Up Close and Personal with Whale Sharks: Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium in Japan offers visitors a chance to witness some of the ocean’s most magnificent creatures from behind the safety of reinforced glass. Guests can immerse themselves in ocean life by exploring the aquarium’s four floors, each featuring a different look into the creatures of the deep. The aquarium also hosts some amazing wildlife shows and interactive exhibits, perfect for people of all ages.

Ground Floor

Turtle Aquarium
My phone would be absolutely packed with pictures of this place.

Composed of four floors, the aquarium provides a look into a variety of oceanic environments. The ground floor is home to the bottom-dwelling sea creatures. These include some of the most elusive wildlife known to man. During construction, marine biologists spent a lot of time recreating enclosures capable of harboring the marine life that is accustomed to these extreme environments.

Second Floor

Aquarium Tunnel
Tunnels are the best part of any aquarium-don’t even try to argue with me.

On the second floor, the Churaumi Aquarium features migratory species. The Shark Research Lab is located on this floor and is one of the most popular exhibits. You can explore the fascinating life of sharks through hands-on activities, fossils exhibits and through the observation of living specimens. Now let me tell you, this is not your nana’s swimming pool. Filled with more than 7,500 cubic meters of seawater, this massive tank accommodates the largest species of fish known to man: the docile whale shark. Holding this type of creature in captivity is a feat just short of a miracle.

Third Floor

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium Touch Pool Japan
I smell something fishy…

Moving up to the third floor will bring you to the coral reef display. One attraction featured on this floor is the touch-pool, a favorite among kids. Starfish, sea urchins and many other harmless creatures fill this exhibit. The tanks themselves are home to the world’s first large-scale reproduction of a coral reef. Here, you can witness more than 70 different species of coral continuously grow and expand the indoor reef!

Fourth Floor

Fish Aquarium
You’re gonna need a bigger boat.

On the fourth floor of the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, you reach the main entrance, the outdoor shows, and the on-site restaurant. Just in case you worked up an appetite staring at all of those exotic sea creatures, fish are on the menu. Keep in mind that none of the food being served here is from any of the exhibit tanks. This isn’t Red Lobster.

Alright, so now you’ve got the lowdown on one of the coolest aquariums in the world. What are you gonna do about it? If you’re ready to begin your journey to Japan, give us a call at mustdotravels.com and we’ll get you there.