The world of Kuroshio marine life viewed through giant acrylic windows
Whale sharks as long as 8.7m, manta rays and a wide variety of fish swim in the gigantic tank.
The enormous acrylic windows that allow such a breathtaking view are 8.2m high, 22.5 m wide and 60cm thick.
Enjoy the thrill and excitement of having sharks, rays and migratory fish of the Kuroshio Sea almost within reach.
A world first! Several whale sharks raised in captivity
Multiple whale sharks raised in captivity – a near-impossible feat until now
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, one of the largest aquariums in the world, has succeeded in raising a number of whale sharks in captivity for the purpose of breeding. Much is still unknown about these regal creatures, and the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium seeks to solve the mysteries of the whale sharks.
Multiple manta rays – the largest of the rays - raised in captivity. Churaumi holds the world record for raising rays in captivity.
Manta rays delight in gliding through Okinawa’s beautiful seas.
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium was the first aquarium in the world to succeed in raising and breeding manta alfredi, one of the largest species of ray.
Our enormous tank, continuously supplied with fresh seawater, has made it possible for visitors to marvel at the colossal, beautiful forms of these manta rays.
Recreating Okinawa’s Sea with large-scale coral cultivation
The tanks at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium are replenished with seawater collected from the surrounding ocean.
The Coral Sea tank, depicting Okinawa’s beautiful ocean, has been designed without a roof. Bathed in natural light, the expansive, 300m3 tank is home to our coral display.
Most of the coral here has been cultivated for over a decade.
The fish who inhabit this coral reef busily dart about and serve to keep at bay seaweed and sea anemones that would otherwise hinder the growth of the coral.
Enjoy the sight of coral growing in its natural state on this reef.
Strange Creatures: Recreating the Okinawan Deep Sea!
The Deep Sea – as puzzling as outer space.
Did you know that the sea floor surrounding Okinawa is inhabited by a plethora of mysterious creatures?
In this section, you can observe deep sea creatures that live 200m to 700m below the ocean surface.
You can see flame snappers, black snoek, luminescent shrimp and other such rare creatures said to be extremely difficult to raise in captivity as well as get more information on the deep sea environment and its inhabitants through videos and text in the explanatory corner.
Okinawa International Ocean Expo was held in Motobu, Okinawa, in 1975, and the following year the site was reborn as Ocean Expo Park (Okinawa Commemorative National Government Park Region) and designated as a National Park.
Ocean Expo Park was originally designed around the triple theme of “Sun, Sea and Flora”, with the original aquarium acting as a focal point for the “Sea” element and quickly becoming a very popular site within the Park. The old aquarium was closed in August 2002 due to the deterioration of its facilities and then reopened as Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in November of the same year.
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is also certified as a Registered Museum.
- Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium’s Policy
- Based on the theme “Encounters with Okinawa’s Sea”, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium presents the rich nature of Okinawa’s marine envirnoment and strives to create a place where people can encounter the abundant variety of sea life found in the Kuroshio Sea surrounding these southern isles.
While appropriately answering the demands of the time, we aim to provide a unique, high-quality aquarium that serves as an important focal point for local and international resort and tourism, and facilities that not only attract visitors but are characterized by Okinawa’s alluring, natural sea.
The ocean around Okinawa is made up of three elements that form the marine life habitat; 1) the massive Kuroshio warm current, 2) coral reefs, and 3) the deep sea to the east and west of the Southwest Islands. This mysterious underwater world is home to an abundant variety of globally important species.
Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium has recreated this underwater world all the way from the water’s surface to a depth of around 700m, ensuring a variety of factors – light, water quality, underwater visibility etc. – are as close as possible to conditions in the natural sea. Through a simulated journey from the coast to offshore, to the Kuroshio Sea and even to the depths of the ocean, visitors can experience the wonder and importance of Okinawa’s sea.
Our attractions go beyond merely showing a selection of fish tanks; we have created attractions that can be experienced in many ways. Moreover, our guide staff have put together a guide program that features new exhibits throughout the year, so no matter how often you visit you won’t get bored - a new experience awaits you every time!
The meaning of Churaumi
– How the name “Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium” came about Chura means beautiful in the Okinawan dialect, while umi means sea.
The name “Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium” was chosen by the majority of the 13,897 respondents to our nationwide survey just prior to the reopening of the aquarium on Nov. 1, 2002. The naming committee struggled with the sheer volume of responses, but finally settled on the name Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium as it was memorable, gave a sense of locality and distinguished it from other aquariums elsewhere in Japan.
We at Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium will do our best to ensure this facility, encompassed by the beautiful Okinawan sea, finds a place in the hearts of more and more people each year.
|Building footprint||Approx. 10,000m2|
|Grounds area||Approx. 19,000m2|
|Building structure||4 storey steel-reinforced concrete|
|Water tank size||Total water volume, approx. 10,000m3|
|Largest tank||“Kuroshio Sea” 7,500m3|
|Number of exhibition tanks||77|
|Seawater intake||Intake 300m offshore at 20m depth|
|Maximum intake of water||3,000m3/hour|
|Water intake method||Water conduit|
|Water intake conduit diameter||1.8m|
|Electrical supply||Commercial power supply (6,600v)|
|Filtration system||Pressurized sealed vertical type filtration tank|
|Water intake filters||8 units, each with 3.2m diameter|
|Water intake filtration media||Polyester bead and fiber|
|Main tank filtration units||62 units, each with 2.8-3m diameter|
|Main tank filtration media||Quartz sand|
Category 1 Animal Handling Business
Okinawa Commemorative National Government Park(Ocean Expo Park Zone)
|Applicant||The Director of the Okinawa Churashima Foundation|
|Name of business||Okinawa Commemorative National Government Park(Ocean Expo Park Zone)|
|Location||424 Ishikawa, Motobu-cho, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa Prefecture.|
|Type of animal
|Registration number||Exhibit license no. 353, Sales license no. 353|
|Date of registration||May 16, 2017|
|Registration valid until||May 15, 2022|
for animal handling
|Aquarium: Hiroshi Ashida and Haruka Takano
Marine Animals: Koji Tokutake