Day 9 - 14th June - Kaiyukan; Osaka (Part 3)
I then headed for the Kaiyukan (Aquarium), on the prior recommendation of spiderpig and MR (IIRC).
On the way there, I *finally* saw one candy bar phone.
At first I was wondering if the sign was outdated and proclaiming that this was the largest in the world; it says it's one of the largest in the world. This is very smart: when you're in the rice for Biggest, Tallest, Fastest, Best etc someone will always come along and beat you (the Singapore Flyer has another year or so before it's overtaken by Beijing), so this sort of phrasing saves on the cost of amending the signboard. At least until another 20 years have passed.
It's 700 yen per person - almost a third of the price of the Singapore Flyer (and this, given the higher price level there)
Panorama of Osaka Harbour, outside Aquarium
Sign about their manta ray
The aquarium was hideously expensive, at 2000 yen (just over S$26). Since I was spending so much already, I decided to shell out another 300 yen (thus making the visit cost more than my accommodation (hah!)) for an audioguide so I could take my time and take everything in; I wouldn't have time to do anything else requiring daylight after exiting the place, anyway.
Unfortunately, the English narrator in the audioguide had weird pronunciation (e.g. "claws" as "cl'ow's"). She affected a Californian Valley Girl accent but slipped sometimes.
"Ocean, You Meet Whale Shark" - ???
The Whale Shark is their star attraction.
Fast-moving animals are hard to snap, so this post (and the next) will be heavier on videos. Trying to figure out which animal was which was a bitch too, so I didn't always bother. I was also being mindful of memory and so didn't snap signs.
The aquarium had a layout where you go to the top of the complex and walk down. There were a series of areas, each showcasing a part of the sea around the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Manta ray in the "Aqua Gate" (like the tunnel in Underwater World)
The first area was a Japanese Forest. Don't ask me why.
Act Cute sign
The forest in an aquarium
They had Asian Small-Clawed Otters, but still - a forest?!
The next area was the Aleutian Islands.
Another act cute sign
Otter. The white balance was very weird; this was the best I could do.
The next area was Monterey Bay. Since I didn't get to go to the real Monterey Bay, this was the next best thing. Here, there were, as the audioguide pronounced (inadvertent pun, hurr hurr), "California Sealions waiting to Seiyu"
Sleeping sea lions
If you can't tell the difference, don't worry - neither could I till I consulted my notes. The easiest way to tell: Seals have no earlobes, Sea Lions do.
After that was the Gulf of Panama.
Rosy billed pochards, Sloth, Red-footed tortoise
Blurb on sloths. During the rainy season, mildew grows on its fur and it turns green. Ugh.
Rosy billed pochard feeding
Freaky fish: Porcupine Fish. This was the only thing in the camp to come close enough to the glass for my manual mode flash to catch more than a blur or murky image of.
The next area was the Ecuador Rainforest.
It lives in the tropics-South America to Florida. A storm must have brought it here.
Various hugeass and/or freaky fish
Cuvier's Dwarf Caiman Alligator, the smallest (1.5m) alligator with the toughest skin.
Huge, freaky fish: Pirarucu, one of the largest freshwater fishes in the world, and certainly the largest in the tank (ironically the "colossoma" was smaller)
The place was very dark, so this was the best I could do.
Freaky Matamata turtle which reminded me of the one from Indonesia