The Churaumi Aquarium (美ら海水族館, 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 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.
Past the Kuroshio Tank 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 bioluminescent fish.
Outside of the main aquarium building, there are a few outdoor pools near the waterfront where shows of dolphins, sea turtles and manatees can be viewed for free.
By direct bus from Naha
The Okinawa Airport Shuttle, the Yanbaru Express and bus line 117 directly connect the airport and city center of Naha with the Churaumi Aquarium. The one way trip takes a little over two hours and costs 1900-2000 yen on the Okinawa Airport Shuttle and the Yanbaru Express and 2440-2550 yen on bus 117. There are 1-2 buses per hour. In central Naha, the Airport Shuttle and Yanbaru Express stop at the Prefectural Office (県庁北口, Kenchō Kitaguchi) while bus 117 stops at the Naha Bus Terminal. Discounted round trip tickets are available through Klook.
By bus from Nago
Most buses along the lines 65 and 66 connect Nago with the Kinen Kōen-mae (記念公園前) bus stop in front of the Ocean Expo Park (50 minutes, 900 yen one way, hourly). Note that a few buses run on a slightly different route that does not serve the aquarium.
By car, take the Okinawa Expressway from Naha all the way to its northern end near Nago (1040 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).
Typical Visit Duration
Hotel CollectiveSet in Naha, 1.9 km from Naminoue Beach, Hotel Collective offers accommodation with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, private parking, a fitness centre and a restaurant. Each accommodation at the 5-star hotel has city views, and guests can enjoy access to a sauna and a hot tub. The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, a concierge service and currency exchange for guests. The units come with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a coffee machine, a bidet, free toiletries and a desk. At the hotel every room has bed linen and towels. Guests at Hotel Collective can enjoy a buffet breakfast. Tamaudun Mausoleum is 3.7 km from the accommodation, while Sefa Utaki is 20 km away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 5 km from Hotel Collective.View on Booking.com
The Kitchen Hostel AoIdeally situated in Naha, The Kitchen Hostel Ao features a ? la carte breakfast and free WiFi throughout the property. This 1-star hostel has air-conditioned rooms with a shared bathroom. The property is non-smoking and is situated 1.2 km from Naminoue Beach. All rooms will provide guests with a desk and a kettle. Speaking English and Japanese, staff at the 24-hour front desk can help you plan your stay. Tamaudun Mausoleum is 4.7 km from the hostel, while Nakagusuku Castle is 20 km from the property. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 4 km from The Kitchen Hostel Ao.View on Booking.com
Little Island Okinawa TomariSet in Naha in the Okinawa region, with Naminoue Beach and Yachimun Street nearby, Little Island Okinawa Tomari offers accommodation with free WiFi. Accommodation is fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with shower, free toiletries and a hairdryer. A fridge, a microwave and stovetop are also featured, as well as a kettle. Tamaudun Mausoleum is 3.7 km from the aparthotel, while Nakagusuku Castle is 17 km away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 5 km from Little Island Okinawa Tomari.View on Booking.com
Hotel Torifito Naha AsahibashiWell located in the centre of Naha, Hotel Torifito Naha Asahibashi provides buffet breakfast and free WiFi throughout the property. Built in 2019, this 3-star hotel is within 1 km of Naminoue Beach and 5.1 km of Tamaudun Mausoleum. Private parking is available on site. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms offering a desk, a kettle, a fridge, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bidet. At Hotel Torifito Naha Asahibashi each room is fitted with bed linen and towels. Languages spoken at the reception include English, Japanese, Korean and Cantonese. Nakagusuku Castle is 20 km from the accommodation, while Sefa Utaki is 23 km away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 4 km from Hotel Torifito Naha Asahibashi.View on Booking.com
HOTEL ANTEROOM NAHASet in Naha and with Naminoue Beach reachable within 1 km, HOTEL ANTEROOM NAHA offers concierge services, non-smoking rooms, a restaurant, free WiFi throughout the property and a bar. This 4-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk. Private parking is available on site. At the hotel, all rooms are fitted with a balcony with a sea view. All guest rooms will provide guests with air conditioning, a safety deposit box and a flat-screen TV. The daily breakfast offers ? la carte, American or Asian options. Tamaudun Mausoleum is 5.6 km from HOTEL ANTEROOM NAHA, while Nakagusuku Castle is 19 km from the property. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 4 km from the accommodation.View on Booking.com
