On this day I was supposed to hike up a mountain – mount Takao to be precise. But you know what? When I woke up that morning I just did not feel up to it, so I decided to change my plans. In the end when you’re on the JR Pass you can get from Kyoto to Osaka for free. For a change, I actually got to Osaka instead of Shin-Osaka which was convenient. Then I grabbed the underground to get to Osaka Aquarium “Kaiyukan” [海遊館], which is actually the largest aquarium in the world.
I had been there before, but the previous time I did not get to see the whale sharks as they were ‘quarantined’. How can anyone block a tank which is in the middle of the whole damn thing, I have no idea, but they did. This time I broke even and had a blast. Unfortunately the Aquarium was packed because this was a Saturday morning, and for some reason my back was hurting a lot. I had dropped my luggage off at a coin locker because I thought it would be better. However at some points I could not really walk straight. The weight of the camera bag was too much and I had to sit down. Found a nice place to watch the sharks from, though.
After the Aquarium I went to Kuchu Teien Observatory [空中庭園] in the Umeda Sky Building to have a look at the skyline and to get the stamp for the Japan Towers rally. I got the greatest omg-gaijin face of the trip here (and truth be told, had I known that the stamp was actually held at the reception desk and not the actual observatory, I might have skipped this). In this case the building is an attraction itself. It consists on two towers joined by some passageways and a circular platform at the top, with see-through escalators.
Next the plan was going to Dotombori, stroll down there, and eat some takoyaki before heading off to Nara where I had my hotel for the night. When I got to the station and jumped on the Osaka Loop line, it turned out that I actually was in the train that continues on to Nara… and it was air conditioned and I had a seat…
I found it a sign and decided to just go with the flow and get to Nara [奈良] on that train. Upon arriving there I checked into the hotel and I decided to go to Nara Park [奈良公園 , Nara-koen] and see if I could feed a sacred deer [鹿 , shika] or two. This was close to 5 pm by now so all the temples would be closing anyway. I did feed the deer some shika senbei [鹿煎餅] (deer crackers), and one of the does bit me. Not even the hand that was feeding her, she actually tried to snack on my tummy. Sheesh.
As I was coming back down I had a pretty sunset over Kōfuku-ji [興福寺].