Osaka's vertical tank with its whale shark
Although Osaka is not the most touristy of all Japanese cities (behind Tokyo and Kyoto), it has some unmissable spots for travelers in Japan. Among them, its famous Aquarium "Kaiyukan" is known as one of the largest in the world with a total volume of 11,000 tons. Opened in 1990, the aquarium is one of the main attractions of Osaka harbor area.
Its very interesting design made its reputation in terms of access. At the entrance (¥ 2,000), after a superb fish tunnel, you go up on the eighth floor for a 1,600 feet descent. The walk is almost all along around a huge pool of 30-feet high / 112-feet wide and 5,400 tons of water. The star is this awesome whale shark who reigns on the basin. After all, it is known as the biggest fish in the world with over 33 feet long!
The tour of Osaka Aquarium is actually quite short (one to two hours at most) but it's possible to pause on benches at several places, to enjoy the view on fishes. The fauna consists of many specimens, including otters, manta rays or beautiful white dolphins. There are also beautiful phosphorescent jellyfish and a "kawaii" area with very small specimens.