The Kaiyukan in Osaka is the largest aquarium in Japan and at the same time one of the largest in the world. It is located in the Minato district near the port area of Osaka. Opened in 1990, it is one of the largest indoor aquariums with a total water volume of more than 11,000 tons is home to around 620 animal and plant species.
Timed tickets are required for entry currently in order to limit the number of guests per hour.
The main theme of the aquarium is the "Ring of Life" or the "Ring of Fire" and is represented by the arrangement of the more than 15 different pools. Each of the pools represents a specific region on the Pacific Ring of Fire and visitors can experience themed worlds on a tour from the Japanese forests to the Antarctic to the heart of the aquarium, the Pacific Ocean. In the latter, for example, there is a whale shark, the largest fish on earth.
In addition to these permanent exhibitions, the Kaiyukan also offers some interactive highlights, where you can get close to different animal species and sometimes stroke and even feed them. The aquarium has a souvenir shop and is located directly at Tempozan Harbor Village, a shopping and entertainment complex with many restaurants and shops.
About a 5-minute walk from Osakako Station.
Universal Studios Japan (USJ) in Osaka is the most famous theme park in the Kansai region and one of four Universal Studios theme parks worldwide. It was the first Universal Studios-branded theme park to be built in Asia. Opened in March 2001, it is, after Tokyo Disney Resort, the most visited amusement park in Japan. Universal Studios Japan has ten zones: Hollywood, New York City, San Francisco, Minion Park, Jurassic Park, WaterWorld, Amity Village, Universal Wonderland, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and—new in 2021—Super Nintendo World. There is plenty for visitors to experience: from kid-friendly carousels to thrilling roller coasters and simulations based on popular films like Spiderman, Back to the Future, Terminator 2, and Jurassic Park. In addition, you have many opportunities to take photos with the mascots of popular characters such as Snoopy, Hello Kitty and the Muppets. There are also daily shows and parades that make a big impression, especially at night with beautiful lighting.
Super Nintendo World opened in spring 2021 inside of Universal Studios Japan. This is another of the special areas of USJ and fans of all ages can look forward to various attractions inside this permanent USJ area. To enter the special Super Nintendo World, guests must book a timed ticket slot when they purchase their USJ entrance ticket (like purchasing and booking tickets for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter). The iconic park is a detailed world reminiscent of Mario’s 3D world complete with the little plumber on the goal pole, piranha plants, and goombas!
Namba Yasaka Shrine is a unique and standout destination among Osaka’s sacred spots. Located in the Namba District, Namba Yasaka is famous for its impressive lion head-shaped building called Ema-Den, which measures 12-meters high by 11-meters wide! Ema-Den and the surrounding temple structures are all post-war reconstructions of the original buildings that were destroyed in air raids and fires in 1945. Once you enter the relatively small shrine complex, you will come face-to-face with the fierce Ema-Den. The lion’s eyes, slightly tilted down, seem to stare right at you and its wide mouth reveals pointed teeth. Although the Ema-Den’s appearance is intimidating, its open jaw is meant to swallow evil spirits and leave you with good fortune. Ema-Den becomes even more menacing when the sun goes down and its eyes glow against the night. Why not visit this enormous lion head and let it gobble up your worries? Aside from the lion head, Namba Yasaka Shrine is also a pleasant springtime spot thanks to its numerous cherry blossoms. On the third Sunday of January, Namba Yasaka Shrine becomes home to the Tug-of-War ritual, which is an intangible folk cultural property of Osaka City. The Shinto event is a celebration of the Japanese myth of Susanoo-no-Mikoto who killed the serpent god Yamata-no-orochi and freed people from hardship.