Andrew’s world in Japan 2018/October

Artist & researcher based in KL since 2009, passionately exploring the creative process & connecting with other creative people.

Take Aways From History In The Present Day (Part 2)

Located on the tip of northern Okinawa Honto is the Ocean Expo Park (海洋博公園, Kaiyōhakukōen). Built in 1976, today the main attraction is what many claim to be Japan’s best aquarium, Churaumi. At ¥1850 for general admission (just under $20 USD), there are a variety of spectacular views. Opening at 8:30 am regularly, during what’s considered summer months of March to September, closing time is extended to 8 pm with the last admissions at 7 pm. If you face time constraints, it is best to arrive early in the day as crowds build after 10 am. Any questions or concerns should easily be answered on their website.

Are you one of those people obsessed with aquatic life and imagine you will visit a few times? For the price of two visits, you can purchase an annual passport allowing you unlimited entries. Otherwise, if you may need to step out during your visit, simply reenter that day with a special stamp on your hand. Get that before stepping out of the building.

The facility has a number of permanent exhibitions and some that rotate. All of them are meant to educate and encourage appreciation of aquatic life. Each floor of the building has a theme that represents Okinawan Seas. Coral Lobby marks your entrance with one floor up called “Invitation to the Great Sea” and much of the building is dedicated to ‘Deep Sea’ exhibits. Even the name Churaumi highlights the aquatic world as ‘chura’ means beautiful or graceful and ‘umi’ means ocean.

There is so much to see and do here. Programs are set up with the greater Ocean Park Expo space near the aquarium and Churaumi itself. Teams of scientists also do and share research out of this facility. In 2018 they released a study called ‘Breeding success of captive black turtles in an aquarium.’ A special and rare species found mainly around the Galapagos Islands and the Ryukyo Islands. Almost 18 years of rearing and breeding brought the first successful mating in June 2017. The foundation shares many of these articles with links to their original publishing on their website. This institution is much more than their physical space. Other valuable activities include programs to educate and increase public awareness and addressing environmental issues.

Regardless of whether you are familiar with aquatic life or not, Ocean Park Expo and Churaumi are well worth the time and energy to visit. You will gasp in amazement at the beautiful aquatic creatures they are taking care of. Hopefully, you will also gain a fresh perspective and new appreciation for what is mostly hidden from our earthbound vision.