Tuesday 16 May 2017

OKINAWA - Day 3 - Whale Sharks, Long Bridges and snorkelling

We decided to make an early start, you know, being on holiday, who needs a lie in!

Unlike mainland Japan when the majority of things don't open until 10am, it looks like most of the attractions down here open at 8.30am. I actually prefer this because you can make more of your day.

So we were up and out by 7.30am and drove for about an hour north to the Churami Aquarium. I'm not a big fan of zoos and aquariums but the guys really wanted to go so that was that. We got there just in time for opening and we had already purchased tickets at the conbini so it was quick to get it.

I recommend going this route as there were already long lines and if you are driving, the carpark isn't massive so you might get stuck waiting for a parking place.

As far as aquariums go it was nice, they have lots of smaller tanks but the main attraction is the HUGE tank with the whale sharks and sting rays. We managed to time it just right and got to the big tank just in time to see the sting rays being fed, that was quite exciting.

They have also won all kinds of awards for their different breeding programs and it's very informative but mostly in Japanese. If your kids read Japanese there are 10 info cards to collect as you make your way round, they are printed on good quality card and in full colour.

We of course managed to miss one and Ebi-kun wanted the set so we ended up battling against the flow of traffic to get back to the missing card! You have be warned!

I'm not sure if that is an every day thing or if it was a Golden Week special.

Ebi-kun fell in love with these little fellas, spotted garden eels, can't say I blame him, they were super cute.

We finished up around mid-day and decided to skip the restaurant and instead look for somewhere out and about.

We headed off to Kouri Island which meant going over Okinawas longest bridge and it is spectacular. Worse places to get stuck in a traffic jam! I was expecting everywhere to be a lot more crowded but we either lucked out or it really doesn't get as busy down here.

Over the bridge we decided just to stop at the first nice looking cafe. We spotted a sign on the road and pulled into a place up on the hill. We had to wait a wee while for a table and they were obviously rushed off their feet - slow eating! But the food was good, sadly we were seated inside so we didn't get to enjoy the ocean view quite as much.

If you have kids, they do have a kids corner with toys and books.

After lunch Ebi-kun was itching to get in the sea, he would have been quite happy to stop anywhere and jump in! We decided the easiest thing would be to drive back to the cabin and go to the local beach, so that's what we did, stopping to pick up something for dinner and breakfast along the way.

We spent the rest of the afternoon until about 6pm messing around on the beach. I had bought a full face snorkel mask, so we tried that out. We saw a few tiny fish but nothing exciting. The beach is public and not manned by life guards so we kept close to the beach.

Finished off with a shower, an easy dinner and early night!

Handy Links
Charami Aquarium HERE

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