November 2018 The Japanese authorities has been very pro-active to the requirements of Muslim tourists and many prayer room/place can be found in most Japanese major cities. The Tempozan Marketplace is no exception and a prayer room can be found on 3F. Tempozan Marketplace is medium size mall within the Tempoza Harbor Village.
You do need to register for use of the prayer room or you won’t gain entry into it. The registration is can be done at the Kaiyukan Information office which shares the same building with Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan ticket office. Reception area of the information office is via a side door. Once registered, you’ll be handed a information sheet of the prayer room location and the digital PIN combination to unlock the door. The digital keypad has a dark plastic protective flap, so swing it up to expose the keypad. Typically, you’ll be allowed 20 minutes use of the prayer room. Do switch off the lights when you leave.
To use the prayer room, you need to register at the Kaiyukan information office. The information office shares the same building with Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan ticket office.
One side of the information sheet shows the location of the prayer room inside Tempozan Marketplace mall and the room layout plan.
The other side shows the time allotted for you and the digital combination PIN to unlock the door.
The prayer room is located on 3F of the Tempozan Marketplace. Look out for ‘Seria’ souvenir store and the prayer room is just next to it. Separate prayer area is allocated for men and women in the prayer room. Both the men and women prayer area has it’s own ablution basin. As the prayer room is within the mall, it is air-conditioned. The prayer direction (qibla) is prominently displayed on the ceiling above the men & women prayer area. The prayer room is spotless and clean, true to the high Japanese standards. Once again, many thanks to the Japanese authorities for providing the prayer room and their initiative is very much commendable.
The prayer room sign and the prayer room next to Seria. This is 3F of the Tempozan Marketplace mall.
If you approach Seria from the side, the prayer room is straight ahead.
Upon entry, walk straight for men’s prayer area, right for women’s.
The ablution basin in the men’s prayer area.
Another view of the ablution area.
The Qibla prayer direction above the men prayer area.
Separate women’s prayer area.
Identical ablution basin at women prayer area.
The women prayer area space. Qibla direction above.
November 2018 Tempozan Harbor Village The Tempoza Harbor Village consists of several attractions clustered together namely the Marketplace (mall), The Giant Ferris Wheel and Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan. Apart from these attractions, it is the boarding points for Santa Maria cruise and the Captain Line shuttle for Universal Studios Japan. Holders of the Osaka Amazing Pass (OAP), can travel free on either cruise. Tempozan Harbor Village is connected by the Chuo Subway Line which stops at Osakako Station which is a 5-10 minutes walk away.
Ticket gate of Osakako subway station.
The Osakako subway station stop. Staircase Exit 1 on the left, staircase & elevator Exit 2 on the right.
The Giant Ferris Wheel can be seen from the street when taking Exit 1. Credit:Google
The Santa Maria cruise boat. Credit:japantravel.com
Captain Line shuttle cruise.
Tempozan Marketplace Adjacent to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, you’ll find Tempozan Marketplace, a medium sized shopping mall with a variety of souvenir shops, food court, dining & entertainment facilities and a Legoland Discovery Center. Again, if you are a holder of OAP, you can enter Legoland for free.
Tempozan Marketplace is a medium size shopping mall.
The Tempozan Ferris Wheel is adjoining to the mall.
Welcome poster at Tempozan.
Tempozan shopping mall.
Food court on the ground floor.
Legoland Discovery Center is on 3F.
The back of the mall faces Osaka Bay and the pier.
The Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel Tempozan Ferris Wheel is one of the largest Ferris Wheels in the world. Measuring 112.5 meters high and 100 meters across it takes 15 minutes per revolution. A ride on the wheel gives dramatic and spectacular views over Osaka bay. This is another attraction you can enter free as a holder of OAP. You enter via the side entrance, no need to go inside the mall but of-course there is an entrance from inside the mall as well. It’s operational from 10:00 – 22:00
The ferris wheel is also illuminated each night in colors which signify the next day’s weather forecast, red when it’s sunny, green for cloudy day and blue for a rainy day. The ferris wheel offers 2 types of cabins, normal and a glass bottom cabin for the strong hearted but you have to wait as the demand is high and the cabins are few. The wheel spins smoothly and you hardly feel any swaying. As you get engrossed with the views, you won’t notice you’re already at the very top.
Front view of the Tempozan Ferris Wheel as seen from across the street as you come from Osakako station.
Lining up for the Ferris Wheel. Short queue when we visited.
Looking towards Hanshin Expressway.
Hanshin Expressway is an elevated expressway.
Minato Bridge, the third longest cantilever truss span bridge in the world.
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan as seen from the ferris wheel.
Polish Dar Mlodziezy ‘tall-ship’ docked at one of the pier below.
Entrance to the ferris wheel from Tempozan Market Place mall.
Santa Maria Cruise After the ferris wheel ride, we intended to take the Santa Maria cruise which will also be free for holders of OAP. The departure pier is opposite to the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan at he other end. When we arrive at the pier, the cruise has just set sailed a few minutes back. The next cruise will be the next hour. Since we’ve covered most of Tempozan Habor Village, we decide to skip the cruise and return to Namba.
The Santa Maria cruise pier is through the building to the right opposite the aquarium.
Santa Maria cruise ticket office is to the left after the signboard. The pier is straight ahead..
November 2018 Our third and final day in Osaka was spent around the Osaka Bay area, more focused to the Tempozan Harbor Village. The village main attractions are Tempozan Marketplace (mall), Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel and Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan being our first stop for the day. This aquarium is reputed to be one of the largest and spectacular public aquariums in the world. It’s about a 5-10 minutes walk from Osakako subway station and the aquarium is at the far end of the complex.
Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan building.
Whale shark outside the building.
The ticket office for the aquarium. We bought our tickets online here.
Upon entering the building, visitors will walk through a tunnel-shaped tank where you will be surrounded by marine life. Then take the escalator up to the 8th floor and slowly descend spirally floor by floor around a huge water tank filled with 5,400 tons of water. The initial various smaller tanks display a selection of marine life inhabiting the Pacific rim in a well organized and impressive manner. The central tank displays sharks, manta rays, whale sharks and many other types of marine life. The central tank stretches over several floors, making it possible to observe fishes from different depths and perspectives. Nearing the end of the aquarium, you’ll see penguins, dolphins, seals, stingrays and many more.
The entrance ‘tunnel’ to the aquarium.
A pair of happy seals welcoming us.
Not sure what fishes these are.
The unique aquarium allows you to see above & underwater habitat.
Small colorful fishes in another tank.
Playful seals showing off their skills.
The aquarium is big, entertaining and well maintained. Walk through the first few levels with the individual tanks quickly, as the more interesting displays are lower down where the space opens up and less claustrophobic. The building is designed with a great layout with plenty of break spots with washrooms along the way. We spent almost 2 hours in the aquarium admiring the marine life in their habitat. A sense of serenity sets in when you see the them swimming gracefully around. There are a lots of benches for you to sit and absorb this tranquility.
One of the species in the main tank.
Manta ray among the other marine life.
Sharks in the main tank too.
This whale shark is actually BIG. The photo does not do justice.
See, told you so. The whale shark is big. The tail is wider than the diver.
Maintenance divers doing they job amidst a hammerhead shark.
Towards the end of the aquarium walking route are enclosures for seals, stingrays & penguins. While the stingrays are in shallow pool you can pat them, the seals are in ice enclosure and the penguin in a low level semi-open enclosure you can touch them but no one seems to want to.
Cute seal seeing us off.
Stingrays in shallow pool you can pat them. Beware of their tail.
Little penguins playing around in their enclosure.