So how do you move a whale shark?

Written by Emily Farmer (University of Pittsburgh), CET Japan Summer 2019

Pre-entrance tickets

I asked both myself and the other CET Japan students this question quite a few times the day we visited the aquarium. Unfortunately, I have yet to come to a satisfying conclusion. Regardless, our trip to the Osaka Kaiyukan was full of spontaneity, smiling faces, and plenty of fish.

After we arrived at Osaka’s famous 水族館 (suizokukan), meaning aquarium, the other CET students and I were thankful to find descriptions for the variety of animals in both English and Japanese. Having access to both languages was extremely helpful in learning new Japanese terms for the animals and their habitats. I had not originally decided on visiting the aquarium with the intention of expanding my Japanese marine life vocabulary, but it was 100% one of the perks! Some personal favorites were the いるか(dolphins),くらげ(jellyfish), and the かめ(turtle).

After exploring for roughly an hour or so, we decided to take a break at the aquarium’s Mermaid Café to taste test the peculiar and enticing ramune flavored ice cream. Thoughts: definitely ramune flavored, but a little strong. Regardless, I’m glad I got to try it!

Ramune ice cream

We finished our trip to the aquarium by checking out Osaka Kaiyukan’s famous whale shark. I have been to quite a few aquariums in the past few years, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that that whale shark was BIG. To this very moment as I write this blog post, I still have no idea how one transports a whale shark. By box? Giant glass container? Couldn’t tell you.

We rounded out the day by shopping for お土産(omiyage), or souvenirs, at the nearby mall, and I finally got to try out my first purikura! Japanese purikura machines are truly a wonder. I have seen numerous pictures of other people doing purikura, but the sheer amount of options you have to edit, personalize, and customize your pictures after you take them is pretty crazy—definitely worth the ¥500!