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Region
Kansai
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Osaka
Population
8,804,806

Tempozan Harbor Village

From sky-high to deep-sea at this popular theme park/entertainment complex.

The Osaka Bay Area is a collection of of man-made islands and peninsulas that were built to accommodate Osaka’s rapidly growing urban area. Tempozan Harbor Village is a major feature of the area, where tourists and locals alike enjoy the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, one of the world’s largest aquariums, as well as the Tempozan Marketplace and ferris wheel.

The Kaiyukan is one of the largest aquariums in the world. Its main feature is a huge, nine-meter-deep tank filled with 5,400 tons of water in which you can see a variety of Pacific marine life swimming surprisingly peacefully alongside each other. This tank holds the aquarium’s main claim to fame: their gargantuan whale sharks, the largest fish species in the world.

The aquarium is just as impressive on the inside.

The aquarium features marine life exclusively found in the “Ring of Fire” – the area of the Pacific Ocean in which most of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. There are more than 15 large tanks, and each recreates a different environment of the Pacific Rim, thereby giving visitors a glimpse into all aspects of life deep within the Pacific Ocean.

The large variety of fish and sea life – 30,000 creatures belonging to 620 species to be exact – includes seals and sea lions from Monterey Bay in California; penguins from Antarctica; capybaras from Ecuador; and dolphins from the Tasmanian Sea.

It will take most visitors about two and a half hours to see everything in the expansive aquarium, which begins on the eighth floor and ends on the fourth floor by way of a spiral ramp that gives one an impression of actually descending into the depths of the ocean.

Visit the Tempozan Marketplace for a bite to eat and a souvenir to shop.

Adjacent to the Kaiyukan is Tempozan Marketplace, a large mall with many souvenir shops, the highlight of which is Naniwa Kuishinbo Yokocho, a “food theme park.” This is made up of more than 20 small, family-friendly restaurants featuring Osakan specialities like takoyaki (octopus balls), okonomiyaki (savory pancakes), and kushikatsu (fried food on a stick) in a retro atmosphere recalling 1960s Osaka.

Just beside the aquarium and marketplace (and impossible to miss) is Tempozan Ferris Wheel. The largest in Osaka, this 112.5-meter-high ferris wheel has 60 glass-walled gondolas which can hold up to eight passengers each. During the 17-minute ride you can get a fantastic view of nearby Osaka Bay, as well as downtown Osaka and beyond. Highlights include Kobe’s Mt. Rokko and the famous Akashi Kaikyō Bridge which connects Kobe to Awaji Island. The wheel is lit up at night, often in rainbow colors, or solid colors to indicate the next day’s weather forecast -orange for sunny, blue for rainy, green for cloudy.

There are four gondolas featuring glass bottoms that were constructed in 2008 to celebrate 10 million visitors. Naturally, the wait time is longer for these. Across from the ferris wheel is Tempozan Park, featuring Japan’s smallest mountain, Mt. Tempozan, which stands just 4.53 meters above sea level.

Things To Know

Osaka Aquarium (Kaiyukan) Opening Hours and Fees

10:00 – 20:00 (last admission: 19:00). ¥2300 per person.

Tempozan Ferris Wheel Opening Hours and Fees

10:00 – 22:00 (last admission: 21:30). ¥800 per person. Free of charge with the Osaka Amazing Pass – a 1 (¥2,300) or 2 (¥3,000) day pass that offers you free access to various attractions around Osaka.

How To Get There

By train

It’s less than 30 minutes from Umeda and Namba. Take the Midosuji line to Hommachi Station and transfer to the Chuo Line; get off at Osakako.

Where To Stay

Belle De Meure
  • Minato-ku Chikko 4-7-16 Toyota-Shi, Aichi 441-2516
  • 0.3 km
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Spring Star Tenpouzan
  • Minatoku Chikko 4-2-15 Osaka-Shi, Osaka 552-0021
  • 8.2/10
  • 0.3 km
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Reimeien
  • Minato-ku Chikko 4-2-10 Osaka-Shi, Osaka 552-0021
  • 7.3/10
  • 0.3 km
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Apartment in Osaka 5839
  • 4 Chome-1-30 Chikko, Minato-ku, Room 401 Osaka-Shi, Osaka 552-0021
  • 0.4 km
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