Be Amazed by the Power of Whale Sharks at One of the World’s Largest Aquariums, Kaiyukan!

Kaiyukan, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015, is one the world's leading aquariums. It has 14 large tanks, including the massive "Pacific Ocean," modeled on the Pacific Ocean. The new area is an interactive exhibit where the visitors and marine animals are at closer proximity. It has touch pools where you can touch sharks and rays and is popular among visitors of all generations. Here, we introduce Kaiyukan, a tourist destination full of things to see that is visited by many foreign tourists.

The 9m-deep Pacific Ocean tank is 34m at its longest and has 5,400 tons of water to express a grand scenery. The whale sharks, which can grow to more than 12m, are powerful.

The Interactive Exhibits Area Where You Can Touch Live Fish is Impressive!

In the new interactive exhibits area, not only do you see the animals, but also hear, touch and smell them, and even feel the same temperature they feel. There are three zones, each of which has innovative designs for visitors to experience how the animals live.

<Arctic zone> Approximately 120 animals that live in the Arctic Circle are exhibited here, including the first exhibit of ringed seals in western Japan. Their natural environments are recreated as closely as possible.

<Falkand Islands zone> This zone recreates the Subantarctic region, where rockhopper penguins live. It is an open-air exhibit tank so you can smell their distinctive odor and hear their loud squawks.

<Maldives zone> An interactive tank, where you can freely touch the rays and sharks swimming right in front of you. You can enjoy the special experience of putting your hands in the water to touch live fish as much as you want.

An Array of Popular Tanks With Harbor Seals, Sea Otters, and Much More!

The tanks in Kaiyukan are made to imitate the environment of the Pacific Rim. Check out the popular animals in each tank, such as the Aleutian Islands with their sea otters, and experience the oceans of the world!

<Aleutian Islands>The nature-rich Aleutian Islands have many animals living in their oceans. The rough natural rocks are recreated to exhibit how the sea otters live there.

<Monterey Bay> Monterey Bay is home to many sea mammals. Here, you can observe the lives of seals and sea lions that live on the rocky seashore.

<Japan Deep> Deep-water creatures, such as the Giant spider crab, the world's largest crab that lives 200m to 400m below the surface on the slope of the the Japan Trench, are exhibited.

<Japan Forest> The Kaiyukan exhibits start here. It recreates the forests of Japan that are the source of the ocean, and exhibits the ecosystems in the forest together with those of creatures living by the river and fish in the mountain streams.

<Great Barrier Reef> The Great Barrier Reef consists of 2,000km of more than 5,000 coral reef. The fish swim along a detailed re-creation of both the form and colors of the coral reef.

Notice the Guided Tours and Feeding Times Too!

There are many ways to enjoy Kaiyukan, including the detailed tours and feeding times, when you can see the creatures in a new light. Participate in them and experience the Kaiyukan appeal.

In the Kaiyukan Guided Tour, Kaiyukan "marine mates" guide you through special earphones (reservation required). The wonders of living creatures are exhibited in four different courses.

<■Kaiyukan Guided Tour/Fee: 500 JPY - 1,000 JPY (depending on the course); must be reserved at least a day before the date of the tour (same-day reservation is accepted if there is space). 20 participants per tour. Must be elementary school age or older (elementary school children must be accompanies by an adult).

Feeding time. Depending on the hour, dedicated guides or the feeding staff in the tanks will give you fun and detailed commentary. Learn about the wonders of living creatures. Feeding times differ by animal, so be sure to check in advance!

Kaiyukan turns into an "ocean at night" after 5pm. The lighting is changed, creating a romantic atmosphere. Enjoy Kaiyukan for adults.

Plenty of Original Goods for Souvenirs Too!

The Kaiyukan Official Shop sells original goods and cute animal souvenirs. This is a shoulder bag (2,355 JPY) with a whale shark's distinctive large mouth as a zipper.


1-1-10 Kaigan-dori, Minato-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka

[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 04.06.2017]

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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