My Travels, Okinawa — January 30, 2013 at 3:09 PM

The Churaumi Aquarium in Okinawa!

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The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium (沖縄美ら海水族館) is located within the Ocean Expo Commemorative National Government Park in Motobu, Okinawa, Japan. “Churaumi” was selected as the name of the aquarium by public vote amongst Japanese people. “Chura” means “beautiful” or “graceful” in the Okinawan Japanese dialect, and “umi” means “ocean” in Japanese.
The aquarium is made up of four floors, with tanks containing deep sea creatures, sharks, coral and tropical fish. The aquarium is set on 19,000 m² of land, with a total of 77 tanks containing 10,000 m³ of water. Water for the saltwater exhibits is pumped into the aquarium from a source 350m offshore, 24 hours a day.
The main tank, called the Kuroshio Sea, holds 7,500 cubic metres (1,981,000 USgal) of water and features an acrylic glass panel measuring 8.2 by 22.5 metres (27 by 74 ft) with a thickness of 60 centimetres (24 in), the largest such panel in the world when the aquarium was opened. Whale sharks and manta rays are kept alongside many other fish species in the main tank. The first manta ray birth at the aquarium was in 2007. As of July 2010, there have been a total of four manta rays born in the aquarium.
See all pictures here

The aquarium holds 80 species of coral. It is one of only a few aquariums that keeps whale sharks in captivity, and is currently trying to breed them.

Orange-barred garden eel at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium (沖縄美ら海水族館).

Whale shark at the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium (沖縄美ら海水族館).


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