The Ocean Expo Park (海洋博公園, Kaiyōhakukōen) is a large park on the tip of the Motobu Peninsula in northern Okinawa Honto, which was built in 1976 to commemorate the Okinawa International Ocean Expo held there a year earlier. The park's main attraction is the Churaumi Aquarium, Japan's best aquarium.
The park stretches about three kilometers along the coast and is so extensive that small shuttle buses operate between the park's attractions at least twice per hour and for 200 yen for a 1-day pass or 100 yen for a one way journey. The various sites and facilities are also connected by attractive walking paths.
Apart from Churaumi Aquarium, there are a number of other interesting facilities in the park:
The spacious Oceanic Culture Museum, located just beside the park's central gate, exhibits ship replicas and other informative displays about ocean-based cultures from Asia and the South Pacific, including a giant replica of a Lakatoi canoe from Papua New Guinea and a trade ship used for travel between the Ryukyu Kingdom and other Asian countries. The museum also includes a planetarium.
Just next to the museum stands the Native Okinawan Village, a small open air museum with over twenty residences and other buildings from different time periods and regions of Okinawa. There is no admission fee and no staff, and visitors are free to wander between the buildings.
A variety of tropical plants can be seen across the Ocean Expo Park along the walking trails and in two arboretums. Furthermore, there is the Tropical Dream Center, a well maintained botanical garden with a wide range of tropical trees and plants in multiple greenhouses. The center also features a 36 meter tall observatory tower that resembles the Tower of Babel.
At the northern end of the Ocean Expo Park lies Emerald Beach, an attractive sand beach. Emerald Beach is divided into three separate areas that each face into a different direction: a beach for playing and swimming, a beach for resting and a beach for viewing.
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 Ocean Expo Park. 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 expo park.
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, 1.5 km from Naminoue Beach, Hotel Collective offers accommodation with a restaurant, private parking, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. Each accommodation at the 5-star hotel has city views and free WiFi. 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 kettle, a bidet, bathrobes and a desk. At the hotel every room has bed linen and towels. ? la carte and American 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 Yachimun Street, Shijo Hondori and Makishi Public Market. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 6 km from the hotel.View on Booking.com
Little Island Okinawa TomariSet in Naha, near Naminoue Beach, Tomarin - Tomari Port Terminal and Shijo Hondori, Little Island Okinawa Tomari features free WiFi. Accommodation is fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with shower, slippers and a hairdryer. A microwave, a fridge and stovetop are also featured, as well as a kettle. Tamaudun Mausoleum is 3.5 km from the aparthotel, while DFS Galleria Okinawa is 2.1 km away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 7 km from Little Island Okinawa Tomari.View on Booking.com
Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai StreetWell set in the Naha City Centre district of Naha, Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai Street is located 1.2 km from Naminoue Beach, 3.7 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum and 1.6 km from Yachimun Street. 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. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. Every room comes with air conditioning and a flat-screen TV, and certain units at the capsule hotel have a safety deposit box. At Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai Street rooms come with bed linen and towels. The accommodation offers 2-star accommodation with a sauna. DFS Galleria Okinawa is 2.7 km from Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai Street, while Sonohyan Utaki Stone Gate is 4.1 km away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 5 km from the capsule hotel.View on Booking.com
The Kitchen Hostel AoOffering air-conditioned rooms in the Naha City Centre district of Naha, The Kitchen Hostel Ao is less than 1 km from Naminoue Beach. The property is situated 4.1 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum, 2 km from Yachimun Street and 3.1 km from DFS Galleria Okinawa. The property features a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi is available throughout the property. At the hostel, the rooms include a desk. All rooms have a shared bathroom, slippers and bed linen. Guests at The Kitchen Hostel Ao can enjoy a ? la carte breakfast. Sonohyan Utaki Stone Gate is 5 km from the accommodation, while Shuri-jo Castle is 5 km from the property. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 5 km from The Kitchen Hostel Ao.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
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
Hyatt Regency Naha, OkinawaThe stylish Hyatt Regency Naha offers spacious rooms, free WiFi throughout the property and 4 restaurants. It is located just a 3-minute walk from the lively Kokusai Dori (International street) and features a seasonal outdoor pool, a bar and a small shop open 24-hours. The closest station is Makishi Station and is a 8-minute walk away. Make a visit to the famous Shurijo Castle with a 17-minute drive or take a 9-minute drive to the DFS Galleria Okinawa to enjoy shopping. Naha Airport can be reached with a 20-minute drive. The elegant rooms are decorated in light natural tones, and furnished with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a sofa and a desk. An electric kettle, a fridge and a safety deposit box is provided. The private bathroom comes with a bathtub, free toiletries and a hairdryer. The on-site restaurant Sakurazaka is open for breakfast and lunch hours and serves a buffet-style meal. The Milano restaurant, located on the 18th floor, features Italian dishes. Guests can also go to the caf? or the bar to enjoy light snacks and beverages. The Naha Hyatt Regency offers a 24-hour front desk and currency exchange. Parking is available at a fee.View on Booking.com
Condominium GOLF GOLF TsuboyaCondominium GOLF GOLF Tsuboya features city views, free WiFi and free private parking, located in Naha, 2.5 km from Naminoue Beach. Accommodation is fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchenette, a TV and a private bathroom with bidet, slippers and a hairdryer. A microwave, a fridge and stovetop are also provided, as well as a kettle. An American breakfast is available daily at the aparthotel. Popular points of interest near Condominium GOLF GOLF Tsuboya include Yachimun Street, Noren Central Market and Tsuboya Pottery Museum. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 6 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. Accommodation is fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with bath, a hairdryer and free toiletries. A microwave and fridge are also provided, as well as a kettle. Tamaudun Mausoleum is 6 km from the apartment, while Yachimun Street is 2.3 km away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 5 km from 美らガーナハウス壷川.View on Booking.com
Rembrandt Style NahaAttractively set in the Naha City Centre district of Naha, Rembrandt Style Naha is situated 800 metres from Naminoue Beach, 5 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum and 2.3 km from Naha Air Base. With a restaurant, the 2-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. The rooms in the hotel are fitted with a kettle. At Rembrandt Style Naha, rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV and a safety deposit box. Guests at the accommodation can enjoy a buffet breakfast. Speaking English and Japanese at the 24-hour front desk, staff are willing to help at any time of the day. Yachimun Street is 2.5 km from Rembrandt Style Naha, while DFS Galleria Okinawa is 3.1 km from the property. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 2 km from the hotel.View on Booking.com