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 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.
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 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.
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, 1-2 buses/hour). Note that about one out of three buses runs 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
Condominium Felicita NahaCondominium Felicita Naha is situated in the centre of Naha, just 3.3 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum and 1.4 km from DFS Galleria Okinawa. The apartment, set in a building dating from 2017, is 1.5 km from Yachimun Street and 3.5 km from Sonohyan Utaki Stone Gate. This air-conditioned apartment features 1 bedroom and a bathroom equipped with a bath and free toiletries. A flat-screen TV is featured. Off-site paid public parking is available nearby. Shuri-jo Castle is 3.7 km from the apartment. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 4 km from Condominium Felicita Naha.View on Booking.com
The LANAI HOSTELIn a prime location in the Naha City Centre district of Naha, The LANAI HOSTEL is located 2.1 km from Naminoue Beach, 2.4 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum and 1.4 km from DFS Galleria Okinawa. With a shared lounge, the 2-star hostel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. The accommodation provides a shared kitchen, and luggage storage for guests. The hostel offers a sun terrace. Popular points of interest near The LANAI HOSTEL include Yachimun Street, Sakaemachi Arcade and Tsuboya Pottery Museum. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 5 km from the accommodation.View on Booking.com
美らガーナハウス壷川Located in Naha, near Naminoue Beach, Manko Park and Okinawa Prefecture Government, 美らガーナハウス壷川 features free WiFi. All units are equipped with air conditioning, and some have a flat-screen TV, washing machine, a kettle, completed with a kitchen. Tamaudun Mausoleum is 6 km from the apartment, while Yachimun Street is 2.3 km away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 3 km from 美らガーナハウス壷川.View on Booking.com
La Passione Boutique B&BFeaturing free WiFi and a terrace, La Passione is a secluded bed and breakfast in Naha. Guests can take a 10-minute walk to Naha Kokusai Dori or go to Jogaku Park, a 4-minute walk from the property. Bicycle hire is available upon reservation. All rooms have an electric kettle and a refrigerator, while some rooms are equipped with a private bathroom. A hairdryer is provided on site. Extra amenities include face tissues, cotton buds, hand soap, body soap, hair shampoo and conditioners. Guests can enjoy Western-style breakfast at La Passione. Luggage storage is available on site. Tamaudun Mausoleum is 500 meters away from La Passione, while Makishi Public Market and Yachimun Street are both a 10-minute walk away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, a 20-minute taxi ride from the property.View on Booking.com
Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai StreetLocated within 1.2 km of Naminoue Beach and 3.7 km of Tamaudun Mausoleum, Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai Street provides rooms with air conditioning and a shared bathroom in Naha. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The capsule hotel features a sauna and luggage storage space. All units in the capsule hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV. Yachimun Street is 1.6 km from Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai Street, while DFS Galleria Okinawa is 2.7 km away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 4 km from the accommodation.View on Booking.com
Condominium GOLF GOLF TsuboyaLocated in Naha, 2.6 km from Naminoue Beach, Condominium GOLF GOLF Tsuboya provides accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking. The property is around 3.8 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum, 2.3 km from DFS Galleria Okinawa and 4.3 km from Sonohyan Utaki Stone Gate. Local points of interest like Shuri-jo Castle and Naha Air Base are reachable within 4.4 km and 6 km, respectively. All units are equipped with air conditioning, a microwave, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, a hairdryer and a wardrobe. At the hotel every room is equipped with a balcony, a private bathroom and a flat-screen TV. An American breakfast is available daily at Condominium GOLF GOLF Tsuboya. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Yachimun Street, Noren Central Market and Tsuboya Pottery Museum. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 5 km from Condominium GOLF GOLF Tsuboya.View on Booking.com
Hotel CollectiveHotel Collective features a restaurant, seasonal outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and bar in Naha. Each accommodation at the 5-star hotel has city views and free WiFi. The accommodation offers a 24-hour front desk, room service and currency exchange for guests. The units at the hotel feature air conditioning and a wardrobe. Continental and buffet breakfast options are available every morning at Hotel Collective. The wellness area at the accommodation is comprised of a sauna and a hot tub. Popular points of interest near Hotel Collective include Naminoue Beach, Yachimun Street and Shijo Hondori. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 4 km from the hotel.View on Booking.com
Villa Coast Nishimachi - Guesthouse in OkinawaLocated just a 7-minute drive from Naha Airport, Villa Coast Nishimachi houses self-contained accommodations with free WiFi connection. The apartment houses a shared lounge with drinks and snacks vending machines. Each room is fitted with a full kitchen with a microwave and a washing machine. All rooms have air conditioning, a working desk and a flat-screen TV. Featuring a bath, private bathroom comes with a shower, a hairdryer and free toiletries. From the apartment, a convenience store is within a 2-minute walk. There are numerous local restaurants and shops within 15 minutes walking distance around the apartment. Naminoue Beach is a 10-minute walk and Asahibashi Station is a 13-minute walk away.View on Booking.com
Grand Cabin Hotel Naha OrokuGrand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku is situated in Naha, within 2.1 km of Senaga Kaichu Road Beach and 8 km of Tamaudun Mausoleum. Featuring a shared lounge, the 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. Private parking is available on site. Guests at the hotel can enjoy a continental breakfast. The reception at Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku can provide tips on the area. Naha Air Base is 2.3 km from the accommodation, while Yachimun Street is 5 km from the property. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 1 km from Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku.View on Booking.com
HOTEL ANTEROOM NAHASet in Naha, 800 metres from Naminoue Beach, HOTEL ANTEROOM NAHA offers accommodation with a restaurant, private parking and a bar. This 3-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and a concierge service. The air-conditioned rooms provide a sea view and come with a desk and free WiFi. At the hotel, all rooms are fitted with a balcony. All guest rooms in HOTEL ANTEROOM NAHA are fitted with a flat-screen TV and free toiletries. Guests at the accommodation can enjoy a ? la carte or an American breakfast. Tamaudun Mausoleum is 6 km from HOTEL ANTEROOM NAHA, while DFS Galleria Okinawa is 3.2 km from the property. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 4 km from the hotel.View on Booking.com