One of the main reasons I decided to fly to Osaka again was to pay a visit to the famed Kaiyukan Aquarium which was not part of my cramped and rushed tour package itinerary back in April.
Kaiyukan Aquarium is easily accessible by Captain Line shuttle boat from the floating jetty behind Hotel Universal Port and is a short 10 minute ride to Tempozan.
Your visit to the aquarium has been arranged in this order:
1. After walking through an aquarium tunnel, you take a very steep escalator ride all the way to the top (8th floor) where the exhibit starts off with the Japan Forest;
2. You gradually descend one level at a time to different exhibits that concentrate on the habitats surrounding "The Ring of Fire";
3. As you slowly make it to the bottom of the aquarium, you also get the feeling that you are on a journey down to the abyss as the array of creatures on exhibit transition from surface-dwelling to mid-water and deep-sea marine life.
The main attraction at Kaiyukan is the Pacific Ocean aquarium which houses a whale shark, hammerheads, rays and schooling fish. One can stand in awe watching the graceful movements of these marine giants, or the fluid movements of the school of sardines that seem to move as a single organism. Apart from the huge star attractions living in the main exhibit, there are also sea otters, penguins, seals, pacific white-sided dolphins, marine turtles, giant spider crabs and jellyfish.
Once your journey through the aquarium ends, you step into an impressive souvenir shop selling all kinds of mementos from your visit at Kaiyukan. I personally recommend getting a souvenir book and trying your luck at the 100 yen vending machines outside that sell "gashapons" (capsule toy) highly detailed figurines of the main attractions at Kaiyukan Aquarium.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.