Today was the day we achieved the whole purpose of the side trip to Okinawa, visiting the Churaumi Aquarium. This was the largest aquarium in the world until 2005, so it’s a pretty awesome place, but first…
This was the first time I’d ever driven overseas before, and to say that Kathryn was apprehensive, is a bit like saying that Apollo suffered a bit of bother. While she was giving out the nervous vibe, I was pretty excited. In reality, driving in Japan is the same as driving in New Zealand. You drive on the left, all the cars in New Zealand are from Japan, and with GPS, you can’t really get lost.
So I only got lost once. Took the wrong turn. The GPS tells you about five times about the turn, and I took one turn one traffic light too early. No dramas. Kathryn was stressed, but she played it cool. Only about $50 to rent a car for the day, which is good value.
We made it to the aquarium, and we were starving, so we decided to have a buffet lunch for $15 each. You’ll notice the mistake we made, which was around the word buffet. I think buffet is a universal word for a disappointing experience. Name a buffet that’s been awesome. Exactly. Well continuing in the tradition, this was also pretty average. I had Okinawan Pork which was like a garlic pork. T’was OK.
We finally finally entered the aquarium. Cutting to the chase, the Whale Sharks in the main tank were amazing, as were the Manta Rays. Words and pictures and videos don’t really describe being there in person. A bit like when you see home pictures of people scuba diving, the photos of fish always look average compared to seeing it in person. Sorry. You’ll just have to use your imagination.
The aquarium is massive, and contains all the normal exhibits with other fish and crabs and things. Didn’t see a section dedicated to Jellyfish which makes me very happy. No one likes Jellyfish.
We then headed outside to see the free exhibits, which were the manatees, turtles, dolphins, and a beach. There was a false Killer Whale, which is a type of dolphin that Kathryn is absolutely in love with. I actually didn’t see her for about 15 minutes while she just watched this false Killer Whale. The Wholphin we saw in Hawaii is the offspring of mixing a False Killer Whale and a normal Dolphin.
We finally rounded out the day checking out Emerald Beach. This is one of the top 100 beaches in Japan, and looks very beautiful. So nice that you could swim in it. And in November, the water was pretty warm. There were big signs though saying “No Swimming”. Turns out there were six types of venomous animals in the sea that could really ruin your day. Some you can suck the venom out, others, you squeeze it out. This wouldn’t happen in New Zealand!