Located in the heart of Osaka, Japan, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is one of the largest aquariums in the world, exhibiting an impressive collection of sea life including underwater species from the local region of the Pacific Rim. It lies on the coast of Japan nearby Osaka Bay, in the perfect ocean location to educate about marine environments and display water species to visitors, as a member of the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It is part of the Bay area of the city in the middle of the Tempozan Harbor Village, and hosts over 30,000 marine animals including fish, birds, reptiles and mammals.
The entrance of the aquarium is on the eighth floor of the building, which visitors can navigate from the top downwards seeing different tanks from various perspectives and depths, revealing different environments of the Pacific Rim. Seen from above and below the water, the largest tank is 9 metres deep and holds fish including manta rays,while the main attraction of the aquarium is a whale shark. The tank environments range from themes of Japanese forests to Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef and contain such impressive species as jellyfish, giant octopus, spider crabs and squids. Visitors can take guided tours through Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and learn about the details of different species, displayed in the 21 tanks as they go along, and afterwards enjoy a meal in the aquarium restaurant with an ocean view.
For international visitors, the closest airports to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan are Kansai International, about an hour drive from the city centre, and Osaka International, also 60 minutes away by train. To reach the aquarium from Osaka centre, visitors can take trains from all around the city with only a 5-minute walk from Osaka subway station. There are bus services through Osaka City Bus, and the Tempozan Stop next to the Aquarium is a 45-minute ride from the central bus station.
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan opened in May 1990 after the completed construction of a project designed by Peter Chermayeff, who stylised the unique and abstract architecture of the building. After reconstruction work, the aquarium received a new exhibition area which allows a more interactive space between visitors and the marine wildlife, focused on the sensory experience of the underwater environments.