Kaiyukan: Osaka's Aquarium

Friday, May 22, 2009

Since finals were cancelled, I have had a lot of free time. Part of what I did with that time was go to Kaiyukan, Osaka's aquarium. My real camera broke recently, so I all I had with me for taking pictures was my cell phone. The pictures are very small and not of high quality, but I will share them because some of the animals are interesting and cute.

The requitsite picture of Kaiyukan from the outside.

The first thing you encounter inside is a tunnel of fish. The above is one of the walls of fish.

The fish are on all sides in the tunnel, including above! This ray swam over my head.

After the fish tunnel, there were otters. These guys were sunning themselves on some logs. A few would chase each other around and play fight. my favorite was the one on the high branch in the middle; no matter what happened, it just kept lying there using the branch as a pillow.

It's sort of hard to see through the water splashes, but above is a sea lion that was engaged in a game of king-of-the-rock with another sea lion. Judging from their size compared to the other sea lions, they must have been pretty young. They would jump onto the rock, and stay there until the other pushed them off.

I found Nemo and Bubbles! :)

I liked the Great Barrier Reef exhibit because it was very colorful.

Above are a bunch of fish that were staring at the ceiling. All of them were just floating there, looking at the same spot, not moving. I stuck my head close to the glass to find out what was so interesting. Turns out they were looking at a rainbow that was formed by the light above their tank refracting in the water! Those fish are just like Kansai Gaidai students on the day there was a rainbow ring around the sun. :D

This giant school of fish was swimming in circles to pick up food (I'm guessing plankton) that had been tossed into their tank. The little guys could open their jaws very wide, so that their mouths were twice as wide as the rest of their bodies.

These crabs were really impressive. They live off the coast of Japan, and are called Giant Spider Crabs. You can see why; they really did look like spiders. They reminded me of the legs of the guards in MirrorMask. I wonder if Dave McKean gets inspiration from sea creatures.

Jellyfish exhibit! The jellyfish tanks were lit up with colored lights so that the jellies glowed.

I wish my cell phone's camera had picked up the color on the jellies above a bit better. They had tiny specks of purple and pink. They made me think of ballroom gowns.

There was one tank with a big cluster of jellies like the ones in Boston Harbor. The lights on this tank changed color every few seconds, so the jellies went from white to purple to red, etc.

That was a big jelly!

These two were in the very final tank. Their long strands were eerie and beautiful.

After I left the aquarium, I rode on a giant ferris wheel from which I could see the whole port area of Osaka. That was the last trip I'll be taking into Osaka proper. Just two more full days in Japan before I head home!

A rather fizzled end of term

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

As I reported in my last post, finals were cancelled due to an outbreak of swine flu in Osaka. This has created a strange atmosphere in the dormitory. Suddenly left with free time, students have been watching movies and going out for drinks in a rather constant rotation over the past 36 hours.

I had planned to go to Kobe and to the Osaka aquarium this week, but because there are bad cases of flu in both of those regions, it looks as if I will not be able to go after all. I am sad about this, but it just makes another reason why I need to come back to Japan. Hopefully not during a disease outbreak next time.

In my free time, I have been drawing, watching animations, and generally hanging around with friends. My camera broke recently, so I have been behind in uploading pictures, but I have borrowed cameras from my friends and also bought a USB cord so I can plug my SD card right into my computer now. The pictures are all ready, so I will be doing some catch-up posts soon.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kansai Gaidai University has been closed down until Sunday due to a local outbreak of Swine Flu.

It is unclear how our classes are going to be graded at this point, because the final exams have been cancelled.

Further information when I know.

Just pictures this time. My last day with the Kimuras.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Morning! We head outside. This is the garden.

To the car! Not that white one, though. There's a grey one behind it you can't really see. That one.

Here we go!

The charm stuck to the window is for good luck while driving. No car accidents for us, thanks.

The Kimuras live in an area surrounded by farmland, outside of Kyoto.

At the entrance to Byodouin

The last of the sakura blossoms for this season

Me and Haruna under the wysteria

Yuko's dad pushes her into a tree?


It's on the 10 yen coin

Haruna likes the tree.

We are the tree!

We took a lot of versions of this one


The bottles say: "This is not soysauce!" It's orage juice.

A nice place for a date.

We all agreed that this looks like somewhere out of a Ghibli film. See Totoro anywhere? ^_^

You kick that tree, Yuko!

I wonder what Haruna could see, there in the distance.

Yuko realized that our legs all matched.

Dinner at a kuru kuru sushi restaurant

Kuru kuru sushi

The end!