Christmas traditions in Japan can be hard to maintain, unless of course KFC Christmas dinners are your sort of thing. So, why not start your own with the amazing Christmas-themed performances at the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan? After all, this aquarium along with the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium are two best aquariums in Japan. So without further adieu, below are 3 sights proving why you cannot miss Osaka Aquarium!
1. Santa Diver
In honour of the Christmas season in December, a diver at Osaka Aquarium would dress up as Santa Claus and swim in the Pacific water tank with whales sharks, dolphins and other marine animals. This popular event has attracted vast numbers of visitors over the past years because Christmas is the only time any diver would dress up. So, be sure to take photos with the Santa Diver as he stops and poses for pictures from inside the tank.
2. Penguin Parade
If animal attractions are more your thing, you have to check out the Osaka Aquarium's Penguin Parade. This is a rare chance for visitors to closely interact with the penguins as they wobble back to their observatory aquarium from outside. Since penguins are accustomed to cold weathers, they are rarely seen outdoors. That's why you should make the most of this opportunity to see them up close!
3. Winter Illumination
This year, Osaka Aquarium is celebrating its 25th Anniversary, and the featured event is the Kaiyukan (name of the aquarium in Japanese) Winter Illumination. The astounding 1.2 million LED lights flood both the aquarium's outdoor and indoor areas alike. The most iconic part of the light show is the tree in front of the aquarium building. The tree’s form never stops changing as it symbolises the impermanence and ever-changing ocean. The display may also remind travellers of Zen Buddhism's wabi sabi aesthetics with the exhibit's transient nature! Not bad, huh?
Dates: Dec. 1st to Dec. 25th, 2016 (Santa Diver); Dec. 26th, 2016 to Jan. 3rd, 2017, Jan. 7th - Jan. 9th, 2017 (Penguin Parade); Nov. 22nd, 2016 to Mar. 5th, 2017 (Winter Illumination) except Jan. 11th & 12th and Feb. 15th & 16th, 2017
Opening hours: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm (Aquarium)
Address: 1-1-10 Kaigandori, Minato-ku, Osaka City 552-0022 Japan
Admission: Aquarium admission only (600 - 2300 yen; please refer to http://www.kaiyukan.com/language/eng/ticket.html for detailed prices)