2. Nifrel & Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan
When we first heard about this vague Osaka attraction, our first reaction was to ask, “What’s that?!!” It’s been called everything from an interactive aquazoo to a living museum. So what exactly is Nifrel? Conceptualised by the people at the famous Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Nifrel is a curated zoo with cool experiential elements thrown in – think coloured lights, new age music, and conceptual zones – there are seven: ‘Colors’, ‘Abilities’, ‘Shapes’, ‘Waterside’, ‘Behavior’, ‘Biodiversity’, and ‘Wonder Moments’. In each of these zones, visitors get to experience an aspect of the marine creatures and wildlife. The ‘Colors’ zone, for instance, demonstrates the vivid colours found in nature’s sea creatures: think fire-engine red shrimp and fish shaded brilliant sunshine orange! Meanwhile, you’ll learn about the sea creatures ‘talents’ in the ‘Abilities’ section — where you’ll see dead skin-eating fish, four-eyed fish as well as creatures that blend in with the background. The ‘Wonder Moments’ zone with its signature globe will hold you in awe and rooted to the spot gazing at nature’s wonders: flora, marine creatures, and wildlife featured in the mystical-looking sphere. The most crowded zone in Nifrel is hands down the ‘Behaviour’ zone where you can get close to the animals and will get to experience birds flying directly overhead and some wildlife creatures ambling into the ‘human’ side of the area. If you’re thinking of touching them, be careful, some may even bite!
After visiting Nifrel, we recommend you head to Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan – the biggest aquarium in the world housing 30,000 creatures from 620 species! The large tanks (and they are indeed LARGE) will hold you in awe as you watch the sea creatures – some of them rather sinister – swim by, oblivious of your presence. The place is HUGE and it is easy to get lost in but if you follow the crowd and the arrows, just go with the flow till you see the exit sign 🙂 .