48 hours in Osaka (Part 2)

A continuation of Part 1, we visited Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium and the Osaka Castle.

Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium 

Address1 Chome-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato Ward, Osaka, 552-0022, Japan

Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium is considered the biggest and Japan’s most spectacular aquarium, well known for their interactive and innovative presentations. There are over 15 large tanks, each recreated with a specific region of the Pacific Rim in mind. The largest, most iconic centre-piece of the aquarium is the “Pacific Ocean” tank, spanning 9m deep and 34m long with 5,400 tons of water, home to Kai and Yu, their 2 whale sharks, the largest species of fish in the world. Here’s a glimpse into the “Pacific Ocean” tank. 

Kai and Yu, the 2 whale sharks of Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium.

Admissions and Prices 

Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium is a famous attraction for both the locals and foreigners, having a reservation for a timed entry ticket is highly recommended and should be done in advance before heading there. You can buy the timed entry e-ticket here, even foreigners can easily purchase it with any visa/master card. The opening hours of the Aquarium varies by the months and the day of the week which you are visiting, the selection can be made and taken note of when purchasing the e-ticket. 

Exterior of the Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium

The price list are as follows in Jap Yen, do note to check the website for a more accurate pricing, as those in red are the prices for different dates of the month. It will change according to date and month, this is just for reference. 

16 and Over \2,700 \3,200 \3,500
Ages7~15 \1,400 \1,650 \1,800
Ages3~6 \ 700 \ 800 \ 900

Try to visit early as the aquarium does get really crowded later in the day, even on a weekday. Furthermore, starting early gives you more opportunities to catch the feeding times of the different tanks, as well as ample time to enjoy the aquarium as there are close to 30,000 creatures, encompassing 620 species! Although, the Kaiyukan aquarium may have a slightly pricier admission but it provides a very rewarding and enriching experience for all ages alike. 

Highlights of Aquarium

Apart from the 2 iconic whale sharks shown above, we felt that there were a few exhibits that were really worth it and one of them was our main reason for heading there. That is the seasonal exhibit where the Mola-Mola aka oceanic sunfish are displayed!

There are very few places in the world where you can actually see Mola-Mola in their natural habitats and the nearest one closest to home is Nusa Penida, Bali. They are seasonal and generally sighted during the months of August to early November when the water temperature drops. However, it is not a 100% sighting even when diving during the Mola season, i’ve heard of people diving for 12 sessions straight and not seeing a single one in the wild! 

Apart from the seasonal exhibit, spend time at the Aleutian Island tank to see the puffins, Monterey Bay to see the sea lions, Tasman sea to watch the playful pacific white-sided dolphins! Don’t miss the huge Japanese spider crabs in Japan deep and the exotic jellyfishes floating around graciously in the Jellyfish exhibit. 

Cute ring seals
The puffins of Aleutian Island

Final Thoughts 

We love the Kaiyukan Osaka Aquarium, it can be quite therapeutic to look at the huge sea creatures swimming around and hours do pass by without you realising! Although we went in relatively early, we completely missed the lunch hours of the restaurant we were intending to visit! There’s a huge gift shop in the aquarium and kids would love it there. Besides the aquarium, there’s also the giant tempozan ferris wheel and legoland nearby which you could explore. Is it worth the money and time? Yes, totally. 

Osaka Castle

Address1-1 Osakajo, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0002, Japan


Osaka Castle was built by Hideyoshi Toyotomi (1537-1598), a powerful and feudal lord during the Sengoku period. Upon completion, the castle has seen through its fair share of wars that were raging in Japan at that time – essentially unifying the country and bringing temporary peace. However not all peace lasts forever and the Castle has been destroyed numerous times. In 1665, the main castle suffered fire damage due to a lightning storm, while another 200 years passed before it was destroyed during the Boshin war

The most recent reconstruction to the Castle was made in 1928, and was recognised by Japan government as a “historic site” in the 1950s. The last restoration done to the Castle was in 1997. Today, the castle you visit is a beautiful testament to traditional Japanese architecture with its subtle balance of colours and shapes used in the different levels of the castle. 


Osaka Castle park surrounding Osaka castle is free, so feel free to head over and spend a few hours there. Tickets are required to enter the main tower and Osaka castle museum, as well as the Nishinomaru Garden. We head over to Osaka Castle after our Aquarium visit hence we were relatively late. 

We even took a break at a mall in the park, called Miraiza, and had some Tully’s coffee. Mid-may, everything was heating up, including the weather! Unknown to us, we didn’t research enough and thought the castle will stay open till late. To our horror later, the castle closes at 5pm, it was close to 4pm but we wanted to head in to explore and enjoy the observatory rooftop hence we ran to join the long queue. 

Walking towards Osaka Castle
We even went for a coffee break at Miraiza not knowing the Castle’s closing time!

After a short while in the queue, we realised they allow people to skip the queue for those with a QR code admission, that was when i realised we could have just purchased online on the spot and skipped the queue! So i went online to Klook and purchase a ticket each, once we had the confirmation email and QR code, we passed it on to the lady checking and there we go, through the gates, without the queue! 

Here’s the link to the Klook purchase. You can buy on the spot on the day itself if you aren’t sure there’s enough time for you to head there. The opening hours of the Castle is from 9am-5pm daily. The ticket cost (SGD 5.50/yen 600/usd 4.00) per person. 

Castle Attractions

The Osaka castle is surrounded by secondary citadels, gates, turrets, and impressive stone walls and moats. There are many a thousand artefacts in the museum with holograms, 3D pictures and other technologies to describe the rich history of the Castle. The top floor of the Castle also provides a impressive view of the city. Even if you do not wish to enter the Castle, do give Osaka Castle park a visit as the Castle looks beautiful from the outside as well. Here’s a few pictures below to explain why a visit is recommended! 

One of the display inside the museum to showcase Osaka Castle and its surroundings
just outside the castle
One of the side of the observatory platforms. There’s north, south, east and west views.
The moats surrounding the castle

Final thoughts

We would definitely recommend Osaka Castle, or a trip to Osaka Castle Park, no matter if it is the cherry blossom season or not, it is beautiful in many ways. Just admiring the castle from outside may be sufficient for those not into the history or crowds within the main tower. However, to better appreciate Japan’s culture, we strongly recommend sparing a few hours to explore the museum of Osaka Castle. 

bugcat from outside agrees that its beautiful too!

Osaka Castle park is relatively huge, therefore you can opt to take a train that takes you around the park. The schedule and location can be found here.

The train that takes you around Osaka Castle Park, good for all ages alike!


Craving for dinner or lunch and had cravings for Yakiniku? We happen to find one that was great value for money and will recommend it to anyone looking for a fuss-free meal near a main transfer station, shin-osaka station. 

Here’s the restaurant name:

Osaka Yakiniku Matsuya Shin-Osaka

Address5 Chome-16-1 Nishinakajima, Yodogawa Ward, Osaka, 532-0011, Japan


It was pretty affordable, with meals ranging from YEN1000-4000/SGD10-40/USD7-30, i ordered the beef steak set, while my friend ordered a combination of beef and pork. Our advice, stick with the beef! They do provide an english menu when requested however we realised sometimes the local Japanese menu has more variety, so we just used google translate to order. 😀

Up next, we head to Universal Studio Japan for a fun filled day of adventures! 

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