cc

On the fourth floor of the aquarium is an open-air exhibit which brings a taste of the Arctic to Osaka, complete with a rambunctious herd of ringed seals. On the same floor also find the Falklands Islands exhibit where you can get up close and personal with some tuxedo-wearing birds, the rockhopper penguins. 

If you’re feeling brave, the Maldives Zone on the third floor also gives visitors the chance to pet the sharks and sting-rays.

 

3. Feeding Times

One of the most exciting parts of any day at the aquarium, or anywhere else for that matter, is feeding time. Watch marine life, from otters to dolphins, devour their breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

FloorZoneCreatureTimes
7Japan ForestRiver Otter11:30 am/1:40 pm/4:00 pm
7Japan ForestWaterfowl4:15 pm
7Aleutian IslandsSea Otter11:00 am/1:45 pm/3:45 pm
7Monterey BaySea Lion10:00 am/1:15 pm/3:15 pm
7Gulf of PanamaRingtailed Coati11:15 am/3:30 pm
7Ecuador Rain ForestCapybara1:30 pm/3:45 pm
7AntarticaPenguin10:30 am/2:25 pm
7Tasman SeaDolphin11:30 am/2:00 pm/4:00 pm
5Great Barrier ReefCoral Reef Fish3:45 pm
4ArticRinged Seal10:45 am/4:40 pm
4Falkland IslandsRockhopper Penguin11:30 am/4:00 pm

 

4. Aqua Gate

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan Aqua Gate

Photo Credit: Jean-Francois Kenney via Flickr cc

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan doesn’t waste any time in wowing its visitors – the spectacular ‘Aqua Gate’ acting as the entranceway. As you make your way down the tunnel, fish of all kinds darting overhead, it’s difficult not to be impressed. At the end of the tunnel, you’re whisked into an elevator to the 11th floor, from where you begin your descent through the aquarium, taking in the all the wonders of the ocean as you go. 

 

Special Mention: Winter Illuminations

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan Illumination

Photo Credit: Jerome Rothermund via Flickr cc

Come Christmas (November – March), Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is gorgeously lit up by night. This underrated Osaka illumination spot consists of no less than one million lights!

Nearby Attractions

Located in Tempozan Harbor Village by the bay, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is surrounded by a whole host of other attractions that are well worth checking out while you’re in the area. Here are our highlights: 

1. Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan

Photo Credit: Calvin YC via Flickr cc

Perhaps the most famous attraction in Osaka, USJ is just a short boat ride away from the aquarium. For less than 8,000 yen, watch the zany shows, ride its numerous rollercoasters and get lost in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.   

Access: 10-minute ferry ride from the aquarium.

 

2. Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel

Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel

Photo Credit: Vintage Lulu via Flickr cc

At 112.5m tall, this Ferris wheel is not for the faint-hearted. However, the panoramic view of Osaka Bay from the top is stunning and well worth conquering your fears for. Plus, the price, 800 yen for a 15-minute ride, isn’t bad either.  

Handily, Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel also acts as a giant weather forecaster. The wheel is lit up red for sunny, green for cloudy and blue for rainy.

Access: 8-minute walk from the aquarium.   

 

3. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Osaka

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Osaka

Provided by Foursquare

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Osaka is great fun for kids! It consists of a factory tour, a 4D cinema, rides and a large playground! 

Access: 7-minute walk from the aquarium.

 

4. Naniwa Kuishinbo Yokocho

Naniwa Kuishinbo Yokocho

Photo Credit: Laura Tomàs Avellana via Flickr cc

Relive 60s Osaka at this food theme park with over 20 quaint restaurants. Osaka is known as “the country’s kitchen”, so expect authentic and delicious Japanese food such as takoyaki, okonomiyaki and kushikatsu

Access: 7-minute walk from the aquarium.

 

5. Tempozan Marketplace

Tempozan Marketplace

Photo Credit: Maryellen McFadden via Flickr cc

Housing over 80 retailers, Tempozan Marketplace is the place to get Japanese souvenirs. It also, oddly, includes an indoor petting zoo.

Access: 6-minute walk from the aquarium.

 

6. Mount Tenpop (also known as Mount Tempozan)

Mount Tenpo (also known as Mount Tempozan)

Provided by Foursquare

Beside the Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel is Mount Tenpo. At 4.53m above sea level, it’s the lowest mountain in Japan. This easy “hike” (if you can call it that) is a great change of pace from Osaka, the second largest city in Japan.

Access: 8-minute walk from the aquarium.

For more attractions in Osaka, check out: Top 17 Things to Do in Osaka.

Facilities and Services

English, Chinese and Korean language friendly. Audio guides are available to rent for 500 yen. 

Fully disability friendly. Guide dogs are welcome and wheelchairs are available for free rental. 

It is recommended that baby strollers are not used in the aquarium. Strollers can be stored at       reception free of charge. 

Nursing rooms are available on the second and sixth floors.

Baby changing facilities in all restrooms. 

Secure lockers available. 

Gift shop on the ground-floor. 

Hours

Monday to Sunday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm (last admission 7:00 pm)

Opening hours vary from season to season. Hours are extended during Golden Week (late April-early May). Additionally, night tours and overnight camps for children and their parents are offered on select nights. 

Price

AgePrice
0-3Free
4-6600 yen
7-151,200 yen
16-592,300 yen
>602,000 yen

Discounts may be available for individuals with disabilities. Please inquire when purchasing your tickets. 

If you’re visiting USJ as well, you should look into package deals that include the admission fee to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and a ferry ride to USJ.

It’s also recommended that you get the Osaka Kaiyu Ticket if you intend on visiting numerous attractions. This ticket grants you discounts to these attractions and unlimited travel on select buses, trams and subway lines.

For more information on package deals, check out: Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan’s Official Website.

Map

Address: 1-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato, Osaka 552-0022 

Access

Ten-minute walk from Osakako Station. 

From Kansai International Airport

Taking the subway to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan from Kansai International Airport requires two transfers at Namba and Hommachi. Therefore, it’s recommended that you take the nonstop limousine bus which takes about an hour. 

From Osaka International Airport (also known as Itami Airport)

Midosuji Line

Photo Credit: JOAX-TV (Own Work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Chuo Line

Photo Credit: JOAX-TV (Own Work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

First, take the Osaka Monorail to Senri-Chuo Station (M08).

Second, transfer to the Midosuji Line for Hommachi Station (M18/C16).

Third, transfer to the Chuo Line for Osakako Station (C11).

Journey time of roughly one hour. 

From Universal Studios Japan

Take the 10-minute Fast Shuttle Ferry Captain Line from Universal City Port to Kaiyukan West Wharf. 

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