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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Okinawa - Honto
Churaumi Aquarium 
# 5   of 21 most visited sights
in Okinawa Island

jump to:   access  -  admission  -  ratings  -  tours  -  links

Kuroshio Tank

The Churaumi Aquarium (C, Churaumi Suizokukan) is widely considered Japan's best aquarium. It is the main attraction of the Ocean Expo Park on the former grounds of the 1975 International Ocean Expo in northern Okinawa Honto. The aquarium was completely redesigned and reopened in 2002.

The highlight of a visit to the Churaumi Aquarium is the massive Kuroshio Tank, one of the largest in the world. The tank takes its name from the warm Kuroshio current which plays a large part in the variety of Okinawa's of marine life. The tank contains a wide variety of species, the most striking of which are the giant whale sharks and manta rays.

The world's first large scale exhibit of living coral

The aquarium is spread out over three floors with the entrance on the third floor and the exit on the first floor. Directly after the entrance there is a pool where visitors can touch living starfish and seashells with their own hands. Next there is a tank with the world's first large scale exhibit of living coral.

The route through the aquarium then leads past the Kuroshio Tank, where visitors will likely want to spend quite a bit of time. Feeding shows are held twice daily. Located just beside the tank is a high definition movie theater about Okinawa's marine life.

An interactive area near the entrance to the aquarium

Past the Kuroshio Tank there are a few more interesting tanks and displays including an area dedicated to sharks with live tiger sharks and bull sharks. Another area is dedicated to marine life in the extremely deeps waters of Okinawa and includes displays of various bioluminescent fish.

In addition to the main aquarium building, there are a few outdoor pools near the waterfront where animal shows of dolphins, sea turtles and manatees can be viewed free of charge. There are only a few shows per day, so visitors might want to check show times before entering the aquarium.

The Kuroshio Tank seen from below

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
The Churaumi Aquarium is part of the Ocean Expo Park on the Motobu Peninsula in northern Okinawa Honto, about 90 kilometers from Naha.

By Yanbaru Express Bus

The Yanbaru Express Bus directly connects the airport and city center of Naha with the Churaumi Aquarium. The one way trip takes a little over two hours and costs around 2000 yen. There are six round trips per day. In central Naha, the bus stops at the Prefectural Office (k), Tomari Port and Furujima Station along the Yurail monorail among other locations.

By regular buses

Take highway bus number 111 from Naha to Nago Bus Terminal (90 minutes, 2100 yen from Naha Bus Center; 105 minutes, 2190 yen from Naha Airport; 1-2 buses/hour) and transfer to infrequently departing bus number 70 to Kinen Koen Mae (LOO) bus stop in front of the Ocean Expo Park (50 minutes, 880 yen). A few buses on the lines 65 and 66 also serve the Ocean Expo Park. See details on the aquarium's official website.

By car

By car, take the Okinawa Expressway from Naha all the way to its northern end near Nago (1020 yen one way) and then follow regular roads across the Motobu Peninsula to the Ocean Expo Park. In total, the journey takes about two hours one way (more during rush hours).

How to get to and around Okinawa Honto

Hours and Fees
Hours:8:30 to 20:00 (until 18:30 from October to February)
Admission ends one hour before closing time
Closed:First Wednesday of December and the following day.
Admission:1850 yen (1290 yen if you enter after 16:00)

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Tours and Packages
Okinawa Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Okinawa.

User Ratings
Ratings for Churaumi Aquarium:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  best of Japan  
User Rating (by 146 users):
92/100
  highly recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 782):
34.  Kobe Beef (Kobe)   92/100
35.  Sojiji Temple (Noto Peninsula)   92/100
36.  Katsuo no tataki (Kochi)   92/100
37.  Kinkakuji (Kyoto)   92/100
38.  Kanamaruza Theater (Kotohira)   92/100
39.  Churaumi Aquarium (Okinawa Island)   92/100
40.  Yudono-san (Dewa Sanzan)   91/100
41.  Subashiri 5th Station (Mount Fuji)   91/100
42.  Inari Shrine (Tsuwano)   91/100
43.  Toshogu Shrine (Nikko)   91/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 913):
246.  Higashiyama Walk (Takayama)   299
247.  Gora Park (Hakone)   299
248.  Ninja Museum (Iga Ueno)   297
249.  Eikando Temple (Kyoto)   295
250.  Nakano Broadway (Tokyo)   294
251.  Churaumi Aquarium (Okinawa Island)   293
252.  Nagamachi (Kanazawa)   291
253.  Shiroi Koibito Park (Sapporo)   289
254.  Lake Yamanakako (Fuji Five Lakes)   286
255.  Lake Akan (Akan National Park)   279

User Feedback
We strive to keep japan-guide.com up-to-date and accurate, and are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:

English Links
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Official website.

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