Ultimate Guide to Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium: Everything You Need to Know

Apr 23, 2024


  • Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium opening hours
  • How to go to Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
  • Best time to go to Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
  • What to eat at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
  • Things to do at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
  • Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium Map
  • Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium Attractions
    • 1. Kuroshio Sea Tank
    • 2. Coral Sea Tank
    • 3. The Deep Sea Exhibit
    • 4. Shark Research Lab
    • 5. Dolphin Lagoon
    • 6. Sea Turtle Pool
    • 7. Manatee Pool
    • 8. Tropical Dream Center
    • 9. Oceanic Culture Museum
    • 10. Interactive Experiences
  • Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium Annual Pass
  • Other Attractions in Okinawa
  • Show More


Located within the Ocean Expo Park in Okinawa, as one of Japan's most spectacular aquariums, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is home to a diverse range of marine life. With its captivating exhibits, and interactive activities, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is a must-visit destination for ocean lovers of all ages. This article offers popular attractions of Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, transport options to the aquarim, and everything you need to know!

Book Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium Tickets from $14.04!

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium opening hours

Source: from Okinawa Churaumi offical website

In off season, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium opens from 8:30 to 18:30. In peak season, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium opens from 8:30~20:00/8:30~21:00. It's recommended to check the official website for the most accurate information. Visitors can also call +81-980-48-3748 for the detail.

Address: 424 Ishikawa, Motobu-cho, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa Prefecture


Source: from Okinawa Churaumi offical website

To visit the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, you will first need to get to Okinawa Island. The most common entry point to Okinawa is Naha, which has an airport (Naha Airport) serving both domestic and international flights.

Route: From Naha Airport, you can rent a car and drive north on the Okinawa Expressway towards Nago, then follow signs to the Motobu Peninsula where the aquarium is located.
Travel Time: Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.
Cost: Car rental rates vary widely depending on the type of car and rental company, but you can expect to pay around $40 to $60 USD per day for a basic car. The expressway toll will cost around $10 USD.

Route: Take the Yanbaru Express Bus or the Okinawa Bus from Naha Bus Terminal to Nago Bus Terminal, then transfer to a local bus that goes to the Ocean Expo Park, where the aquarium is situated.
Travel Time: Around 3 to 4 hours in total.
Cost: The express bus from Naha to Nago costs about $15 to $20 USD, and the local bus from Nago to the aquarium costs around $3 to $5 USD.

Route: Many travel agencies offer day tours to the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium from Naha, which include transportation and admission fees.
Travel Time: Full-day tours usually last about 6 to 8 hours including travel and sightseeing time.
Cost: Tours can range from $50 to $100 USD or more, depending on the inclusions.

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Best time to go to Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

The best time to visit the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium can depend on a variety of factors, including weather, crowd levels, and special events. Here are some factors to help you plan your visit:

1. Weather: Okinawa has a subtropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. The best weather is typically from October to May, when it is less humid and the temperatures are more comfortable. The rainy season usually occurs from May to June, and typhoon season is from June to November. Visiting outside of these periods can ensure better weather conditions.

2. Crowd Levels: The aquarium can get quite crowded, especially during Japanese national holidays, school vacations, and weekends. To avoid the crowds, consider visiting on a weekday and avoiding Japanese public holidays and school vacation periods.

3. Special Events: The aquarium occasionally hosts special events, exhibitions, or seasonal activities that might enhance your visit. Check the official Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium website or contact the aquarium directly to find out if there are any upcoming events during your planned visit.

4. Time of Day: To avoid crowds and enjoy a more relaxed experience, consider visiting the aquarium early in the morning right when it opens or later in the afternoon when the tour groups have typically left.

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What to eat at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

Source: from Okinawa Churaumi offical website

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium offers diverse dining options that cater to a wide range of tastes. Here are several popular restaurants:

Popular restaurants Operating Time Introduction
Ocean Blue cafe 8:30-18:00 Have a relaxing time watching whale sharks, manta rays while enjoying light meals like spaghetti Napolitano and taco rice.
Okichan Parlor 10:00~17:30 Locally sourced fried chicken, tropical beverages and light meals are available.
Inoh restaurant Morning: 9:00~10:00
Lunch: 11:00~15:00
A la carte: 15:30~17:30
Serves meals featuring Okinawan dishes accompanied by a view overlooking the East China Sea.
Cafe "More Mare" 10:00-17:00 More means dance in the Okinawan language, and Mare means ocean in Italian.

