Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
See multiple whale sharks in captivity at one of the world's largest aquariums
© Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium"Churaumi" means "clear, beautiful seas" in the Okinawa language. Under the catch phrase "The Mysteries of Okinawa in Living Color," Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium opened its doors as one of the world's largest aquariums in August 2002 inside the Okinawa Commemorative National Government Park located in the northwest area of Okinawa Island.
A total of 77 tanks are on display in the aquarium. The main Kuroshio Sea Tank has an enormous capacity, stretching from the first floor all the way to the second floor of the aquarium. The acrylic panel separating the tank interior from the outside is 8.2 meters high, 22.5 meters wide, and 60 centimeters thick. It held the place as the world's largest acrylic panel in the Guinness Book of Records until 2008. Here you can see schools of whale sharks and manta ray as well as many other kinds of sea life both large and small. The tank side has a half-dome shaped observation space that lets you enjoy the wondrous sight of fish swimming gracefully by as if you were looking up from the bottom of the sea.
Touch real starfish and sea cucumbers at the Life in Inoh (touch pool), a tank that recreates the conditions of a real coral reef shoal. And the Coral Sea tank is open to the sky. The world's first large-scale cultivation of living coral has been made possible by supplying natural sunlight and fresh ocean water to the tank interior. The aquarium cultivates approximately 800 colonies of coral from nearby Okinawa waters.
Shows and tank explanations also take place every day. If you look at the times of events on the pamphlet you receive upon entering, you can plan your time in the aquarium to see the attractions that catch your eye.
Also, the Ocean Expo Park is home to many other exciting attractions, like Emerald Beach, the Oceanic Culture Museum, and the Tropical Dream Center. Enjoy the waters of Okinawa as long as your time permits.
Address: 424, Ishikawa, Motobu-cho, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa
Hours open to visitors: March September: 8:30 a.m. -8:00 p.m. (Last admission 7:00 p.m.)
October February: 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. (Last admission 5:30 p.m.)
Admission Fee: 1800 yen
Closed: First Wednesday of December and the day after that will be closed
From Tokyo:[Air]About 2 hours 35 min from Haneda Airport to Naha Airport, about 2 hours 30 min by taxi or about 3 hours by Highway Bus from Naha Airport