During your stay in the city of Osaka, you should definitely plan at least one day to explore the Osaka Wan (Osaka Bay) area. Among the many Osaka tourist attractions in this district is the world-famous Osaka Aquarium. Also known as the Kaiyukan Aquarium, it is one of the world's largest, and a model of Japan tourism at its best. Of all the attractions at the Osaka Wan harbor area, the Osaka Aquarium is still the most famous and unique Japan tourism idea during your stay in Osaka. Kaiyukan literally means, "playing in the Sea Pavilion" and is one of the largest aquariums in the world. Here, marine life is contained within 15 tanks, each representing a region of the Pacific Rim on which Japan sits. The aquarium is centered around a single huge tank holding 5,400 tons of water and containing 580 species and 30,000 Pacific Rim marine animals.
The main attraction in the Osaka Aquarium is an 1,800-pound whale shark named Yu-chan. Whale sharks are the largest fish on earth. Other highlights at the Osaka Aquarium include: sea otters, King penguins, Gentoo penguins, dolphins, jelly fish and sea lions.
If you embark on an Osaka sightseeing tour of the Kaiyukan Aquarium, it is best to begin on the eighth floor, and slowly descend around the central tank (which houses the Whale shark). Many Tanks stretch over several floors, so you can see the animals from different perspectives. The aquarium is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The cost is 2,000 Yen.
But the aquarium isn't the only Osaka sightseeing option in the Osaka Bay area. This port area is also home to the Tempo-zan Harbor Village and the Suntory Musuem. With a large number of galleries housing impressionist, post-impressionist, and modern art and photography, the Suntory Museum is a one of the best Osaka tourist attractions for lovers of contemporary art in all its forms. And for anxious children, or anxious husbands, the museum also boasts a jaw dropping IMAX theatre, showing all the newest IMAX movies every day of the week.
Just a short distance from the Suntory Museum, vacationers can get a bird's eye view of Osaka by taking a ride on the 368-foot Ferris wheel, the fifth largest Ferris wheel in the world, and one of the most conspicuous Japan tourism options in Osaka.
The newest of Osaka tourist attractions at the Tempo-zan Harbor area is the Universal Studios Japan theme park. The first Universal Studios outside the United States, this Hollywood-inspired theme park includes Jurassic Park, Terminator, and Jaws rides as well as twenty theme restaurants. Water taxis and shuttles from the train station and airport make this an easy Osaka sightseeing trip.
So if you are heading for Japan's second largest city, make sure to plan at least a day to visit Japan's first stop for contemporary art, breathtaking rides, serene aquatic life, and the vicarious adventure of a Universal Studios adventure ride.