There are many things to do on Okinawa, but I haven’t quite got around to doing most of them even though I’ve been on Okinawa for about 5 years now. One thing for sure that I have done is go to the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. I’ve actually been there several times, even before I was living in Okinawa.
When you enter the building of the aquarium, you are first greeted at the door by staff who ask if you want your picture taken with a whale shark in the background. The whale shark is fake of course. Then after purchasing your tickets, it’s time to begin the tour of the aquarium. At the start there is a touch pool that contains starfish and more.
After that it’s fish, fish, different underwater creatures, fish, and more fish. Yes, that’s right, we are at an aquarium.
I think the main attraction of the aquarium is what’s called the “Kuroshio Sea Tank”. It is a gigantic tank containing about 70 different species including manta rays and 3 huge whale sharks. If you are lucky enough, you can have you picture taken with all 3 whale sharks in the background. There is also an observation course above the water.
If you get hungry during your walk, there is the Cafe “Ocean Blue” that serves light meals, snacks, and drinks.
The entire park is called the Okinawa Expo Park. The aquarium is located indoors of course and before leaving the building there is a section called the Main Rest House. There you get to see a lot of underwater fossils. There is also the jaws of a shark which is big enough to have you fit in and have your picture taken which I’ve had done a few times.
When you step outside you have a few things to check out; Emerald Beach, the Manatee Pool, Sea Turtle Pool, Dolphin Lagoon, the Okichan Theather where they have the dolphin show, and Kids Adventure Land where kids (and adults) can play.
There is actually a lot to do at the park besides the aquarium, and I don’t think most people take advantage of the other things the park has to offer. You can spend an a good few hours at the park. For more information on the park, you can check out their website here.
Though we don’t have the program listed on our website, we have done “Churaumi Aquarium Tour” tours. The most recent one we did was in January of this year for a group from Poland. We also arranged dojo training sessions, a Karate History Tour, and a few other programs for them during their stay in Okinawa. You can have a look at photos from their stay here.
If you are interested in visiting the Okinawa Expo Park on your first or next visit to Okinawa, let us know and we will see what we can arrange for you.