2012 - 2013

Day 3

Kaiyukan Aquarium

Today was our last full unplanned day in Osaka, because tomorrow we are going to Universal Studios to celebrate new years eve, so today we went to go see the aquarium.

We went to find some breakfast, and ended up in another western-ish cafe near our hotel. It was an Italian place, but we ended up getting bacon, eggs and toast. I like most things about Japanese culture, but I hate the fact they still smoke indoors, so unfortunately this place was a bit smokey for our liking.

After that we made our way to the aquarium. It was raining most of the day today and while Jono brought an umbrella, none of us did. Last time we went to Japan, we did not get a single day of rain, so we assumed it would be the same this time, but that’s not the case!
On our way to the aquarium, we stopped at a convenience store and bought some umbrellas. They cost 550 Yen, and they are everywhere! People even leave them around, so my mum didn’t even need to buy one, she just found an abandoned one lying around.
Out the front of most places, they have disposable umbrella sleeves too, and they fit the cheap umbrella’s perfectly, its a good system!

We got to the aquarium, and spent 2-3 hours there. The aquarium walks you through various sections that represent different parts of the world. Rather than describing all the areas, I’ll just upload a bunch of photos. It was a bit hard to take photos in there with the low light, fast moving fish and just my kit lens, but with a high enough ISO, some of them turned out ok.

After the aquarium, we went across the road to a shopping centre for some lunch. We got our first proper Japanese lunch. I ordered a pork and egg okonomiyaki and it was really nice! (I’m not a big fan of okonomiyaki in Melbourne, they have too much cabbage! but there is lots of variety in Japan!)

After a bit shopping, we headed back to the hotel to freshen up. Before we went to dinner, we headed back to the shops from yesterday to buy the luggage I had my eye on. We found another place that sells luggage and they had a lot more variety! I thought we hit the jackpot until I realised I was converting the prices incorrectly. I found some luggage that I liked, and I thought it was $60, but it turns out if was $600… and all the others were around the same price. So we left there pretty quickly! :P

During lunch at the aquarium my parents got talking to some locals, and they recommended a restaurant where we actually fish out a your own fish to cook. They gave us a business card and said to look out for the giant crab on top of the building.

This building seemed to fit the bill, and they were booked out, so we waited an hour to get in… and then we realised it wasn’t the right place! It was the first time I had fresh crab though, and it was a really nice restaurant! It looked like a traditional Japanese restaurant with our own private room with cardboard walls and the low table.

After dinner we just headed home, picked up some junk food and tried to find a suitable ATM.
It turns out that the ATMs in the convenience stores don’t accept non-Japanese cards, even though they have the Visa logo on them, it rejected my Visa card, so tomorrow we need to find a bank that will accept international cards!

Going to bed now at 1:30AM was probably not a great idea considering tomorrow night (aka tonight) is new years eve… hopefully I don’t fall asleep during the celebrations!