I got my Osaka Unlimited Pass (大阪周遊券) the other day for 2000yen so for it to help me save money!!When I got to the tower, there was already load of people lining up outside. It took me ~2 hours to get to the top of the building. Before you can get to the top, there’s a lot of displays and souvenir shops and things you need to go through. I still regret that I went there as it’s nothing special except for the view which amazed you for first few seconds there. The second free entry is Tennoji Zoo(天王寺動物園). I already watched the video clips on Youtube about the zoo so I didn’t expect much. I turned out it was much better than I though. There were snakes, lions, tigers, zebras, foxes, hippos, rihos (they were hiding under the water when I was there), chitah, and koalas (same as those I saw before, they barely moved!).
Don’t miss out Santa Maria Cruise
After the zoo, I rushed to the bay area as I realized I would need to take the 5pm Santa Maria Cruise (サンタマリア) otherwise I may not have enough time for the aquarium that night. Luckily, I was there 5 mins before the gate closed. The trip is fantastic and the view is worth millions! This is a must try for anyone coming to Osaka. It was cloudy when I was on the cruise so it felt cool. You can see Kaiyukan(海遊館), Universal Studios（ユニバーサル スタジオ）, and a lot of other buildings and structures from a different angel which you won’t be able to see when you’re on the ground. The trip takes 45 mins.
Kaiyukan(海遊館) is miniscale
It was Kaiyukan(海遊館) after the cruise. As most of other aquariums in the world, this one also has a large tunnel tank so you’ll have to walk underneath it to get inside. They have lots of different sea animals in there but almost everything I have seen such as sharks, turtles, shrimps, crabs, so no surprise. Japanese crabs really captured my attention since I was the first time I saw them so many of them and they are really huge. The whole aquarium is actually quite small in floor space but you wouldn’t notice as you will walk surrounding the same big tank in the middle for most of the time. 2000 yen is overpriced so I wouldn’t recommend it, especially if you’ve seen those in Melbourne and Sydney.
Ride it during day time
The last free ride is Tenbosan Kanransya, a ferris wheel (天保山観覧車) with beautiful neon lights on it to tell you weather and temperature by color variation. I saw the clips on Youtube that the view in the whole area is stunning at night. But again, I was disappointed. The ferris wheel only displayed green color, the bay area was pretty dark without the colorful, flashing neon lights I saw in videos.
Osaka Unlimited Pass (大阪周遊パス)
Santa Maria Cruise (サンタマリア)
Tenpozan Giant Ferris Wheel (天保山大観覧車)
Bay area information: