Japan’s most popular aquarium with annual visitors exceeding 3 million people.
Located approximately 2 hours by car from Naha Airport, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is on the Motobu Peninsula in the northern part of Okinawa Island. This area which faces the beautiful sea was once the venue for Expo ’75. In the distance, you can see Iejima Island. The aquarium, which has the theme of “Encounter the Okinawan Sea”, can be entered from the 3rd floor (Coral Lobby), and heading to the 2nd and 1st floors, the facility is built so that it feels like you are going underwater. In fact, it has been designed so that you can get the sensation of taking that mysterious trip into the Okinawan sea as you go from Life In Inoh to the Coral Sea, past the Kuroshio Sea to the Deep Sea.
Recreation of the Okinawan sea from the shallows to 700m underwater.
The No. 1 highlight of Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is the Kuroshio Sea, which is one the largest water tanks in the world. Boasting a depth of 10m, a length of 35m and a width of 27m, this gigantic tank is filled with migratory fish from the Kuroshio, including 2 whale sharks and 4 manta rays. This multiple breeding for the purposes of propagating whale sharks and manta rays is something that hasn’t been seen anywhere else in the world. At the water tank known as the Coral Sea which lets in natural light, 800 colonies of 70 different coral are bred and are on display, a process that has taken more than 10 years. You can see coral spawning every year around June.
Enjoy some refined tea time while viewing the fish of Churaumi.
After enjoying the world of the Okinawan sea, why not take a break while still being able to see the sea life in the tanks up close? At the Café Ocean Blue at one corner of the Kurashio Sea, you can enjoy some tea and light snacks such as taco rice which are Okinawan specialties while viewing the whale sharks and manta rays swimming gracefully. The sight of fish swimming across in front of your very eyes is amazing. Since the seats in front of the water tanks are always crowded, heading for them as soon as the aquarium opens is recommended, although after 4 p.m. the crowds lessen somewhat.