Thursday, June 25, 2015

Okinawa Day 10

 The Ocean Expo Park was our next stop which contains the Churaumi Aquarium, Manatee Pool, Sea Turtle Pool, Dolphin Lagoon, Native Okinawan Village, and Tropical Dream Center.

There was a large flower shark and many other displays put together with flowers of other sea creatures. Not to worry, I broke that shark so we could ride him around.

We started out heading for the aquarium which is huge and is the only one that is big enough to house whale sharks. 

There are divers in the tank with the rays and whale sharks. One was filming and the other was cleaning the acrylic surface. I wonder if they draw straws to see who scrubs? The big whale shark is 8.5 meters long. The acrylic is laminated to about 60 cm thick. The aquarium introduces an open system in which sea water that is scooped from the ocean enters the aquarium tanks and then is returned to the ocean once again.
 Another aquarium section was the Journey to a Coral Reef which had sections on the Coral Lobby, Life in Inoh (touch pool), the Coral Sea, the Sea of Tropical Fish, Coral Reef World and Freshwater Life.

 No petting the sharks.

Journey to the “Kurosh” exhibited the Shark Lab, the Kuroshio Sea, and Aqua Room. Journey into the Deep Sea was the last exhibit area for the aquarium building with sections for Deep Sea Gallery, Small Marine Life in the Deep Sea, Deep Sea, Ocean Planetarium, Aqua Lab and the gift shop (of course!).

Next we were off to the Manatee section, Sea Turtles and then the dolphin show.

Lastly, off to the Tropical Dream Center! The entrance/gift shop is the Stained Glass Hall.
This is the ceiling!

This is one wall inside the hall.

The grounds were impressive with all the tropical flowers and displays. It rivaled the Botanical Gardens but in a different way as this was a much more intimate arrangement that invite leisure and contemplation.

The view from the top of the Observatory was impressive as it is about 6 stories tall and is already up on a cliff. You did not realize that the courtyard area flowers were in a heart shape until looking down at them.

This was a long but wonderful day.

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