Alvinology goes to Japan – Day 12 of 14

By alvinology, May 20, 2009 1:08 pm

We are nearing the end of the two weeks vacation in Japan. On the twelfth day, we visited the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (海遊館). It is one of the largest public aquariums in the world and is located in the ward of Minato in Osaka, Japan, near Osaka Bay.

Nearing the aquarium
Entrance to the Kaiyukun

Rachel and I, in front of the Kaiyukan
Rachel and I, in front of the Kaiyukan

Theres a ferris wheel besides the Kaiyukan
There’s a ferris wheel besides the Kaiyukan

Our tickets
Our tickets

Rachel and I
Rachel and I

Japanese dude observing the fish
Japanese dude observing the fish

Penguin decors
Penguin decors

Rachel and I enjoyed ourselves at the aquarium very much. We saw live whale sharks, sun fish, and other exotic marine creatures for the first time in our lives.

Mark was quite a nuisance at the aquarium, constantly pestering everyone to hurry up and leave the place as he was getting very hungy (all of us had buns for breakfast, provided by our hotel except Mark who claims buns are not for human consumption). It doesn’t help that he cannot appreciate the beauty of the marine lifeforms and regarded all of them as “live seafood”, tempting him to eat them all up.

Indoor garden
Indoor garden

Theres even trees inside
There’s even trees inside

Mark is only 1.68m tall, but he is a giant among the Japanese
Mark is only 1.68m tall, but he is a giant among the Japanese

Feeding time for the otters
Feeding time for the otters

The otters pestering their keeper for food
The otters pestering their keeper for food

Some common freshwater fish in Japan
Some common freshwater fish in Japan

How these fish looks like on the surface
How these fish looks like on the surface

Small freshwater fish from the surface
Small freshwater fish from the surface

Coral reef fish
Coral reef fish

Rich assortment of colours
Rich assortment of colours

More coral reef fish
More coral reef fish

Check out the beautiful reflection on the water surface
Check out the beautiful reflection on the water surface

The fish feeds on cabbage!
The fish feeds on cabbage!

Rich colours and layering
Rich colours and layering

Observing the coral fish from the water surface
Observing the coral fish from the water surface

A school of orange fish
A school of orange fish

A school of sardine
A school of sardine

Shiny, shimmering sardine
Shiny, shimmering sardine

Rachel and I with the sardine
Rachel and I with the sardine

Sea octopus crawling around
Sea octopus crawling around

Another look at the octopus
Another look at the octopus

Freshwater Amazon fish
Freshwater Amazon fish

Giant Amazon fish
Giant Amazon fish

More giant Amazon fish
More giant Amazon fish

Close-up shot of one of the giant Amazon fish
Close-up shot of one of the giant Amazon fish

White arowana fish
White arowana fish

A lady observing the fish
A lady observing the fish

Fat Amazon fish
Fat Amazon fish

Top view of the same fish
Top view of the same fish

Scary-looking reptile-like fish
Scary-looking reptile-like fish

The full body of this strange sea creature
The full body of this strange sea creature

Black duck
Black duck

Brown duck
Brown duck

The duck looks graceful on the surface, but have to paddle fiercely underwater
The duck looks graceful on the surface, but have to paddle fiercely underwater

Elegant white crane
Elegant white crane

Giant tortoises
Giant tortoises

Sunbasking seal
Sunbasking seal

Sea otter washing its face
Sea otter washing it’s face

Scratching its belly
Scratching it’s belly

Rachel and Meiyen with the otters in the background
Rachel and Meiyen with the otters in the background

Cleaning itself
Cleaning itself

Sea lion flipping around the water surface
Sea lion flipping around the water surface

Peeking out of the water
Peeking out of the water

Swimming sea lion
Swimming sea lion

The penguin enclosure
The penguin enclosure

More penguins
More penguins

Two medium-sized fish
Two medium-sized fish

Fierce-looking fish
Fierce-looking fish

Mark says these are all delicious, edible fish
Mark says these are all delicious, edible fish

Giant luohan fish
Giant “luohan” fish

More fish swimming around
More fish swimming around

Mark went crazy when he saw this delicious grouper
Mark went crazy when he saw this “delicious” grouper

These fish were all swimming seafood to Mark
These fish were all “swimming seafood” to Mark

A really fat fish
A really fat fish

Sea turtle
Sea turtle

Stingray gliding around with other fish
Stingray gliding around with other fish

Hammer head stingrays
Hammer head stingrays

Gliding at the bottom
Gliding at the bottom

Stingray swimming around with the other fish
Stingray swimming around with the other fish

