After the breakfast of champions of melon bread & donuts washed down with coffee, we started out the day with a trip to the Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium. This involved taking two subway lines on the not-so-extensive Osaka municipal subway system:
Before hitting the aquarium we thought we’d grab some lunch and because we were intrigued by the signs we’d seen everywhere announcing the arrival of the Texas Burger at McDonalds, we thought, “Meh, why not?”
I think this was probably M’s third meal in McDonalds in his entire life and all of them have been with me! I ordered a chicken fillet burger, fries and a coke, while M got the texas burger, grape fanta and fries:
I’d unfortunately missed the comeback of the Chicken Tatsuta burger which they had revived for a short time this year after it was taken off the menu not long after I left Japan. The Chicken Tatsuta was a great burger that had cabbage and mayo along with a quirky bun and a tempura-style chicken fillet and I always, always had it when I went to Makudo (as they call it in Osaka).
M’s thought about the texas burger was that it was still a shit burger, no matter what they wanted to call it:
The aquarium was just a short stroll from McDonalds and once we arrived, we were greeted with huge lines of people waiting to buy tickets. Once we got the tickets, there was then a huge crowd to get in. The aquarium starts with you taking an escalator to the 8th floor and then winding your way back down to the ground floor. As there were so many people there they were limiting the number of people on the escalators at a time and as a result we were jam-packed into a tiny alcove, shuffling along to the escalators for a good 30mins.
The big drawcards are the two whalesharks & huge manta rays. Having already swum with whalesharks, I didn’t find it all that fascinating, but the design of the aquarium was quite interesting with the 360-degree view through different windows in the tanks:
We both got very happy snapping away pics of the various sealife:
I was a bit amused though to fly 8000kms to Japan only to see a representation of the Great Barrier Reef:
After winding our way through the aquarium, it was time for a sit down and a coffee at the Tenpozan marketplace next door. I took the opportunity to purchase some soft waffles filled with custard, cream and chestnuts & strawberries:
After the coffee it was time for a pit stop and I manage to have all the comforts of the modern Japanese toilet in the public toilets at the marketplace. First there was the clean gel dispenser to sanitize the toilet seat before you used it:
Then there was the otohime sound princess to make pretty noises to mask the sounds of your business:
And of course there was the stop, spray, bidet, dry etc.:
After the pit stop, I had it in my mind that I wanted to go on the huge ferris wheel outside:
M wasn’t too excited about the prospect, but he grudgingly agreed to go with me and soon was snapping pics of the lovely view and we had a bit of a bird’s-eye view of Universal Studios Japan across the canal. You can just make out the sea of people under the white awning in the middle of the pic. I’d originally wanted to go there but after discovering the crowds at the aquarium, I decided to abandon the idea completely:
After our ride on the ferris wheel we headed back into town and decided to stop by the Denden town (electrical goods area) and the Doguyasuji (wholesale kitchen goods area). After wandering around a few stores and pricing cameras, M purchased a super duper alarm clock that gives temperature & humidity readings as well as automatically setting its own time using the atomic clock signals in Japan….for $10.
After shopping we needed coffee and cake – well, I need coffee and cake. So being unable to find a Starbucks, we headed into a Doutor (the Japanese equivalent of Starbucks). M had an iced tea and I ordered a cappuccino and a mont blanc hazelnut cream cake (which was also on my list of things I needed to eat in Japan). Here is a very unattractive photo of me eating it:
At Doguyasuji M purchased some lovely ceramic knives and a sharpener for less than half of what he had paid previously in Australia and I purchased some plates and tea cups. I could have bought many, many things there but I needed to remember that we still had the journey back to Tokyo to make.
M snapped a funny pic of a local financial institution sign as we pounded the payments:
On the way back to the hotel we stopped off at the supermarket and made some further purchases for a total sum of $10:
Hassaku (a cross between a grapefruit, mandarin & orange and apparently like a Chinese citron) and mame daifuku were on my list of things to eat – which was rapidly becoming shorter as I ate everything that came across my path.
We launched into the fruit as soon as we got back to the room:
I then opened up M’s alarm clock and had a peruse of the instructions (just because I’m anal like that) and while I was reading, he obviously became bored:
Then it was time for a peaceful night’s sleep as we were heading back to Tokyo tomorrow so the last leg of our trip was about to commence (yes, I intended the pun.)
Part 9 to come…