I can't believe we waited so long to come to the Churaumi Aquarium. It's part of the Ocean Expo Park near Nago, which is a huge complex full of playgrounds, waterfalls, ponds, beaches, museums, restaurants, natural wildlife exhibits and tropical gardens. We wandered in during a lazy afternoon, and were quickly overwhelmed by the amount of activities and natural wonders waiting for us. We mainly covered the aquarium (which we got annual passes for), and I can't wait to go back and see everything else!
My interest in aquatic life in Okinawa was definitely sparked by the fact that we were both Officially SCUBA certified this week. I wanted to get a feel for what we're soon to be seeing underwater, and I have to say I'm very excited-- although I'm not sure how I feel about seeing a shark next to me in the ocean quite yet...
The Whale Shark tank was by far the most impressive, I could have sat there for hours watching these massive giants gliding effortlessly in the water. There's a cafe next to it that I'm seriously thinking about visiting and studying at right up against the glass.
Almost every exhibit had something about the reproduction of each animal. The shark one was the most unexpected for me--so I HAD to take a picture and share it with you all : )
Some of the exhibit are outside in the open which include the Sea Turtles, Manatees, and Dolphins. You can either watch them from above or see them through the glass underground. Most exhibits are translated into English, so you can get a lot of the history and facts about these animals as you stroll around.
As we walked past one of the dolphin tanks (they have 6 or so, with 3-4 dolphins each) we found it being cleaned with the dolphins still inside. It seemed a little awkward, you would think that they would temporarily put them in another tank... it made for an interesting image at least.
|Whale Shark and Ray|
|Whale Shark Tank and Tourists|
|Shark sex, finally explained!|
|Robb VS. Sea Turtle|
|Sea Turtle posing like a boss|
|Cleaning the dolphin tanks|