Originally published on Blogger 23rd March 2015
Well, the day started with us sleeping in, surprisingly, given our proximity to the train tracks. Made no difference, in the end. We walked down to Den Den Town, or Nipponbashi, Osaka’s version of “electric town”. Our walk took us through the local suburb. Osaka is very different to Tokyo. As it was not overly bombed in the war or damaged by earthquake, it is older (and more tired) than Tokyo…. Finn thinks it is a bit run down. I actually think it feels a bit more like the rest of Asia (that I have seen). Traveling here is definitely harder. Much less English and less local convenience. However, on our expedition we came across, in a very dodgy looking shopping mall, an absolutely magical second hand store, selling retro Japanese stuff, mostly toys and figurines, and it was heaven. They even had a big collection of Blythe dolls….
After finding our way back to Osaka city, we went to the Pokemon centre. It was rather large, and I have never seen so many Pokemon. Every Pokemon, every evolution.
After lunch, a quick bite downstairs at Eki Marche, (Finn was delighted, got to have unagi), we promptly got lost on the trains. Osaka’s train system is much smaller than Tokyo’s, but way more confusing. The announcements are generally only in Japanese, as well. Makes it harder. We eventually found the right train and headed to the Osaka aquarium. I had read that it was one of the best in the world.
The building was amazing and the aquarium covers animals from the Pacific Ring. We saw a lot of things we hadn’t seen before. There was a whale shark, a gorgeous sea otter and, my favourite was the giant Japanese spider crabs. Very weird….and HUGE!!! The kids really enjoyed this experience. Finn likes watching the big fish swimming and Mya loved the otters and the baby dolphin. They also got to pat sharks, that had weird sand papery skin, which was quite cool. Outside the aquarium, at the entrance to Harbour Town, was an enormously tall Lego giraffe. It was so big I had trouble getting a pic.
After a bit of research, we discovered our plan to go to Himeji castle tomorrow was doomed, as the castle was under renovation. The reno finishes on the 27th…. So we will go to Nara tomorrow and make Himeji a day trip from Kyoto.
You can watch some video of the giant Japanese spider crabs and the octopus at the aquarium in the links.