When you walk to the north for about 5 minutes after getting off at Osakako Station on the Osaka Metro Chuo line, you will reach an area called “Tempozan Harbor Village.” In this area, there are some facilities including “Kaiyukan,” which is one of the largest aquariums in the world, “Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel,” and “Tempozan Marketplace” which is a large-scale commercial complex. The area is always crowded with many families and couples.
You will soon see Giant Ferris wheel after you start walking, and you will reach the area in a few minutes on foot where the Kaiyukan and the Giant Ferris Wheel are.
I had a rice omelet (an omelet including a ketchup-seasoned fried rice in it) for lunch in “Naniwa Kuishinbo Yokocho” in the Tempozan Marketplace, recreating the nostalgic 1960s streets of Osaka.
Then, I decided to try riding on a cruise ship called Santa Maria. The sightseeing boat leaves the Nishi dockside at the Kaiyukan and takes a cruise around Osaka Bay for about 45 minutes.
From the ship, we can see not only the Kaiyukan and the Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel but also spectacular structures including container wharfs, gantry cranes, which are large size cranes seen only in a port (seen from a distance, they look like giraffes standing on a grassy plain), Minato-ohashi (Minato Bridge) which is a red truss bridge having a full length of 980 meters, Tempozan-Ohashi (Tempozan Bridge) having a full length of 640 meters, and landscapes of Osaka.
Next, I rode on the Giant Ferris Wheel. The wheel has a height of 112.5 meters from the ground and a diameter of 100 meters. It takes 15 minutes to complete a ride. Some gondolas are see-through having a transparent floor and chairs, so you can look out over the scenery. If you are dare, please try it. Now, let’s gaze at Osaka Bay from the sky! You can see the landscapes of the big cities of Osaka and Kobe, in addition to Osaka Bay.
The Giant Ferris Wheel is illuminated at night, which is seen as if to be fireworks or a big kaleidoscope.
Osaka Port is located at the deepest section of Osaka Bay. It was called “Naniwa-no-tsu” in ancient times and developed as an important place of marine traffic to the Korean Peninsula and Mainland China. After the genuine harbor works were performed from the Meiji period on, the port played a role as a leading international trade port in Japan. However, from the end of the Showa period, a problem that the port became a small area occurred. In order to solve the problem, reclamation works were performed at the south side of the Osaka Port, and a new port, called (Osaka) Nanko Port, was constructed. Because of the traffic convenience, all of cargo ships and ferry boats depart and arrive at the Nanko Port now, and accordingly, in the Osaka Port, only pleasure cruisers go into service from Tempozan. The Osaka Port, however, has the same complete functions as the port, and pleasure cruisers including ocean route boats and boats for training cruise depart and arrive at the Osaka Port.
On the day I visited, a 91,011-ton foreign passenger boat, “Celebrity Millennium,” came alongside the Tempozan Quay. How big it is! It didn’t pale in comparison with the Giant Ferris Wheel or the great bridge.
There is a ferry linking Tempozan with the opposite shore, Sakurajima, taking only a few minutes and free. Students, commuters and neighbors utilize it instead of a bus. There is also Mt. Tempozan, which is the lowest and the smallest mountain in Japan. You can also see boats, machines, and people working at the sea or wharf.