We had three main attractions scheduled to visit in Osaka been Universal Studios, Osaka Aquarium and Osaka Castle. Arriving in the afternoon we quickly settled into our hotel and were treated to a wonder view of the city and harbour. We could see Osaka bay, the aquarium, ferris wheel and Universal Studios all of which we would be further acquainted with later.
The next day It was surprising walking into Universal Studios for the first time and realising what film and television franchises are part of their portfolio, I knew that films such as Harry Potter, Jurasic Park and Jaws were part of their portfolio but not that Despicable Me (minions everywhere!) or anime such as Attack on Titan or One Piece were for example.
Arguably my favourite section of the theme park was the so called Harry Potter Land which was layed out similar to what you might imagine diagon alley would be in the books with various stores from the franchise on each side such as Honneydukes or The Owl Post. Of couse at the end of the alley was of course Hogwarts castle.
Besides Harry Potter land universal studies also boasts many roller coasters and attractions. Of note we went on the Jurassic park roller coaster which was unlike any other I have tried, where once secured in the harness rotated 90 degrees backwards to you face the ground, well at least for the beginning of the ride 😉
Come our second day in Osaka we look the train down to the Aquarium which is located near the shipping container docks of the harbour. Having arrived before its opening time we ended up filling the time by riding the giant ferris wheel and playing in some arcades nearby.
If you can imagine a helix spiralling down this is pretty much the layout of Osaka Aquarium. You start on the top floor and work your way down level by level with multiple tanks positioned around the outside of the spiral and one giant tank in the middle of the helix. When I say giant, we are talking about the size to house a whale shark, that giant. The glass used for the main tank is 30cm thick acrylic which they had a sample of on display.
The tanks around the outside of the aquarium contained anything from dolphins, to sea otters to crabs to jellyfish. Each group of animals also have a allocated feeding time which you could go see. here are some examples of the tank inhabitants.
Right next to the aquarium was one more attraction I wanted to go see, a Legoland Discovery Center. unfortunately for me however I wasn’t able to go in since all adults needed to be accompanied with children. Thinking about it it’s a fair enough policy but regardless I was allowed to go into the gift store which housed a Lego pick a brick wall. Needless to say I took advantage of this fact and added some Lego to my collection 🙂
The remaining of the day was spent briefly meeting up for coffee with one of the missionaries my church supports in Japan and visiting Osaka castle.
And finally our third full day in Osaka actually wasn’t spent in Osaka but rather in Kyoto which is a short train ride away. Visiting Kyoto contained one of my faviourite things of the whole trip but I’m going to leave the details of that to a future post.
P.S. Technically after Osaka we travelled to Tokyo for a day then to Kawaguchico, Mt fuji and back to tokyo. However for the structure one post per city I’m going to skip forward to Kawaguchiko and comment on the happenings of the day in tokyo with the rest of the time spent there.