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Tempozan Marketplace

Tempozan Marketplace & Giant Ferris Wheel, Osaka

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.

Osakako Station

Ticket gate of Osakako subway station.

Osakako Station

The Osakako subway station stop. Staircase Exit 1 on the left, staircase & elevator Exit 2 on the right.

Tempozan Marketplace & Giant Ferris Wheel

The Giant Ferris Wheel can be seen from the street when taking Exit 1.                                                          Credit:Google

Tempozan Marketplace & Giant Ferris Wheel

The Santa Maria cruise boat.                                                                                                           Credit:japantravel.com

Tempozan Marketplace & Giant Ferris Wheel

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

Tempozan Marketplace is a medium size shopping mall.

Tempozan Marketplace

The Tempozan Ferris Wheel is adjoining to the mall.

Tempozan Marketplace

Welcome poster at Tempozan.

Tempozan Marketplace

Tempozan shopping mall.

Tempozan Marketplace

Food court on the ground floor.

Tempozan Marketplace

Legoland Discovery Center is on 3F.

Tempozan Marketplace

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.

Tempozan Ferris Wheel

Front view of the Tempozan Ferris Wheel as seen from across the street as you come from Osakako station.

Tempozan Ferris Wheel

Lining up for the Ferris Wheel. Short queue when we visited.

Tempozan Ferris Wheel

Looking towards Hanshin Expressway.

Tempozan Ferris Wheel

Hanshin Expressway is an elevated expressway.

Tempozan Ferris Wheel

Minato Bridge, the third longest cantilever truss span bridge in the world.

Tempozan Ferris Wheel

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan as seen from the ferris wheel.

Tempozan Ferris Wheel

Polish Dar Mlodziezy ‘tall-ship’ docked at one of the pier below.

Tempozan Ferris Wheel

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

The Santa Maria cruise pier is through the building to the right opposite the aquarium.

The Santa Maria cruise pier

Santa Maria cruise ticket office is to the left after the signboard. The pier is straight ahead..

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Serene & Spectacular Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

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

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan building.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Whale shark outside the building.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

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.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

The entrance ‘tunnel’ to the aquarium.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

A pair of happy seals welcoming us.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Not sure what fishes these are.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

The unique aquarium allows you to see above & underwater habitat.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Small colorful fishes in another tank.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

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.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

One of the species in the main tank.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Manta ray among the other marine life.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Sharks in the main tank too.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

This whale shark is actually BIG. The photo does not do justice.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

See, told you so. The whale shark is big. The tail is wider than the diver.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Maintenance divers doing they job amidst a hammerhead shark.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

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.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Cute seal seeing us off.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Stingrays in shallow pool you can pat them. Beware of their tail.

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Little penguins playing around in their enclosure.

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

The Lesser Attraction Of Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

November 2018
Shinsekai Market area is a fascinating area to wander around with lots of brightly coloured restaurants, food stalls, as well as a few tourist gift shops. One can get there by getting off at Ebisucho subway stop, the closest to the area. Shinsekai does not feel touristy and has that retro feeling, different from other areas of Osaka. In fact, the area looks like a run down town that has lost it’s former glory. There are many vacant shoplots, and shops that do operate, opens well past lunch time. This area probably comes ‘alive’ at night to cater for visitors coming for dinner.

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

Ebisucho subway stop.

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

View from Ebisucho subway stop towards Tsutenkaku Tower.

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

At almost 2 pm most shops are still closed.

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

Shops closed and place almost deserted.

Shinsekai biggest attraction has always been the iconic Tsutenkaku Tower constructed in 1912. It was modeled after Paris’ Eiffel Tower and is 103 meters high. If not for the free entrance to the Tsutenkaku Tower using the Osaka Amazing Pass (OAP), there would probably not be many visitors coming here. On the 5th floor, at 91 meters is the main observatory level which offers view of the city which sadly isn’t really spectacular. An open air deck on top of the main observatory was opened in late 2015 and this requires separate ticket to enter which is not covered by the OAP. When we were at the tower, there was a queue for the elevator up and the waiting area was stuffy. The tower itself is packed with souvenir shops and amusements arcades.

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

A peek at Tsutenkaku Tower.

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

Closer view of Tsutenkaku Tower. You go up via elevator.

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

Osaka city view.

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

Elevated highways of Osaka.

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

Looking down towards the Ebisucho subway stop and the almost deserted pedestrian walkway.

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

One of the many souvenir shops in the tower.

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

Glico products are sold here.

However, Shinsekai offers numerous picturesque photo spots especially around the restaurant areas where reataurants try to outdo each other with their colourful frontage decoration. This provide fantastic photo spots for the avid photographers. If you are not a photographer looking for some picturesque spot, then it is in our opinion, you could probably consider giving Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower a miss.

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

During the day, this spot is picturesque not to mention if it was at night with the lights on.

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

Food samples on display.

Shinsekai & Tsutenkaku Tower

Some of the dishes seems cheaper in Shinsekai.

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