Japan (Japan)

Languages: Japanese

Currencies: JPY · Japanese yen (¥)

Capitol: Tokyo

Continents: Asia

More useful information

Area: 377,930km2

Population: 125,836,021

Traffic/driving side: left

Landlocked country: No

Independent country: Yes

United Nations member: Yes

IDD Prefix: +81

Timezones: UTC+09:00

Last updated on July 5, 2024

Watching whale sharks in Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is a great opportunity to witness the majestic beauty of these gentle giants up close and personal.

The main attraction of the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is undoubtedly the whale shark tank. However I was amazed with the amazing underwater world presented in Aquarium exhibition. The tank with whale sharks is giant, it’s holding an impressive volume of water offering not only an overwhelming view of these magnificent creatures gliding effortlessly through the crystal-clear waters but also an opportunity to dive along them! 

Where is Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium?

Churaumi Aquarium is situated in the beautiful Japanese Okinawa island. Churaumi Aquarium is a must-visit for anyone seeking an extraordinary experience. As you step into the aquarium, you’ll be greeted by the sheer grandeur of the massive tanks and glass tunnels that house all kind of biodiversity including the remarkable whale sharks. These graceful creatures, known for their peaceful nature provide an unforgettable spectacle for visitors.

Watching whale sharks in Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.

How to get to Okinawa island?

Okinawa is a Japanese island in the East China Sea, which stretches across more than 1,000 kilometers from northeast to southwest. The islands are best known for its history, watching whale sharks in Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, undenyable natural beauty and stunning coral reef.

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is a second largest aquarium in the world, which located in the north-west part of main Okinawa island in the National Government Park (Ocean Expo Park). While you can still sail the ocean, the easiest, fastest and most convenient way to get there is to take a flight. One of the cheapest flights are from Tokyo, I booked all my flights on TRIP.COM. if booked in advance one-way ticket costs as low as 100$. 

Ray in aquarium

Explore Okinawa Island.

Just like thre whole Japan, Okinawa is very foreign friendly. Naha is the capital city of Okinawa, where the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is located. The fact that the island was under American administration until 1972 has huge consequences. 

Almost everything feels American style – shops, restaurants, the village hosts part of a U.S. military base (don’t be surprised with F16 fighter jets cutting the sky above your head).

Beaches and costline around the island are magnificent. Lagoon beaches are located only a short walk from the aquarium. Enjoy walking while feeling the nature of Okinawa and the cobalt blue sea and the islands.

There are many great things to do in Okinawa Island, aquarium is just one of it. One of the most popular tour is Guided snorkeling in a blue cave (gear & photo coverage included).

You can also take a full day snorkeling experience in the Kerama islands.

Watching whale sharks in Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium!

The aquarium is devoted to preservation of countless species, including one of the largest species of manta rays in the world and whale shark. It is the experience the visitors will never forget, regardless the age. 🙂 

Walking through long underwater glass tunnels it feels surreal to be surrounded by all the sea creatures, huge smiling mantas and coral reef exhibits. You can look in the eyes of the strangest sea creaters from a very close perspective.

For those who prefer to stay dry, the aquarium offers panoramic viewing areas that provide an uninterrupted view of the whale sharks and other marine life. 

You can watch whale sharks making their way around the tank, occasionally catching a feeding session.

Watching whale sharks in Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium ticket price.

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium ticket price is:

Adult: 2,180yen (around 15 USD).

Children: 1,440yen (free for children under 6).

Watching whale sharks in Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.

Okinawa Ocean Expo Park.

Apart from watching whale sharks in Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, the ocean park is home to a diverse array of marine species, including coral reefs, playful dolphins and incredible variety of fish. Exploring the different exhibits within the aquarium offers a comprehensive understanding of the rich marine life that inhabits the waters of Okinawa.

What’s very inetersting Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium provides valuable educational opportunities for visitors. Informative sessions and interactive displays offer insights into marine conservation and the importance of preserving the delicate balance of our oceans. For someone with a huge passion for the environment, these educational aspects add a deeper layer of meaning to everyones visit.

How to get to the Okinawa churaumi aquarium?

Taking a bus is a very convenient way to get to the aquarium. FROM Hub Park: you need to take bus no 83 from Naha Bus Terminal (Centre) and stop at Gyokusendo-mae. It takes about 60 minutes from Naha and costs 580Y.

Watching whale sharks in Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.

Are there coral reefs in Okinawa?

Okinawa Island is surrounded by incredible coral reefs, which can be easily explored in clean warm waters. Actually Okinawa is one of the world’s most coral-diverse regions. Best diving experience can be obtained around following islands: Kerama island, Tonaki, Iheya and Izena. 

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Visiting the secong largest aquarium in the world is a unique experience and I would recommend to secure all day for this trip. The aquarium  is a mix of adventure and discovery. Surely the biggest atraction remaind watching whale sharks in Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, however walking along nearby beaches was equally rewarding. The coral reef is easily visible from the shore. Lagoon waters are stunning, the coastal walk is relaxing and quiet, including amazing views of surrounding islands.

Read also:

Top things to do in Asakusa district in Tokyo.

Things to do in Meiji Jingu Shrine.

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Sassari Sardinia

Hey - I'm Eva!

Hiker, adventurous traveler and the author of this blog. My biggest joy is mountaineering and writing reportage travel stories here on this blog, to help you create a unique travel experience. Traveling is freedom, allows you seeing the world truly, meet communities, grow. Taste it!

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