Things to do at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, located within the Ocean Expo Park in Okinawa, Japan, is one of the largest aquariums in the world and offers a variety of exhibits and activities across its multiple floors. Here's a guide to what you might expect to find on each floor:

Destination Things to do Highlight
1F Deep Sea World, Coral Lagoon, Sea of Tropical Fish, Kuroshio Sea Approx. 150 species of deep-sea marine creatures that are rarely seen.
2F Aqua Room, Shark Research Lab, Tropical Dream Center, Churaumi Theater Learn about the life and habits of sharks.
3F The Coral Sea, The Sea of Tropical Fish, Coral Reef World Various species of coral, colorful tropical fish, and spiny lobsters
4F Whale Shark Sculpture, Uminchu Gate, Event Hall , Shop Blue Manta A Journey to Amazing Encounters and Discoveries
Learn more about Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium!

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium Map

Source: from Okinawa Churaumi offical website

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium offers various exhibits and activities on every floor. From the map, visitors can view a wide range of attractions (marked with different colors), which offers great convenience to customers. Visitors can also find the facilities from the map, including restrooms, nursing rooms, first-aid stations, etc.

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium Attractions

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium offers a wide range of attractions that showcase the diverse marine life of the surrounding waters and beyond. Here are some popular attractions at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium:

This is the main attraction of the aquarium and one of the largest tanks in the world. It holds 7,500 cubic meters of water and features a massive acrylic glass panel, offering a clear view of the marine life inside.

This tank is dedicated to showcasing the vibrant and diverse coral reefs found in Okinawa's waters. It is one of the few tanks in the world that successfully maintains live coral, providing a glimpse into the complex ecosystems that corals support.

Coral Sea Tank

Source: from Okinawa Churaumi offical website

This exhibit focuses on the mysterious creatures that inhabit the deep sea, including bioluminescent fish and other unique species adapted to the dark and high-pressure environment of the ocean depths.

Visitors can learn about the different species of sharks and their importance to the marine ecosystem. The lab also provides information on the ongoing research and conservation efforts to protect these often misunderstood creatures.

Shark Research Lab

Source: from Okinawa Churaumi offical website

Here, guests can observe dolphins in their naturalistic habitat and watch as they perform jumps and other behaviors during scheduled shows.

This area is dedicated to the conservation of sea turtles, providing a sanctuary for injured or sick turtles and educating the public about these ancient mariners.

Visitors can see the gentle and endangered West Indian manatees as they swim gracefully in their tank.

Although not part of the aquarium itself, this nearby botanical garden features tropical flowers and fruit trees, offering a nice complement to the marine exhibits.

This museum, also part of the Ocean Expo Park, showcases the maritime history and culture of the Pacific Islands, providing context to the marine life on display at the aquarium.

The aquarium offers touch pools and interactive zones where visitors can get up close with starfish, sea cucumbers, and other marine creatures.

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Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium Annual Pass
Adults (18+) Approx. $28.20 (4,360yen)
Students (16-17) Approx. $18.63 (2,880yen)
Child (7-15) Approx. $9.18 (1,420yen)
Annual Pass New Holder Benefits 5% discount at all shops, cafés and restaurants
Use the trolley for free
Half-price admission to the Tropical Dream Center
Benefits for Holders of Renewed Annual Pass 10% discount at all shops, cafés and restaurants
Half-price admission to the Tropical Dream Center
Monthly drawing for three visitors to win originally designed aquarium merchandise

Ocean Expo Park

Attractions Sightseeing Time Highlights Price Check Details
Ocean Expo Park 2-3 hour National park, world-class greenhouse Free Check Now!
American Village 3 hour A comprehensive cultural and commercial facility Free Check Now!
Shurijo Castle 1-2 hour One of the UNESCO World Heritage From $2.60 Check Now!
Okinawa Zoo & Museum 2-3 hour A great destination for families and sure to entertain the kids From $2.95 Check Now!
Ryukyu Mura 1-2 hour A theme park that embodies Okinawan culture. From $3.89 Check Now!

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