Perhaps, everyone here and who had been in Okinawa, has at some point in their stay, visited the Ocean Expo Park. Who hasn’t? It is after all the most popular tourist destination in the island next to Shuri Castle. However, most of those who visit only have the Churaumi Aquarium in mind forgetting that it is a massive amusement park with featured facilities that require an entire day to explore. Spring is here and what better way to spend the days than having an adventure. If you are planning to visit or considering a re-visit, here is hoping this post will help.
NATIVE OKINAWAN VILLAGE and OMORO ARBORETUM - A glimpse into the traditional design of an Okinawan village and the old way of life of the local.
CHURAUMI AQUARIUM - The most popular aquarium boosts an approximate land area of 10,000 m² with a building four-stories high. It proudly houses 77 exhibition tanks being the Kuroshio Sea tank as the main attraction having the volume capacity of 7,500 cubic meters containing three whale sharks and a group of manta rays. Read previous blog post HERE.
SEA TURTLE POOL - Proudly housing 5 species of turtles out of the 7 (8?) species known in the world is the park Sea Turtle Pool. Hawksbill turtle, Loggerhead sea turtle, Green sea turtle, Kemp’s Ridley and the Black turtle can be viewed underwater from the underground viewing room. Admission here is free and enjoy guessing how old these turtles here! ;)
MANATEE POOL – The manatees at the park are “goodwill ambassadors” from Mexico. They are mostly fed with lettuce and they are somehow creepy looking like they are staring at your every moment. Of course, they are smart mammals (or mermaids), what to expect?
TROPICAL DREAM CENTER – A wonderfully manicured 6-hectare garden of more than 2,000 orchids and polished beautifully with tropical and subtropical plants, Tropical Dream Center is a secret paradise overlooked by most visitors in the midst of Okinawa’s Ocean Park in Motobu Town It offers a self-guided tour with a choice of approximately 1 hour Standard Course and an approximately half-hour Short Course tour. Read previous blog HERE.
STEP FOUNTAIN – A quite small garden with step fountain offering a panorama view of the park from the top. It is not well-maintained but the serenity is perfect.
DOLPHIN LAGOON and DOLPHIN SHOW - Perhaps most enjoyed by kids is the dolphin lagoon where they can see the smart dolphins up close and personal. A 20-minute live dolphin show, which is absolutely free, is also enjoyed by everyone at the Okichan Theater. Bottlenose dolphins, false killer whales and pacific white-sided dolphins are the stars in their water stage.
Check on Google Street View below for an additional information and perspective :