Underbelly of the hammer head stingray
Underbelly of the hammer head stingray

Freaky face of the stingray
Freaky face of the stingray

Wider view of the underbelly of the stingray
Wider view of the underbelly of the stingray

Diver with food to feed the fish
Diver with food to feed the fish

Feeding all the fish
Feeding all the fish

Feeding time for the stingrays
Feeding time for the stingrays

Some of the stingrays prefer to eat on the seabed
Some of the stingrays prefer to eat on the seabed

Finishing up the last bits of food
Finishing up the last bits of food

Majestic giant stingray
Majestic giant stingray

A very peculiar looking giant fish called Sun Fish
A very peculiar looking giant fish called Sun Fish

Look at the silly lips
Look at the silly lips

From another angle
From another angle

Rachel and I with the strange looking tail-less sun fish
Rachel and I with the strange looking tail-less sun fish

The sun fish has a very silly-looking face
The sun fish has a very silly-looking face

Rachel alone with a sun fish
Rachel alone with a sun fish

Behold the whale shark!
Behold the whale shark!

School kids gawking at the whale shark
School kids gawking at the whale shark

The full length of the magnificent whale shark
The full length of the magnificent whale shark

The underbelly of the whale shark looks like a Chinese korou pao
The underbelly of the whale shark looks like a Chinese korou pao

There are two whale sharks in the giant tank
There are two whale sharks in the giant tank

This fish likes to swim beneath the whale shark
This fish likes to swim beneath the whale shark

Lots of other giant fish in the whale shark tank
Lots of other giant fish in the whale shark tank

Frontal view of the whale shark
Frontal view of the whale shark

A dolphin
A dolphin

Rachel is happy at the aquarium
Rachel is happy at the aquarium

 

A giant catfish
A giant catfish

The delicious Hokkaido King Crab, live
The delicious Hokkaido King Crab, live

Close-up of the crab
Close-up of the crab

Electric blue fish
Electric blue fish

Clown fish
Clown fish

Sea cucumber
Sea cucumber

Beautiful sea creature
Beautiful sea creature

Tiny button mushroom-shaped jellyfish
Tiny button mushroom-shaped jellyfish

Long flowing jellyfish
Long flowing jellyfish

Jellyfish that looks like scallops
Jellyfish that looks like scallops

This jellyfish looks like firework sparks
This jellyfish looks like firework sparks

Really small flower pedal-shaped jellyfish
Really small flower pedal-shaped jellyfish

Close-up of a jellyfish with strange pink tentacles
Close-up of a jellyfish with strange pink tentacles

Top view of the same jellyfish
Top view of the same jellyfish

Glowing yellow jellyfish
Glowing yellow jellyfish

Floating about
Floating about

A very beautiful jellyfish
A very beautiful jellyfish

View of the same jellyfish from atop
View of the same jellyfish from atop

Elegant white dancing jellyfish
Elegant white dancing jellyfish

Stringy jellyfish
Stringy jellyfish

Another white jellyfish, propelling itself forward
Another white jellyfish, propelling itself forward

Electric bolt-like jellyfish
Electric bolt-like jellyfish

Translucent ghostly looking jellyfish
Translucent ghostly looking jellyfish

Lightbulbs ljellyfish
Lightbulbs jellyfish

Glowing orange jellyfish
Glowing orange jellyfish

Assorted mini jellyfish
Assorted mini jellyfish

Cotton-like jellyfish
Cotton-like jellyfish

This is not a pistachio nut - its a strange-looking sea creature
This is not a pistachio nut – it’s a strange-looking sea creature

Rachel collecting the Kaiyukan chop in her notebook
Rachel collecting the Kaiyukan chop in her notebook

We went shopping at the Kaiyukan gift shop - Rachel bought a spoon and a handphone strap
We went shopping at the Kaiyukan gift shop – Rachel bought a spoon and a handphone strap

Rachel likes otters very much
Rachel likes otters very much

Sea otter handphone strap
Sea otter handphone strap

Street performer outside the Kaiyukan
Street performer outside the Kaiyukan

We had a quick lunch at a Japanese fast food outlet called First Kitchen, located in a shopping mall food court near the aquarium. It was surprisingly good! There were a large variety of sauces for the french fries and the burgers were a nice fusion of Japanese and western flavours.

