The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is a must-visit attraction if you're taking your kid to Osaka in Japan. Here are 8 visiting tips!
The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is one of our must-visit attractions during our recent visit to Osaka in Japan. I'm glad to say we thoroughly enjoyed it! The Osaka Aquarium is one of the largest in the world and we are very impressed by the variety of marine life, many which I've never seen before. The whale shark, of course, is the highlight at the aquarium!
As I'm from Singapore, I tend to compare it to the SEA Aquarium in Sentosa. I will say the Osaka Aquarium is a lot bigger and the marine life and fish you see there are very different. Of course, it is also crowded when we just arrived as tourists are visiting Japan again after it reopened. However, don't feel too daunted if it feels really crowded when you just enter the attraction - many were crowded before the exhibits and we couldn't see a thing initially - visitors will spread out more as you go farther into the attraction.
Pictures and videos rather than a written review would do a better job of letting you know what the aquarium can offer, so I'll just give you 8 visiting tips that will be helpful if you're heading there:
1) Book timed entry tickets to save queuing time
You can book timed entry tickets to the aquarium via the Osaka Aquarium's website so you need not queue at the door on the day of your visit to purchase tickets. Tickets can be purchased up to ten days in advance. Note that each slot is 15 minutes and you'd need to enter within the given timing.
I monitored the aquarium's ticket booking when I was planning our Osaka trip and the morning slots are usually the most popular with some booked out a few days in advance. If you're planning to visit during the mornings, it would be good to book the timed tickets.
That said, it can also mean that mornings are the most popular and aquarium could be rather crowded in the mornings. So if there is some flexibility in your itinerary, you might want to opt to visit in the afternoon instead.
2) It's okay to buy tickets at the door too if you can't nail down your visiting time
We didn't book the timed entry tickets because we weren't sure what time we would make it to the aquarium after our morning activity. So we queued at the entrance to purchase tickets. There is a queue but it wasn't too long and it moved rather quickly. So if you can't nail down your visiting time, it's okay to buy at the door as well. Just have to queue for a short while.
3) There are also options to buy backstage viewing tickets
You can also purchase backstage viewing tickets for feeding times. Tickets range from 2,400-4,700 yen depending on age and can be booked online at the Osaka Aquarium's website or purchased at the door. We didn't go for this option, however. Overall, touring the aquarium was a good enough experience for us.
4) Tickets are cheaper for children 15 years and below
Usually Japan's attractions only have discounted tickets for children up to 11 years old but at Osaka Aquarium children age 7-15 can get discounted tickets at 1,400 yen, while those at age 3-6 are at 700 yen. Those 2 years and under can enter for free. Those 16 years and above will pay 2,700 yen.
5) Budget at least 1.5 hours to tour the aquarium
We took about 1.5 hours to tour the entire aquarium. This excludes time spent queuing for tickets and browsing at the gift shop.
6) There's a larger gift shop one level down after you exit the exhibit area
You'll enter a small gift shop after you exit the aquarium's exhibit area. But there's an even larger gift shop with more variety one level down. So if you want to buy some memorabilia, there's no hurry to buy at the smaller gift shop. Head one level down instead.
7) There are dining options at the Tempozan Market Place nearby
The Tempozan Market Place is right next to the Osaka Aquarium. There's a nice food court with Japanese and Western (with a Japanese twist!) fare. My family ordered different food from the food court and they were all quite tasty and reasonably priced. So this is one dining option if you're hungry after your visit!
8) There are other attractions nearby
There are other attractions near Osaka Aquarium including the Tempozan Ferris Wheel and the Legoland Discovery Center. We didn't go for these, though if time had permitted, we might have gone for the ferris wheel which looked really impressive.
I would also have liked to hang around the harbour a bit more if it wasn't raining as the view is really lovely with a statue of The Little Mermaid.
I will be sharing more about our Osaka experiences in my blog soon. Do look out for them and head to my Instagram account at 'vivianteowriter' to check out our Osaka IGS highlights and posts!
Disclaimer: We paid for our tickets, and my opinions and reviews here are strictly my and my family’s own.
©Vivian Teo. All content and photos are copyrighted to Vivian Teo unless otherwise specified.