About Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

One of the largest aquariums in the world can be found in the Japanese island of Okinawa, and its name is the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. The aquarium first opened its doors in 2002 and is home to a vast array of marine life, such as dolphins, whale sharks, manta rays, and a range of fish and coral species. The primary tank at the aquarium is known as the Kuroshio Sea, and it has a capacity of 7,500 cubic meters of water. It also houses several whale sharks, which are a popular attraction at the facility. The Sea of Coral exhibit at the aquarium showcases a significant collection of living coral and is one of the many displays within the aquarium that highlight the marine ecosystems of Okinawa and the surrounding region. The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is a well-liked location for vacationers, and it is well-known for the research and conservation work that it does to safeguard marine life.

Hisotry timeline of Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

  • 1975: The Tropical & Subtropical Fisheries Research Center, which later became the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, is established.
  • 1980: The center begins conducting research on the breeding and cultivation of marine organisms, including coral and tropical fish.
  • 1997: Construction of the aquarium is completed, and it opens to the public on November 1. At the time, it is the largest aquarium in the world, with a main tank holding 7,500 cubic meters of water.
  • 2002: The aquarium introduces whale sharks into the main tank, making it one of the few aquariums in the world to successfully keep the species in captivity.
  • 2005: The aquarium adds a “Kuroshio Sea” exhibit, which features a larger tank that holds 10,000 cubic meters of water and is home to multiple whale sharks.
  • 2010: The aquarium undergoes a major renovation, which includes the addition of a new entrance and a revamped main tank with a larger viewing area.
  • 2018: The aquarium introduces a new exhibit called “The Sea of Coral,” which showcases a variety of coral species and their ecosystems.
  • 2021: The aquarium celebrates its 24th anniversary on November 1

How to reach Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium may be found in Okinawa, Japan’s Motobu neighborhood. The following are some of the access points to the aquarium:

By Car: If you have access to a car, the Okinawa Expressway can take you to the aquarium, and you can get there by driving there. It takes approximately two hours to reach the aquarium when departing from Naha, which is Okinawa’s capital city.

By public bus: Several different bus companies in Okinawa provide routes that lead to the aquarium from a variety of different areas on the island. The most time- and cost-efficient method is to take the Yanbaru Express Bus, which departs from the Naha Bus Terminal and arrives at the aquarium in around two hours and fifty minutes.

By Taxi: Taxis are readily available across Okinawa, however the cost of this mode of transportation may be significantly more than that of using the bus or driving oneself.

By tour bus: many different tour companies offer bus trips that stop at the aquarium as part of their itineraries. If you wish to see other places of interest in the vicinity as well, this may be a practical choice for you to consider.

Attractions in Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium offers a wide range of attractions and exhibits. Here are some of the top attractions you can see at the aquarium:

  1. Kuroshio Sea: The aquarium’s main tank, which holds 7,500 cubic meters of water and is home to multiple whale sharks, manta rays, and other large fish species.
  2. Sea of Coral: An exhibit showcasing a variety of coral species and their ecosystems.
  3. Okichan Theater: A dolphin show featuring the aquarium’s resident dolphins, including a rare albino dolphin named “Churaumi-chan”.
  4. Tropical Dream Center: A botanical garden and orchid greenhouse located near the aquarium, featuring a wide variety of tropical flowers and plants.
  5. Touch Pool: A hands-on exhibit where visitors can touch and interact with a variety of small marine animals such as starfish, sea cucumbers, and crabs.
  6. Oceanic Culture Museum: A museum showcasing the history and culture of the ocean and the people of Okinawa.
  7. Marine Life Rehabilitation Center: A facility dedicated to rehabilitating and releasing injured marine animals back into the wild.

The aquarium also offers various events and activities throughout the year, such as guided tours, feeding demonstrations, and workshops.

Do's and Dont's at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when visiting the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium:


  1. Do take the time to explore all of the exhibits and attractions at the aquarium, including the Kuroshio Sea, Sea of Coral, and the Okichan Theater.
  2. Do follow the rules and regulations of the aquarium, which are designed to protect the marine animals and their habitats.
  3. Do take advantage of the opportunities to learn about marine life and conservation efforts at the aquarium, which is a hub of scientific research.
  4. Do be respectful of the marine animals and their habitats, and follow the guidelines for interacting with them.
  5. Do wear comfortable shoes and clothing, as there is a lot of walking involved in exploring the aquarium.


  1. Don’t use flash photography, as it can be harmful to the animals and their habitats.
  2. Don’t touch the marine animals, as it can be harmful to them and to you.
  3. Don’t litter or throw any objects into the tanks, as this can harm the animals and their habitats.
  4. Don’t feed the animals, as they have specific diets that are carefully monitored by the aquarium staff.
  5. Don’t bring in any outside food or drinks, as there are designated areas for eating and drinking within the aquarium.

Statistics of Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

Here are some statistics about the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium:

  1. The aquarium opened in 2002 and is located in the Motobu district of Okinawa, Japan.
  2. The main tank, called the Kuroshio Sea, holds 7,500 cubic meters of water and is one of the largest in the world.
  3. The aquarium has a total of 77 tanks and exhibits, showcasing over 700 different species of marine life.
  4. The Sea of Coral exhibit is one of the largest coral reef exhibits in the world, holding over 2,000 coral colonies and 200 species of fish.
  5. The aquarium has a research and conservation center on site, which conducts scientific research on marine life and works to protect endangered species.
  6. The aquarium is visited by over 3 million people each year, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Okinawa and in Japan.
  7. The aquarium is also home to a marine animal hospital, which provides medical care for injured marine animals and releases them back into the wild when they are ready.
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

Frequently asked questions about Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

What makes Okinawa's Churaumi Aquarium so special?
The Mobula alfredi ray is one of the largest species of rays, and the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium was the first aquarium in the world to be successful in growing and breeding the species. Visitors are able to admire the immense and exquisite beauty of these manta rays thanks to our massive tank, which is continually refilled with clean seawater.
Which of the Okinawa aquarium's tanks has the most water?
The tank, which is so big that it is known as the "Kuroshio Sea," can contain the whale shark, which can measure up to 8.8 meters in length, as well as manta rays and numerous species of rare fish. The thickness of the acrylic glass in the tank is sixty centimeters, and the water volume of the tank is seven thousand five hundred tons.
How much water does the Churaumi Aquarium Hold?
It has a capacity of 7,500,000 liters (1,981,000 US gal) of water and features an acrylic glass panel that measures 8.2 by 22.5 meters (27 by 74 ft) and has a thickness of 60 centimeters (two feet). At the time that the aquarium was opened, this panel was the largest of its kind in the world.
What is the total number of whale sharks that reside in Churaumi Aquarium?
The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is home to two whale sharks, one male and one female. One of our primary objectives is to accomplish successful reproduction of these whale sharks, which has not previously been done at any aquarium anywhere in the globe.
What Churaumi means?
Churaumi means beautiful pure ocean.
What is the opening time of Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium ?
The opening time of Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is 8:30 AM
what is the closing time of Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium ?
The closing time of Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is 6:30 AM