The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is the central attraction at Ocean Expo Park. Based on the theme“ Encounters with the Sea of Okinawa ”, the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium showcases the rich nature of Okinawa's marine environment and strives to create a place where the People can get to know the diversity of marine life in the Kuroshio Sea around these southern islands.Because in the Okinawa dialect "chura" means "beautiful" and "umi" means "sea", the Churaumi Aquarium bears this name.
The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium was the first aquarium in the world that managed to raise and breed Manta Alfredi, one of the largest species of rays. They also managed to breed a number of whale sharks.
The highlight of the aquarium is a huge pool, which offers a perfect view through an acrylic window that is 8.2 meters high, 22.5 meters wide and 60 centimeters thick. There you can see whale sharks with a length of 8.8 m, manta rays and a variety of fish swimming.
Two hours by car from Naha Airport, or three hours by express bus.
While in Okinawa I stayed at the Motobu Green-Park Hotel. The hotel is on a hilltop surrounded by a nearby golf course and the ocean. The panoramic views from the hotel were stunning. From the balcony of my room I could see the blue ocean and also Sesoko island and the bridge that connects this island with Okinawa. Seasonal rain likely curtailed a view much more breathtaking but it was still amazing.
The Oceanic Cultural Museum was originally part of the 1975 World Exposition, to celebrate the importance of the oceans to mankind. The highlight of that expo was the Aquapolis, a floating city which was designed to show how humans could live harmoniously on the ocean.