Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. © touristinjapan.com
Attractions, Okinawa

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

Churaumi Aquarium in Okinawa is the largest aquarium in Japan, and the third-largest in the world (2020). The main attraction is the massive Kuroshio Sea tank, which is home to two whale sharks and numerous species of manta rays, including the giant oceanic manta ray. Churaumi has a total of 77 tanks, and has unique exhibitions on deep sea life, corals and sharks.

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Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is located in the Okinawa Ocean Expo Park, an area which was developed for the 1975 world fair. The years following the world fair saw limited use of the park area, and an initiative was taken to redevelop the area to attract tourism. An aquarium had already existed in this area before, but the much larger and brand new Churaumi Aquarium was built and opened in 2002.

The main attraction is undoubtedly the massive Kuroshio Sea tank containing 7,500,000 liters / 1,980,000 gal. of sea water. A huge panel of 60cm thick acrylic glass allows visitors to look into the tank, and observe the two large whale sharks, numerous species of manta rays and countless other large and small fish which roam around in the tank. The tank is constantly fed with fresh seawater, pumped in from the depths of the nearby sea.

Among Churaumi’s 77 tanks is the beautiful coral tank containing 80 types of living corals. This tank gives a unique look into the life of a coral reef, the first place in the world where this has been done on a larger scale. Other tanks of special interest are the deep sea tanks, dedicated to the special creatures which live at the oceans most extreme depths. Unusual forms of life can be found here, including Bioluminescent organisms such as the splitfin flashlightfish, the pineconefish and luminescent jellyfish.

There is also a shark research center, where you can learn more about sharks, and observe the large tank which is home to numerous species of sharks, like tiger sharks and bull sharks.

Planning your visit

Hours8:30 – 18:30 (oct-feb)
8:30 – 20:00 (mar-sep)
Last admission 1 hour before closing
Closed 1st wednesday and thursday of December
Entrance feeAdult: ¥1,880
Highschool students: ¥1,250
Elementary school: ¥620
Under 6 years: free
Reduced rates available after 16:00
Get ticketsgovoyagin or klook
AccommodationHotel Orion Motobu Resort & Spa ☆☆☆☆☆
Centurion Hotel Okinawa Churaumi ☆☆☆
Yukurina Resort Okinawa ☆☆☆
Chura Umi Coral Cabin
Okinawa Motobu Guest House ☆ (backpackers choice)
Find more hotels near Churaumi Aquarium…
Klook.com

Getting there

By bus from Nago: from Nago Bus Terminal, take bus 65, 66, 70 or 117 to the stop “Ishikawa Iriguchi [Motobucho]“. Alternatively, the Naha-Airport Limousine Bus can also be used.

Bus bus from Naha: from Naha Bus Terminal, take bus 117 to the stop “Kinen Koen mae” (2 hours 10 minutes). Alternatively, from “Naha Prefectural Office” you can take the Okinawa Airport Shuttle bus, or the Yanbaru Express bus. The Yanbaru Express also departs from the airport (2.5 hours).

🔗 Okinawa Bus website
🔗 Yanbaru Express website
🔗 Okinawa Airport Shuttle website

By car: from Naha and the southern part of the island, take the E58 expressway (toll road) to Nago. As the expressway ends, continue on route 58/71, and trace the coast line along route 449. From Naha it takes between 1.5-2.5 hours depending on traffic.
Mapcode: 553075797. Phone search: 0980-48-2741.

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