Nest Hotel Naha KumojiIdeally situated in the centre of Naha, Nest Hotel Naha Kumoji features air-conditioned rooms, a terrace and a restaurant. This 4-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space. Private parking is available on site. The rooms have a kettle, a flat-screen TV and a safety deposit box, while some rooms are fitted with a balcony and some have city views. At the hotel rooms come with bed linen and towels. A buffet breakfast is available each morning at Nest Hotel Naha Kumoji. Naminoue Beach is 1.4 km from the accommodation, while Tamaudun Mausoleum is 3.8 km from the property. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 5 km from Nest Hotel Naha Kumoji.View on Booking.com
Rihga Royal Gran OkinawaOffering direct access from Asahibashi Monorail Station, Rihga Royal Gran Okinawa features spacious Western-style accommodations with free WiFi. Guests can ask for concierge services at the front desk. All rooms are non-smoking and feature air conditioning, a flat-screen satellite TV, safety deposit box and fridge. Guests can make green tea using the electric kettle and wear the provided sleepwear. The en suite bathroom comes with a hairdryer and toothbrush sets. Currency exchange and photocopying services are offered at the front desk. Laundry services are provided and on-site parking is available at an extra charge. The lobby is located on the 14th floor. A breakfast buffet and Western a la carte dishes are served at Dining 19, which offers beautiful sunset views from the top floor. Okinawa Gran Rihga Royal is a 10-minute walk from Kokusai Street and a 25-minute drive from Shuri Castle. Naha Airport is just a 10-minute drive or train ride away. A 24-hour convenience shop can be found next door.View on Booking.com
Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai StreetWell set in Naha, Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai Street provides air-conditioned rooms, a shared lounge, free WiFi and a restaurant. This 2-star capsule hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage space. Private parking is available on site. The rooms in the capsule hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV. All units at Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai Street are equipped with a shared bathroom and bed linen. The accommodation offers 2-star accommodation with a sauna. Naminoue Beach is 1.4 km from Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai Street, while Tamaudun Mausoleum is 4.3 km away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 5 km from the capsule hotel.View on Booking.com
Tokyu Stay Okinawa NahaBoasting a garden, a shared lounge as well as a restaurant, Tokyu Stay Okinawa Naha is situated in the centre of Naha, 1.9 km from Naminoue Beach. With free WiFi, this 4-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and a concierge service. The property is non-smoking and is set 5 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum. The hotel will provide guests with air-conditioned rooms offering a wardrobe, a kettle, a fridge, a microwave, a safety deposit box, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with a bath. At Tokyu Stay Okinawa Naha rooms include bed linen and towels. The daily breakfast offers buffet, American or Asian options. Sefa Utaki is 21 km from the accommodation, while Nakagusuku Castle is 22 km from the property. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 3 km from Tokyu Stay Okinawa Naha.View on Booking.com
Rembrandt Style NahaSituated in the centre of Naha, Rembrandt Style Naha is set 1 km from Naminoue Beach and 5.9 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum. With a restaurant, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. Private parking is available on site. All guest rooms in the hotel are equipped with a kettle. The rooms in Rembrandt Style Naha are fitted with a flat-screen TV and free toiletries. A buffet breakfast is available each morning at the accommodation. Speaking English and Japanese at the 24-hour front desk, staff are willing to help at any time of the day. Nakagusuku Castle is 20 km from Rembrandt Style Naha, while Sefa Utaki is 23 km from the property. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 4 km from the hotel.View on Booking.com