photography and stuff – melbourne, australia

Japan – Day 11 – The day the earthquake hit..

Sarah bought a new bag, mentioned in an earier post..so here’s the obligatory photo..

Went to the Osaka Aquarium (Kaiyukan) today. The biggest aquarium in the world.

I’ve been to a few of aqauriums – Singapore, Melbourne, couple of others I’ve forgotten about – but this one was the best one out of the lot.

It was massive, the main tank was amazing.. It had to be if they wanted to put a 12M long whale shark in there!

Check out how thick the walls were..of acrylic..

Lots of cool things to see, more of it is easier told in photos rather than text..I think the most unusual thing they had there was the Ocean Sunfish – The heaviest known bony fish in the world weighing up to 1000kg – The one in the tank here looked tiny from the upper levels, but once we started decending down to its level it was huge.. Such a weird looking thing as well.

The jellyfish there was also pretty cool to see..

Spider Crab’s chilling out..

There was some kids exhibition which we decided to go check out that was dedicated to “cute” things from the sea – Only Japan!

After this there was a shallow tank where you could touch some rays and sharks, which I convinced Sarah to take part in. Rays = Slimey. The little sharks they had in there had a rough texture to them, not sure what they were though.

We got some lunch at a place called “Melbourne House” – Australian apparently! We just did it for the name really. I had a steak meal and Sarah had some pork cutlets. Pretty good, not really Australian but yeah..it was a decent feed and pretty cheap.

Walked past the huge ferris wheel and contemplated going on it..Sarah didn’t really want to, though I could have probably convinved her – But I’m glad I didn’t…

As we walked further down the street..we were waiting to cross a street. We started feeling some sort of weird waving.. At first I looked at Sarah and she looked back at me.. We didn’t really think anything about it ..and then as we continued across the steet..felt the strange sensation again.

Having never been in any sort of earthquake/tremor before I had no idea what to expect nor did I know what it felt like.

** As I write this the hotel is swaying! its 10:30am Sunday (Japan Time) and the room was creaking little.. It was like being on a boat.. anyway am going to get out of the hotel for a little to get some breakfast – BRB **

Ok Back. I have my Boss Coffee from a Vending machine (Yep, the can comes out HOT) and some breakfast.. plus the building has stopped swaying so good to go.

We stopped again in on the street and just stood there for a bit….then we started to lose our balance..its a really odd feeling. People started coming out of the buildings now, Sarah did a wavy motion to one of them and they were going “Hai Hai Hai!” – Realisation set in that we just experienced some form of earthquake. Sarah started to get a bit scared and it was at this point that I’m glad we didn’t go on that ferris wheel!

I didn’t think too much of it, however Sarah wa pretty freaked out..we had to go on the subway to get back to Namba, about 20minutes away.

We made it back to the hotel lobby, and didn’t think anything of what had happened until we found the lifts were not operating. Sat down in the lobby for a bit, when some of the staff rushed out a plasma TV on a stand and plugged it in – flicking it onto the news.

It was all in Japanese, we didn’t actually grab onto the scale of what had happened until the Tsunami’s started rolling through Sendai – Amazingly devastating stuff. Watching those waters just eat through the Japanese countryside was insane. It was eating up the land like a black plague – we watched in awe as the dark waters swallowed up the farm land, greenhouses, whole houses, cars, everything..

We found out we could get free Wifi in the lobby and started using Facebook to reach out to people…Social networking did really well in this situation. We were able to let people know we were OK pretty quickly.

We were lucky to leave Tokyo two days before, fortunately for us Osaka hasn’t been affected much besides the few aftershocks that come through. The Airport is operating normally and on schedule.

We got back up to the hotel room around 6PM and got onto Skype to our family. Assured everything was OK and again..the internet making the world a closer place.

During the night I got woken up by Sarah at 4am because the building was swaying! the roof was also creaking pretty loudly.. I was tired and shrugged it off..deciding (in my mind) that the place is probably built for it.. Sarah literally jumped out of bed and started a new yoga pose as she tried to feel the building move.. I had a quick laugh at that.

Hope that everyone is safe and doing OK, especially those in Tokyo.

Written by Aaron Tan

March 13th, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Posted in Travel

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