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The Ocean Expo Park (Cm, 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 buses run on several routes around the grounds for 300 yen per ride or 500 yen for a 1-day pass. 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 by the Ryukyu Kingdom. The museum also includes a planetarium.

Just next to the museum stands the Native Okinawan Village, a small open air museum with over 20 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 around.

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.

Getting there and around

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

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 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 (k, 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 (LOO) 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 expo park.

By car

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).

How to get to and around Okinawa Honto

Hours and Fees

Hours

Closed

Admission

Typical Visit Duration

Hotels around Okinawa Island

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      Set in Naha, 1.8 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 3.5 km from the accommodation, while Nakagusuku Castle is 19 km away. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 5 km from Hotel Collective.
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    • The Kitchen Hostel Ao
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