The two most popular Okinawa sightseeing spots: Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium and Shurijo Castle
Okinawa Commemorative National Government Park is a park that is located on the site of the Okinawa International Ocean Exposition, which was held to commemorate the return of Okinawa Prefecture to Japan. It consists of two major sections. One is the Ocean Exposition area (commonly referred to as the Ocean Expo Park) in Motobucho, Okinawa Prefecture, and the other is the Shurijo Castle area in Naha City.
In the Ocean Exposition area, the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is a particularly well-liked spot. Attractions like the Kuroshio Sea Tank, which is one of the world’s largest tanks and features multiple whale sharks in captivity, and the Sea of Tropical Fish, which features a myriad of colorful fish, are popular. And the area outside the Aquarium is also host to a variety of facilities centering around the “ocean” theme, including the Sea Turtle Pool, where visitors can see sea turtles from the spawning stage to full maturity; the Dolphin Lagoon, which features dolphin shows spotlighting dolphin abilities and performances and a chance to see a dolphin with an artificial tail fin; and Emerald Beach, an artificial bathing spot with beautiful white sand.
The Shurijo Castle area is commonly referred to as Shurijo Castle Park. Shurijo Castle prospered as the center of power in the Ryukyu Kingdom, an imperial nation that existed from 1429 to 1879. Its unique culture flowered through trade with China, Japan, and Southeast Asia, but it became modern day Okinawa Prefecture after receiving a demand for surrender from the Japanese government. Shurijo Castle was demolished during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II. A restoration project is already well underway, with the Seiden, Una, Hokuden, Nanden, Bandokoro, and Shureimon areas of Shurijo Castle being completely restored. In 2000, the Shurijo Castle remains were included in the list of World Heritage Sites as a cultural asset. The colorful and bright d cor create a unique ambiance.
The Ocean Exposition and Shurijo Castle areas are both very popular as must-see sightseeing spots in Okinawa.
- Naha-shi, Okinawa
- <Ocean Expo Park Area>
March - Sep. 8am - 7:30pm / Oct.- Feb. 8am - 6pm
<Ocean Expo Park Aquarium Area>
March - Sep. 8am - 8:30pm / Oct.- Feb. 8am - 7pm
<Ocean Expo Park Facilities>
March - Sep. 8F30am - 7pm / Oct.- Feb. 8F30am - 5:30pm
<Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium>
March - Sep. 8F30am - 8pm / Oct.- Feb. 8F30am - 6:30pm
*The park closes on the first Wednesday and Thursday in Dec.
- Admission Fee
- <Churaumi Aquarium>
1,800 yen / Adult, 1,200yen / high school students, 600yen / elementary and middle school students
<Tropical Dream Center>
670 yen / Adult, 340 yen / elementary and middle school students
<Ocean Culture Museum>
170 yen / Adult, 50 yen / elementary and middle school students
*free admission to the park.
- <Ocean Expo Park>
424, Ishikawa, Motobu-cho, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa
<Shurijo Castle Park>
1-2, Shuri Kinjo-cho
<Ocean Expo Park>
About 2 hours 40 min from Haneda Airport to Naha Airport, about 2 hours by taxi or about 3 hours by Highway Bus from Naha Airport
<Shurijo Castle Park>
About 2 hours 40 min from Haneda Airport to Naha Airport, about 30 min by Yui rail from Naha Airport to Shuri Station, about 15-min walk from Shuri Station