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
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. At the hostel every room is fitted with bed linen and towels. The LANAI HOSTEL offers a sun terrace. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Yachimun Street, Sakaemachi Arcade and Tsuboya Pottery Museum. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 5 km from The LANAI HOSTEL.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 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. Continental and ? la carte 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
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. Private parking can be arranged at an extra charge. All units in the capsule hotel are equipped with a flat-screen TV. At Y's CABIN&HOTEL Naha Kokusai Street every room comes with bed linen and towels. The accommodation offers 2-star accommodation with a sauna. 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 capsule hotel.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, 3 km from 美らガーナハウス壷川.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. All rooms have a safety deposit box. Guests at the hotel can enjoy a continental breakfast. Staff at Grand Cabin Hotel Naha Oroku are available to provide advice at the 24-hour front desk. 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
Condominium GOLF GOLF TsuboyaLocated in Naha, 2.5 km from Naminoue Beach, Condominium GOLF GOLF Tsuboya provides accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking. The property is situated 3.8 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum, 2.3 km from DFS Galleria Okinawa and 4.3 km from Sonohyan Utaki Stone Gate. Every room is equipped with a balcony. All units are equipped with air conditioning, a microwave, a fridge, a kettle, a bidet, slippers and a wardrobe. The private bathroom is equipped with a shower, a hairdryer and free toiletries. The rooms will provide guests with a stovetop. An American breakfast is available daily at the hotel. 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, 5 km from the accommodation.View on Booking.com
Nest Hotel Naha KumojiIdeally situated in the Naha City Centre district of Naha, Nest Hotel Naha Kumoji is situated less than 1 km from Naminoue Beach, 3.3 km from Tamaudun Mausoleum and 1.3 km from Yachimun Street. Boasting a 24-hour front desk, this property also provides guests with a restaurant. Private parking is available on site. The rooms in the hotel are fitted with a kettle. All rooms will provide guests with air conditioning, a safety deposit box and a flat-screen TV. Popular points of interest near Nest Hotel Naha Kumoji include DFS Galleria Okinawa, Tomarin - Tomari Port Terminal and Fukushu-en Garden. The nearest airport is Naha Airport, 4 km from the accommodation.View on Booking.com