We bought our lunch from this fast food store
We bought our lunch from this fast food stall

Our lunch from First Kitchen
Our lunch from First Kitchen

My delicious burger
My delicious bacon egg burger

Rachels burger
Rachel’s burger

Thereafter, we headed to Hei Men Fish Market as Mark had a severe craving for fresh seafood after the aquarium visit. The fish market seems to specialise in selling fugu (puffer fish), with a fugu specialty store located practically every alternate store. We spotted a fish store specialising in whale meat. This upset Rachel and I who do not support whale fishing.

Fish market entrance
Fish market entrance

Lots of people at the fish market
Lots of people at the fish market

Rachel at the fish market
Rachel at the fish market

Vegetable and fruits stall
Vegetable and fruits stall

Obasan selling fried seafood
Obasan selling fried seafood

We bought squid and sweet potato
We bought squid and sweet potato

A pharmacy where Rachel bought some ulcer medicine
A pharmacy where Rachel bought some ulcer medicine

Japanese beancurd
Japanese beancurd

Atrocious whale meat specialty store!
Atrocious whale meat specialty store!

We bought a cup of concentrated liquid beancurd to share - it was very thick and filling
We bought a cup of concentrated liquid beancurd to share – it was very thick and filling and we were glad we didn’t order a cup each

This is what a wasabi plant looks like
This is what a wasabi plant looks like

Freshly slaughtered fugu
Freshly slaughtered fugu

You need to be highly trained to prepare fugu meat, removing the poison
You need to be highly trained to prepare fugu meat, removing the poison

Live as well as sliced up fugu
Live as well as sliced up fugu

Fugu are priced differently according to grade and size
Fugu are priced differently according to grade and size

Fish tails for feeding cats
Fish tails for feeding cats

After leaving the fish market, we made a short stop at the “Akihabara of Osaka”, Nipponbashi (日本橋). Like Akihabara, this shopping district is packed with electronic gadgets and toys. There were lots of porn shops as well. It is here that we chanced upon the most vile porn video store ever – a shop specialising in all kind of sick fetish videos ranging from hidden cameras to torture to woman urining or defecating…

Anyway, we did not stay long here as all of us were very irritated with Mark  who is constantly hunting for Transformers toys everywhere he goes. If we were to linger there longer, we jolly well might get stuck there for the whole day waiting for him.

An entire Taito arcade building
An entire Taito arcade building

Super sick porn video shop - its called SLUM
Super sick porn video shop – it’s called “SLUM”

Cute little green van
Cute little green van

We headed to the shopping belt of Dōtonbori (道頓堀) in the evening where we spent the rest of the day shopping. Rachel and I bought quite a bit of clothing from a large Uniqlo store.

Dōtonbori is a single street, running alongside the Dōtonbori canal between the Dōtonboribashi Bridge and the Nipponbashi Bridge in the Namba ward of Osaka. A former pleasure district, Dōtonbori is famous for its historic theaters (all now gone), its shops and restaurants, and its many neon and mechanized signs, including snack/candy manufacturer Glico’s giant electronic display of a runner crossing the finish line.

We had okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) for dinner; some expensive yakitori (焼き鳥 やきとり) as well as some takoyaki (たこ焼き or 蛸焼) for supper. These are all famous local food in Osaka.

As per our previous nights, we did a quick supermarket sweep and bought some discounted food back to our hotel to eat. That concluded our twelfth day in Japan – a really jam-packed schedule. :)

Dotonburi entrance
Dotonburi entrance

Rachel and I in Dontonburi
Rachel and I in Dotonburi

Street view
Street view

Agnes b. - one of Rachels favourite brand
Agnes b. – one of Rachel’s favourite brand

Lots of giant billboards everywhere
Lots of giant billboards everywhere

Part of the famous Dontoburi canal
Part of the famous Dontoburi canal

A shopping mall besides the canal
A shopping mall besides the canal

Asahi neon signboard
Asahi neon signboard

Neon signboards everywhere
Neon signboards everywhere

The famous Glicos running man billboard
The famous Glico’s running man billboard

Running man signboard
Running man signboard

Rachel and I copying the running mans pose
Rachel and I copying the running man’s pose

Giant octopus signboard
Giant octopus signboard

Kabuki theatre building
Kabuki theatre building

Kabuki posters
Kabuki posters

A Sanrio specialty shop
A Sanrio specialty shop

Busy street
Busy street

I suppose this restaurant specialises in fugu dishes
I suppose this restaurant specialises in fugu dishes

Rachels favourite place - cosmetic store
Rachel’s favourite place – cosmetic store

