The very last day on Okinawa Islands and there was only one point of interest that I eagerly wanted to see, that is Ocean Expo Park. It’s known for Dolphin Theatre and Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium housing over 700 fish species in three sections: tropical, ocean, deep sea. There are also other adjacent attractions and beaches since it’s located right at the coast.
The place was recommended to me by our German friends, but their description just couldn’t match the actual size and beauty of the park. It’s so big that it’s been divided into northern and southern parts hitting total of 7 multi-storey car parks for the convenience. There is also a bus driving around the park. I believe the total distance from one side to the other is over 4 km!
I started with the aquarium. The main attractions are two unbelievably enormous water tanks full of sharks, whales, mantises and other bit smaller, but still of significant size, fish. To resist the water pressure they used 60 cm thick acrylic walls to build those tanks. Take a look at pictures and compare people standing and looking at them.
Before I realised I spent there at least 3 hours just admiring all exhibitions. They were fantastic. But I still had the Dolphin Theatre planned, so I rushed there to not miss the last show. This part didn’t disappoint as well. It’s incredible how clever, agile and well-trained dolphins can be. They swam across the pool standing with only their back fin dipped in the water, jumped at least 10 meters high, danced in the water following their instructors and finally slided on a narrow shelf facing audience and thanked everyone for watching! What?!
If I only knew this park delivers so much entertainment I would arrived earlier to make the most out of it. Unfortunately they were soon closing, so I had to leave without visiting other interesting section. I am still very happy that I experienced all of this. When you get a chance, definitely pencil a whole day for this park, a few hours aren’t enough.