Back in Osaka, back chez Tim, where you can tell you’re getting near his place when you spot Hotel Mickey Cookies.
Mickey Cookies is a Love Hotel.
A “love hotel” (ラブホテル) is a type of short-stay hotel found in Japan operated primarily for the purpose of allowing couples privacy to have sexual intercourse.
Which is probably why you can rent it for 90 minutes.
But that was just on the way to the Osaka Aquarium!
We arrived at the aquarium just after it opened (as recommended by Lonely Planet Japan) to a sign advising that there were … a LOT of schoolchildren inside. Like thousands. And they recommended that we come back later.
But we had come all this way so we went inside the door where a lady reiterated what the sign said and handed us two tickets to the IMAX theatre show “Under the Sea” to occupy some time before we could come back and brave the hordes.
So occupy some time we did. Incidentally, I had really wanted to see “Under the Sea” narrated by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet when Craig and I were at the Science Museum in London but he scoffed, and we didn’t see it.
Instead we saw it completely in Japanese, not dubbed by Kate and Johnny, and it was just as amazing. Impressive 3D and an empty cinema (seriously, there were two other people in there, and the IMAX cinemas are LARGE). Plus, due to the complete language barrier I got to play the fun game “fucking or fighting?”.
By the time we made it back to the Aquarium pretty much all trace of the children was gone. It was a little eerie. But we got to go inside!
The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (海遊館) is one of the largest public aquariums in the world and is home to a pair of Whale Sharks.
Whale Sharks are the largest living fish species and can grow to 12m in length. Their mouths? can up be up to 1.5 metres wide.
But I was more impressed by (unsurprisingly) the Manta Rays.
Partly because of my well documented love of Rays, partly because it was completely unexpected, partly because as a child I had read and reread and reread The Girl of the Sea of Cortez by Peter Benchley and it just … stuck with me.
(they had other Rays there as well)
Craig christened this species the Dork Ray.
Christmas time at Kaiyukan
And randomly, as you leave, there is a Capybara.
Ah. Just like that, I’m exhausted. I will finish of this day later.
So. Many. Fish. Photos.