Many visitors be it local or international especially children barely able to contain their excitement when visiting the famed Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, one of the first largest aquarium in the world.
Okinawa ☼ Churaumi Aquarium.
Many visitors be it local or international especially children barely able to contain their excitement when visiting the famed Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, one of the first largest aquarium in the world. Coupled with the sun and seabreeze of the island the mood and high expectations are set, it is one of the major attraction when visiting Okinawa. Located within The Ocean Expo Park in Motobu Peninsula, northern Okinawa Honto. The name derives from Chura means beautiful in the local Okinawan dialect and umi means sea, hence Okinawan Churaumi Aquarium opened its doors on 1st November 2002. A myriad of sea life awaits your discovery.
With smart architecture the aquarium is built with the idea of starting from the most highest floor till the lowest. Upon arrival its “star” a whaleshark sculpture greets you. By passing the sculpture, you will encounter the Uminchu Gate (“fisherman” in Okinawan dialect). Taking the escalator down to the 3rd floor, the experience begins with being greeted with a beautiful sight of Coral sea and the Sea of Tropical Fish. Children usually spend a little longer time here at the “Inoh” pool area due to the sensory delight in touching seashells and starfish in the shallow pool. You will see smiles and hear squeals of laughter ……
Descending further from the 3rd floor to the 2nd floor, you will be wowed by the largest tank at 7,500 sq meter – the Kuroshio Sea. Named after the current responsible in enriching the sea life of Okinawan islands, the Kuroshio current. The tank will continue to reach the end on the 1st floor! This is where its star residences are housed. See the gentle giants Jinta the whale shark and his partner glide past, as well as a school of Manta rays slowly “flying” around the Kuroshio sea. Besides its giants, there is a school of sardines and a busy colourful traffic of other fishes. Simply magically. Adults and children a like are enraptured once behold. The sharks are kept separate, of course! The Shark Research Lab centre where one can understand more on its life and habits.
Do you know the Churaumi Aquarium have received many awards for being able to successfully breed new manta babies and dolphins? No easy feat in an enclosed area.
There is also a “Cafe Ocean Blue” on the 2nd floor, should you get hungry mid-way through your exploration. Dine in with a view of Kuroshio Sea. You may even spot Jinta the whale shark swimming by!
Upon reaching the 1st floor which is also the exit floor, you will meet Okinawans deep sea residences. Deep see critters which lives as deep as 700 meters below the waters. Upon exiting the aquarium, head to the Manatee Pool where the West Indian Manatee gifted by the Mexican government. Yuma the female manatee was born in 2001 here.
Finally don’t forget to purchase some souvenirs to remind you of the magical moment. A place for both adults and children a like.