We hadn’t planned on visiting the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, but we had some time to kill after returning from Nara. The aquarium is located in the Tempozan Harbor Village in the Port of Osaka, basically a mall with shops and eateries and a large ferris wheel.
The aquarium is pretty good! They have dolphins, seals, a sloth, otters, sunfish, the usual … and a HUGE Pacific Ocean tank that spans three stories, featuring a whale shark, hammerhead sharks and more.
We wrapped up our day at an izakaya — Will and our friend ate the smelt whole, I couldn’t do it.
For our last day in Osaka, Will took me to Osakajo Park. There were many folks enjoying the sunny weather and the cherry blossoms, of course. The main attraction at the park, however, is Osaka Castle, built in 1583 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and site of a series of historical battles known as the Siege of Osaka. The castle has a nice observation deck with panoramic views and doubles as a museum.
From there, we walked over to the Sakuranomiya Park area to enjoy the cherry blossoms along the Okawa River. So many of them! Very beautiful.
Suddenly these two girls walk up near us and we realize … they have a pet owl. Yes, an owl! Who the heck owns an owl as a pet? Anyway. The owner was placing it on the branch and taking photos of it under the cherry blossoms. Poor owl. It had flowers on its head. Still awesome to see. Though it was scary when the owl would look at you with those predator eyes.
We enjoyed some yakiniku (grilled meats) for our last dinner in Osaka and called it a night.
We had an incredible time in Japan and are lucky to have been able to witness the short-lived cherry blossoms, among so many other sights. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. For more photos from our trip to Osaka, visit my Flickr page here.