As usual, Mark headed straight to Mandarake to hunt for Transformers toy
As usual, Mark headed straight to Mandarake to hunt for Transformers toy

Mandarake - Marks favourite shop in Japan
Mandarake – Mark’s favourite shop in Japan

Rows and rows of comics in Mandarake
Rows and rows of comics in Mandarake

I like this manga title
I like this manga title

Rachel and I went to check out cult brands and vintage stores
Rachel and I went to check out cult brands and vintage stores

I like these, but they were too expensive at around S$400 for a pair of jeans
I like these, but they were too expensive at around S$400 for a pair of jeans

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Mascot of another Japanese snack brand

We had dinner at this giant food court
We had dinner at this giant food court

The entrance
The entrance

Me posing with the cute obasan who guided us in
Me posing with the cute obasan who guided us in

The obasan posing alone
The obasan posing alone

This fat moustache guy is all over the place
This fat moustache guy is all over the place

Hes all over the walls too
He’s all over the walls too

Cashcards are used to make purchases in the food court
Cashcards are used to make purchases in the food court

The cashcards issued to us
The cashcards issued to us

Gold moustache man statue
Gold moustache man statue

Inside the foodcourt which is decorated like olden Japan
Inside the foodcourt which is decorated like olden Japan

Rachel was delighted to spot an old Shiseido poster
Rachel was delighted to spot an old Shiseido poster

Retro tin robot
Retro tin robot

Caricature/potrait artists works
Caricature/potrait artist’s works

Fortune-telling posters
Fortune-telling posters

Fake retro photo studio
Fake retro photo studio

Painted fake old buildings
Painted fake old buildings

Red lanterns
Red lanterns

The icon of the Osaka World Expo
The icon of the Osaka World Expo

An interesting car
An interesting car

Colourful flags
Colourful flags

Fooling around with some Japanese traditional toys
Fooling around with some Japanese traditional toys

Retro Japanese kids playing cards
Retro Japanese kids’ playing cards

Retro games
Retro games

Various food stalls
Various food stalls

Another food stall
Another food stall

Noodle stall
Noodle stall

A ladies club
A ladies’ club

Gyoza specialty stall
Gyoza specialty stall

Fake retro Japanese provision shops
Fake retro Japanese provision shops

A liquor bar
A liquor bar

We chose to eat at this stall
We chose to eat at this stall

Preparing our food
Preparing our food

The lady who prepared our okonomiyaki
The lady who prepared our okonomiyaki

Our dinner is almost ready
Our dinner is almost ready

Dinner is served!
Dinner is served!

At the cashier where we paid for everything
At the cashier where we paid for everything

We had yakitori for supper
We had yakitori for supper

The ad said there were 8 sticks - they cheated by counting the stick of lemon too!
The ad said there were 8 sticks – they cheated by counting the stick of lemon too!

Fierce-looking takoyaki chefs
Fierce-looking takoyaki chefs

Yucky octopachi balls with no sauce
Yucky takoyaki balls with no sauce

Rachel bought a Japanese red bean paste pancake to eat
Rachel bought a Japanese red bean paste pancake to eat

Rachel with her fish-shaped pancake
Rachel with her fish-shaped pancake

Roadside stall selling pork innards
Roadside stall selling pork innards

Mark tried this stirr-fried pig innards from a roadside food kiosk
Mark tried a plate of it

Food we bought back to eat in our hotel
Food we bought back to eat in our hotel

Rachels shopping haul at Uniqlo
Rachel’s shopping haul at Uniqlo

My Uniqlo haul
My Uniqlo haul

Links to my previous blog entries on my Japan  trip:

Day 1 – Kansai Airport, Hokkaido

Day 2 – Skiing, Otaru

Day 3 – Asahikawa, Asahiyama Zoo

Day 4 – Sledding, Shiroi Koibito, Crab Buffet

Day 5 – The 60th Sapporo Snow Festival

Day 6 – Staying with the Asai, Shōnan

Day 7 – Ueno, Tokyo

Day 8 – Shibuya and Akihabara, Tokyo

Day 9 – Ikeda, Osaka

Day 10 – Kobe

Day ll – Kyoto

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One Response to “Alvinology goes to Japan – Day 12 of 14”

  1. Ernest says:

    Hi Alvin & Rachel:
    Happen to stumble upon your website while reading review abt Qunicy Hotel (Sg).
    I enjoyed your photo albums and easy to read captions. Alvin you take generally sharp and good pics. Would like to invite you to post some at Just Share (www.pl.sg)

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