Osaka AquariumNovember 6 in Japan
The sun is shining! It's a beautiful day and we have tickets for the aquarium which is said to be one of the best in the world. Being afficiandos of aquariums, we'll be the judge of that! Finding our subway feet again (each city is different) we purchase our tickets after figuring out which line we are supposed to be on (the red one) and which stop we have to get off (No.16). Easy peasy.
We really didn't need to find anything. All we should have done is follow all the Japanese parents pushing babies and toddlers in strollers because they were all going to the same place. I said to PC it's a good thing we chose a week day, as a weekend would have been hell. Paul found a hole in wall on the way down with a lovely lady selling bits and pieces, and scored himself a new cap. Arriving at the venue, ticket in hand we are told that our tickets are invalid (bought on line) for some obscure reason. I couldn't be bothered arguing (they wouldn't understand me anyway) so bought two 'real' tickets, and ventured forward. Along with 300 or 400 four and half year olds, all in school uniform - clearly little preppies - out for a days excursion. There goes my theory of mid week vs weekends. The din was deafening. Japanese love little children. The more 'excited' they are, the happier the adult. So, each group (of about 20) had three teachers with them, all of whom were whipping up a storm of excitement for their little group (I think proving to the other 'competing' groups who was having the most fun!)
I know who wasn't having fun. Anyone who knows PC will now be nodding their heads and thinking, I know where this is going. South. In a hurry. So, I devise a plan. We'll go the opposite way to everyone else. I read on trip adviser that this guy started at the top and worked his way down so up the elevator we went to the fourth floor, where peace reigned. So far, so good. PC is happily videoing and we fell in love with the penguins and sea lions, in glorious silence. Down to the next level, magnificent specimens not seen before, strange and unusual creatures that you wouldn't think were actually marine life, into the darkened section of the jelly fish. And dark it was. I actually though I may have to tie us together and find a couple of canes. We aren't sure why it was so dark, can only figure that many of the jellyfish live so far beneath the sea that they have an aversion to light. PC's video will be magnificent as always, so we soldiered on in the dim corridors to the next section, which was an enormous tank filled to the brim with thousands of jellyfish. Each of the side walls were actually mirrored, to give the impression of hundreds of thousands of jellyfish. Really brilliant -until PC turns to me and says, in all seriousness, hey look, that guy has the exact same T Shirt on as me! Hmmm, hun, that IS you. (Insert five 'lmao' smileys here please). Another Ho Hum moment.
Earthquakes and trembles are common here on Nippon, so we were a little daunted when we heard an increasing rumble, seemingly getting louder. No shaking though I thought, must be our imagination. Just as previously mentioned 300 preppies came hurtling down the corridors, with their ever so excited teachers urging them on. It was chaos. You couldn't move in case you trod on some (these kids are tiny.....they'd be the size of most two year olds back home). I'm trying to find a way forward to guide PC through the throngs, but he's disappeared. Literally. Now, in the land of Nippon where most people are as short as me, and some even shorter, PC is not hard to lose. But lose him I did. In the dark, in the spiraling corridors which is actually all tank on either side, giving it a surreal feeling and it becomes quite confusing. He'd done a runner and left me behind, to get away from the noise. I don't know whether to go backwards or forwards, so did both for a while. Just as I decided to make a break for the front door, there he was - and then, once again, there they were, hurtling towards us at the speed of light. Declaring three hours enough we look for the exit - no easy feat I'm afraid. When you ask the staff how to get out, they send you up, not down. You go up, and then somehow (we still can't work it out) you go down again (but a different down) and then after much todo, find the main entry. Phew. We found a seat and PC went straight to the 7Eleven and bought two Vodka spritzers.
Heading home we found a great Katatori bar with loads of different 'sticks' and a whopping slug of sake. Train travel has never been easier we've discovered, with a shot of sake in one's system. We think this is why most passengers in Japan sleep on the trains. They've a little too much of the good stuff with their weeties. I always thought it was the lack of sleep from having to sleep on wooden slats with nothing under you but a doona, but we now think it could be a combination of both. Back to Mystays for us, to decide on the next activities, which no doubt will include more sake and food.Read more