I never saw the whale sharks. Of course, I knew that Yu-Chan had passed away five years ago, but it was disconcerting that Kai-kun was on vacation in Koichi. The guide explained to me that life in the tank is stressful so our fish need some R&R. But we have a lot sardines:
second largest, has three whale sharks (above), and the Georgia Aquarium (left), the largest, has four. But two have already succumbed in Georgia, so there is a suspicion that whale sharks cannot be kept in captivity. Five are on display at the Yantai Aquarium (below) in China. There is also some concern about the ethics of keeping such large creatures in a tank. Aquaria emphasize the research they are doing, not unlike the Japanese whalers. Perhaps a real world aquarium can be considered for the Pacific International Ocean Station.
Oh, I also saw, for the first time ever, a two foot snake, sort of brown with some green, that slinked into a the wall of the Osaka Castle when it observed my interest. The bus stops are very informational:
Finally, I've come to a conclusion that the St Regis Osaka is now my favorite hotel in the world. Why? The service, the fact that it sits on a major subway stop (Honmachi), a mile long shopping promenade begins next to this property, they provide nearly $40 of free liquor daily from the room bar, the free breakfast is outstanding, the TV/sound system is fabulous, the view mesmerizing, a walk-in closet, pieces of art scattered throughout and room, and the bath has a panoramic view of Osaka:
Note the bath pillow to the right (which I took home in my previous stay here), and you can't see the TV set above the faucet. I also paid one-tenth the Pierre Gagnaire lunch by bringing back to my room the following:
An Osaka Dojima beer, Hibiki 17-year Suntory scotch (a full bottle costs around $100, but the hotel provides two of these smaller ones free everyday) and a Niigata sake.
Next, Busan and the Yeosu Ocean Expo.