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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 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
On April 1, 2014, the consumption tax increased from 5% to 8%, causing widespread changes to transportation fares. This page has not been updated yet, and some of the fees and fares in this section may not be up-to-date.

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

By bus

Take highway bus number 111 from Naha to Nago Bus Terminal (90 minutes, 2040 yen from Naha Bus Center; 105 minutes, 2130 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, 860 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 (1000 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
On April 1, 2014, the consumption tax increased from 5% to 8%, causing widespread changes to admission fees. This page has not been updated yet, and some of the fees in this section may not be up-to-date.

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:1800 yen (1260 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 132 users):
91/100
  highly recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 764):
39.  Togakushi Shrine (Nagano)   91/100
40.  Toshogu Shrine (Nikko)   91/100
41.  Kanamaruza Theater (Kotohira)   91/100
42.  Myojoji Temple (Noto Peninsula)   91/100
43.  Tokyo DisneySea (Tokyo)   91/100
44.  Churaumi Aquarium (Okinawa Island)   91/100
45.  Otaru Snow Light Path (Otaru)   91/100
46.  Oirase Stream (Lake Towada)   91/100
47.  Kenrokuen (Kanazawa)   91/100
48.  Ghibli Museum (Tokyo)   91/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 894):
258.  Peace Osaka (Osaka)   265
259.  Gotemba Outlet Mall (Hakone)   263
260.  Kusatsu Hot Springs (Kusatsu Onsen)   260
261.  Toba Aquarium (Ise Shima)   259
262.  Hot Springs (Noboribetsu)   257
263.  Churaumi Aquarium (Okinawa Island)   257
264.  AnimeJapan (Tokyo)   257
265.  Kintai-kyo Bridge (Iwakuni)   256
266.  Historic Village (Sapporo)   256
267.  Ogimachi Village (Shirakawa-go)   255

User Feedback
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English Links
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
Official website.

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Okinawa Prefecture
Okinawa Honto

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